Ask Marzipan: What Happens When My Best Friend Gets Engaged?

July 17, 2009

So, I must confess, this is what I have been asking myself for the past two weeks. It feels like suddenly my life has been pushed into adult overdrive with people working serious jobs and getting married and thinking babies and getting degrees. And for a person with high anxiety/an over-active imagination, let me tell you, my brain has been REELING for days. It’s a bit like this – excited, scared, what am I doing with my life?!, excited, sad about the end of an era, excited, panic attack, excited, excited, excited – when even the excitement is tinged with anticipation and fear, and every fear has a silver lining.

So the question remains, your best friend is getting married, how do you feel? What do you do? What do you say? When someone who is young gets married, do you buy them china? Or is it appropriate to design a hula hoop for them with the colors of their engagement ring, because, after all, you are still twenty-four and you still pal around together like you did when you were four or five. Do you start planning a bridal shower? Are you going to force them to eat petit fours and play bridal-shower-bingo, as if suddenly a ring on her finger indicates that she has become a different person?

Or, on a more personal note, how does this make you feel about the status of your life? Do you start feeling jealous or competitive or nervous that you aren’t going to be on the same page anymore? Or, maybe you are also thinking about getting married, and you’re feeling a little like you’re going to the dark place, ala Bride Wars:

OR, worse yet, suddenly your boyfriend/girlfriend ends every waking breath with a frenzied, “BUT I’M NOT READY?!?!?!” and you calmly have to remind them for the one thousandth time that day that you aren’t chomping at the bit to get married just because your friends are.

I think its probably best to just be honest with yourself through this transition, just as I would encourage honesty and self-evaluation during almost every major (or embarrassingly important minor) life change. Maybe its not appropriate to air your anxiety with your friend, but at least have a conversation about it with yourself or someone else you trust.

For example, my conversation has sounded a little like this: This is so exciting! I get to be a part of something so beautiful between two people that I love so much. It’s OK that my life isn’t in the same place right now. There is no pressure.  There will be someone who wants to spend the rest of their life with me too. I am safe here.

Or, you know, you could write a blog about it, to sort your thoughts out.