Commentary: How to Handle Wedding Season When You're Not the Bride

Survival tips when you're single.

Posted: 05/28/2014 11:45 AM EDT
women looking bored at a wedding

When I was 27 I was an expert wedding guest. I had it down to a science, from how to buy a standout gift to how to put together a standout outfit without spending a lot of time or money. It was a good skill to have considering that every weekend, another friend was getting married.

Another thing I was at 27: single. Like, completely. And I don't mean juggling many men single or technically single according to the census, but one half of an unmarried couple and not even taking time out for myself single. Yes, I was single-single, with no prospects and not even a distracting crush.

It sounds tragic, but it wasn't — until a wedding invite showed up. Then all I had to look forward to was getting dressed up to go and sit at the singles table where I'd get to make up excuses to get out of participating in catching the bouquet. Meanwhile, one of my closest friends would be committing him or herself to a life of partnered bliss and I'd be eating my catered meal and wondering if I should have myself committed for even being there. 

If you have been single at a string of weddings, you know I am not a special kind of bitter or depressed. You understand the difficulty in staying focused on your friend's big day instead of fearing you'll never have one of your own. And now, as we head into June, wedding season is once again here. But with just a tiny (OK, pretty big) mental shift, you can actually stop dreading it, no matter your love-life status. 

This could be the place to mention that half of those weddings you're attending are going to end in divorce. But unless you're a sadist, you're not going to feel better by reveling in your friend's future misery. So instead focus on the fact that what you are witnessing is someone else's life milestone, not yours. Their choices and decisions led them to each other, which led to this day. Chances are you don't want to marry either person who is up there saying "I do," so you can't lament that your choices didn't lead to the exact same place. 

Also, whether you get married at 20 or 60, you still spend most of your 20s and 30s figuring out how to live your life. It's a relief to be able to figure out a lot of that without daily input from someone else. You mess up? You pick yourself back up and there's a good chance no one noticed. You decide you want to completely change your career, city, religion, no one is there to say, "Hey, I miss that old way. Can you go back to it?" when all you want is to move forward with something new. 

All of this might sound like women's magazine fluff that only works on TV. But it isn't. It's a mental road map to follow so you're never again feeling miserable at one more wedding. It might not lead to the altar, but it will take you to a more positive outlook. And then, when you're not moping at someone's nuptials, you can remember the other thing single people do at weddings: hook up with a hot single guest.


The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of BET Networks.


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