Always a bridesmaid, never a bride - KMSP-TV

Always a bridesmaid, never a bride

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by Adrienne Laursen

Weddings can be fun and exciting, but when you’re always a bridesmaid and never a bride, that fun can fade pretty quickly. Adrienne Laursen, LMFT, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Fox 9 relationship expert, and owner of The Engagement Coach, shares tips for getting through life and wedding season when you're the "last single girl."

Being the last single girl in your group of friends can bring about feelings of loneliness, jealousy and even depression for some. It’s hard to watch your girlfriends all getting married, planning the wedding of their dreams, having honeymoons and babies, and moving forward in their lives. Meanwhile, you’re feeling stuck and lonely, and often wondering “What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I have that?” The answer is YOU CAN! It just isn’t your time right now.

Rather than focusing on what you don’t have, concentrate on what you do have.

I get it. I was “the last single girl” in my group of friends so I’ve been there and I know how pathetic that feels! But now that I can look back, I’m actually glad that I didn’t get married before I did. Why? Because I did SO many things that my friends didn’t get to do because they were having babies at 22! I traveled, dated (a lot!), supported myself and had a great career, got my Master’s degree and figured out my baggage so I could find the right guy to marry, not just a guy.

Take inventory of what great things/people/adventures/opportunities you have in your life and be grateful for them. Make a list of the things you still want to do and then go do them, because you can!

Give yourself permission to love being single, and then own it.

Stop worrying about what everyone else thinks you should have by now. We all have that friend or mother or nosy aunt saying “Geez… I can’t believe you’re still single. When are you going to find someone to marry?” While those insensitive statements can feel like taking a bullet, don’t let them get you down. People say those things because they can’t imagine being independent and successful without leaning on someone else. Realize those comments come from a place of their insecurity. I bet if you surveyed all of your married friends, they would love a chance to be single again! Just remember, the grass is always greener…

Accept that things are changing. Your relationships are going to be different, and some may even end.

“Make new friends but keep the old, one is silver and the other’s gold.” Girl scouts, sing it with me! Here’s the deal. As you get older, friendships change. Life changes. You will change. And with change comes the unfortunate loss or decline of some friendships. That’s ok, and it’s normal. But be sure to deal with your feelings of loneliness and jealousy before you kick anyone to the curb. You always want to look back on any relationship and know that you handled it in the best way possible. So work through your negative feelings (if you have them) and try to focus on being genuinely happy for your friends. And then give both of you permission to move on.

Concentrate on finding new friends with similar interests, who can bring new light to your life.

Notice I didn’t say find single friends. Of course you can find single friends, but focusing on similar interests and values as you get older is a much wiser decision. Why, you ask? Because those “single” girls will eventually meet someone and get married too. Focus on meeting new friends who share your passions in life, possess positive and inspiring personality traits, can empathize with you, and be there for the good and not-so-good times. Quality relationships that have a foundation of common interests have a much better chance of fulfilling your needs and lasting long-term.

Words of advice…party with your single girls, brunch with your married girls, and live your life with your awesome girls!

For more information on Adrienne’s counseling services and free relationship tips, please visit her website at www.TheEngagementCoach.com.

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