The 5 Stages of Coping With An Engagement Announcement


Another day, another engagement. You’re going about your day, minding your own business, when it happens. Again. While you were trying to remember the name of the last person you got up close and personal with (unclear), they were busy successfully convincing someone to commit to them for eternity.

There are two ways to learn about a new engagement. One is the Facebook announcement that disrupts an otherwise boring day at work. Thanks, Zuck, you’re really there for me. However, if it’s a particularly eventful engagement, you’ll be bombarded with texts from friends ranging from “Her?” to “I’m forever alone.” These texts usually occur when one half of the soon-to-be blissfully wedded couple is hideous, pregnant, or someone you used to sleep with. Here are the stages you face when yet another engagement announcement comes your way, proving you really are as old as you think.

Stage 1: Shock
You’re surprised that this person is engaged, while you’re still defrosting microwaveable meals for one. After all, doesn’t it seem like the most boring people in the world (or at least in your graduating class) are first to tie the knot? They’re the ones who’ve been in a relationship for the last hundred years, which means their social lives are nonexistent.

Stage 2: Asking Why?
If it’s a religious couple, you can skip this step, because the answer is obvious (getting it in). Same if the couple has been together since high school or college, because it’s about time he put a ring on it. However, if the girl walks on the wild side, and you were positive the guy in question was trying to emulate a live-action Archer, questioning an unexpected pregnancy is always appropriate. Baby bump watch begins now.

Stage 3: Evaluating Your Life Choices
You’re starting to think about parting ways with what was called “hooking up” in college (acceptable and expected), because it’s now referred to as “one night stands.” You’re not necessarily ready to stop having fun and drinking heavily, though, and that’s the struggle. Married couples aren’t exactly known for raging, unless they’re raging at each other.

Stage 4: Questioning Everything
You start to think about living in the same room, and more specifically sharing the same bed, with one person for the rest of your life. Does anyone really want to bone the same person forever? Sounds boring, but I’m pretty sure now that I’m postgrad it should sound romantic. You can barely tolerate most people, like your coworkers, but you’re expected to find another human being likable enough to make your permanent roommate.

Stage 5: Acceptance
You can’t help but wonder why this person has a significant other, while you do not, but then you realize that you’d be beyond unhappy if you had their specific significant other. You win some, you lose some, but in this case, you’re the clear winner. Plus, even if it takes you ten more years to find your settling soul mate, you’ll still have around forty years together, and that’s a long time. After all, your parents were married at the age you are now, so maybe you shouldn’t be so cynical about couples that are only a few years removed from engaged and underage. You realize that you’ll know when it’s time to get married because you’ll be tired of taking shots, making questionable decisions (they’re the most fun), and staying out until sunrise.

Getting married straight out of college is like leaving the party early, and who wants to be that guy? Certainly not me, as I take last call as a light suggestion at best. Nobody likes someone who’s premature, and early marriage is essentially just that. It’s like leaving the bar before anyone else gets there, and that sounds boring. You’re even missing Happy Hour, which is a post-grad pre-requisite. So, you can have your awkward wedding pictures (your ring’s so small I can barely see it), your homemaking blog with exactly one reader (you), and your Pinterest board crawling with the latest Tupperware craze (after all, you need the perfect container to pack hubby his lunch). I’ll be at the bar if you need me.

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Margaret Abrams

Nothing Margaret writes should be taken seriously by anyone, including her parents, employers, or gentleman callers. She's currently coping with a quarterlife crisis.

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