Five Things to Think About When You Feel Sick of Celebrating
Do any of you other single ladies struggle to deal with the constant flow of invitations to bachelorette, bridal and baby showers? Dealing with these occasions has always been a struggle for me while I’ve been single. They seem to serve as a reminder of what everyone else had and I can’t seem to find, and rub salt in an open wound.
It’s not so much that the actual events themselves are terrible, but they are constant, expensive and seem to be a one way street since all you do is celebrate others while no one ever celebrates you. Today I’ve got a few tips on how to deal with the constant invites!
1. Have A Good Attitude
Even though it feels like it, these events were not planned as a way to point out your singleness. They were planned to celebrate an important event in someone else’s life. Now is it fair that single gals don’t get celebrated? No, it’s not fair, but life’s not fair, so sometimes we just have to find our big girl panties and put our feelings of disappointment aside to love on one of our friends.
I’m not saying this is easy. About a year ago one of my friends came to me very upset that her family had planned her bridal shower on the same weekend as her cousin’s graduation party. She was frustrated that she had to share her special weekend with a graduation party.
Now, I wanted to tell her to suck it up and just be grateful that someone was throwing her a party. I wanted to tell her that the last party anyone threw for me was when I turned 16, and that her complaint was ridiculous. But instead, I reminded myself that she wasn’t trying to discount, or disrespect me personally, she was just frustrated that her expectations for the party were not being met. I chose to just let her vent, and tell her I was sorry that things weren’t going as planned.
If you can put aside your own hurts and frustrations and just love on your friends, I promise these events will be much less difficult. It takes work, and an active decision not to be overly sensitive, but I promise, if you pray and ask God to help you with your attitude, he will. He will give you the ability to be selfless and pour into your friends during these important times in their lives.
2. You Don’t Have to Go
Let me start out by saying; I would encourage you to go to as many of these events as possible. You know that you would want these girls to be there for you if the roles were reversed, so make every effort to be there for them.
However, it’s okay to admit that you need a break, or that a certain situation hits too close to home and excuse yourself from participating.
Here’s an example that happened to me a few years ago. I had a huge crush on this guy in my small group. Like, literally if I had a checklist of what I was looking for (who am I kidding, of course I had an actual checklist!) he checked every box. A few months after meeting him we were both at a wedding for some friends and he asked me to dance. One of my favorite songs was playing, and I was sure this was the guy for me. I was envisioning our whole lives unfolding together right there while we were dancing.
I found out literally the next week that he was seriously dating a girl who lived out of town. He had only asked me to dance to be nice. He ended up marrying the girl from out of town the next year. I got invited to her lingerie shower. The plan was to go to dinner and then head back to someone’s house to open gifts. This was a tough one. I wanted to support them, but I had to admit to myself that I could not sit there and watch her open lingerie. Even though I knew they were perfect for each other, I was still hurt that he hadn’t been interested in me. I ended up going to dinner and then excusing myself before they opened gifts.
If you are feeling incredibly overwhelmed by your singleness, or just dying inside because of how bad you want to be a mom, it’s ok to be kind to yourself and skip a shower. There’s no need to torture yourself. As I said, I would try to support as many of your friends as possible, but it’s ok to bow out if you emotionally can’t handle another party.
3. Set a Budget
The other tough thing about all these celebrations is figuring out how to not wreck you bank account while supporting your friends. I don’t know about you, but no matter what I buy I never feel like the gift I bought was big enough. There’s always some girl at the party who has known the bride or mom to be half as long as I have and bought her a gift that was twice as expensive.
The price of your shower gift does not determine the depth of your friendship. Read that again. Buying more expensive gifts does not make you better friends! I try to set a budget for the gifts for these events and stick to it. This is especially important if you are also helping to throw the shower. Costs add up if you are trying to coordinate food for 15 or 20 people and buy gifts. Don’t be afraid to admit that you have a budget and need to stick to it.
For me the budget does depend on how well I know someone. I’m going to spend more on one of my best friends, than a girl who I work with but have never hung out with outside of work. If you decide to spend $45 on a gift, that includes everything! The gift, the bag, the tissue paper and the card. Your spending will get out of control quickly if you don’t factor in the cost of gift wrap and cards.
4. Celebrate the Single Ladies in Your Life
This is something I’m trying to be better at in my own life. Since you know how hard it is to feel overlooked as a single lady, make sure to celebrate the accomplishments in the lives of your single friends. There are so many major moments that get no recognition! Finishing grad school, getting a promotion, getting a new apartment or buying her first house, these are major milestones for the single gals you know! While they probably would never ask for you to make a big deal of it, do it anyway. They will appreciate it.
5. Celebrate Yourself
Don’t be afraid to buy gifts for yourself, and make a big deal of your own accomplishments. When I finished grad school I bought myself a diamond ring. I wanted one and there were no men offering to buy me diamond jewelry, so I bought it myself.
Now, honestly I went a bit overboard and the ring I bought is kind of gaudy. I don’t wear it much, but I love to see it in my jewelry box and be reminded of how hard I worked to finish grad school, and how proud I was the day I finished.
If diamonds are out of your budget, or just not your thing, find what speaks to you! Plan a trip, go on a shopping spree, get a massage, buy the purse you’ve been eyeing or the photography equipment you want. Never feel like you are not worthy of gifts or celebration! Just because society has chosen to only celebrate, weddings, babies and anniversaries doesn’t mean you have to follow suit.
I hope this has encouraged you to keep rejoicing with the women in your life, no matter what big accomplishments they are celebrating! What tips do you gals have for dealing with the constant showers, wedding and bachelorette parties?