Consult with Krystal
I’m anxious and need help – I want to get married now and it isn’t happening yet! I grew up with a close-knit group of friends and they are all getting married soon. Seriously, I’m going to be a bridesmaid 3 times just this Summer.
Of course, I’m happy for my friends. But if I’m honest, I feel like I’m being left behind. And I know it’s awful to admit but I’m jealous too!
On the other hand, I barely even have a date for these weddings.
I’ve been seeing a guy for a few months that I’m not sure I even really like. At the same time, I’ve heard my mom and some friends say that there is no Mr. Right – only Mr. Right Here and you hope for the best. I don’t know if I believe this.
A part of me believes that when people say they married the love of their life, they aren’t lying. But then again, maybe I’m just being picky. The guy I’m dating is nice and has a good career. He also wants to get married and have kids. I feel like it may be dumb to not just see this relationship through.
I’m super confused and need your advice. I don’t want to settle but I also don’t want to be left alone. I’m terrified I’ll end up alone, single, and sad if I don’t make the right choice right now.
– Wanting to get married now
Your feelings are valid
Thank you so much for writing in. Your sense of anxiety, confusion, and urgency around getting married now must be very overwhelming. But right away, let me reassure you that your feelings are valid.
Of course, you feel scared of being left behind and jealous. There is absolutely no shame in this. The truth is that there are no bad emotions. I know that this can be confusing because so many emotions are negatively judged by our society and cultures. Yet, the truth remains.
There are no bad emotions or feelings. It is reactions rather than emotions which can be problematic, hurtful, offensive, or destructive but this is the action rather than the emotion.
Reduce anxiety with mindfulness
To support you currently, I encourage you to practice an important mindfulness skill called Radical Acceptance. Most basically, to paraphrase expert Jon Kabat-Zinn, mindfulness means to pay full attention to the present moment without judgment.
Radical acceptance then is the skill of truly accepting reality for what it is. It’s the practice of honoring “it is what it is” because denying reality never changes reality. Instead, when you try to deny your truth, you just feel worse.
It is already painful that you feel jealous, anxious, and uncertain. But when you judge these feelings, you just feel worse. Therefore, it’s important to radically accept your emotions.
Radically accepting your emotions
To radically accept your emotions and reduce anxiety, you simply honor your emotions. You allow yourself to notice that it is true you feel jealous, left behind, and eager to get married now. You allow yourself to feel the discomfort of these emotions so you can process them rather than getting stuck in self-judgment.
Clinical psychologist, Tara Brach, explains in her book Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life with the Heart of a Buddha, “Our body may be filled with painful emotions, but instead of running away, we entrust ourselves to the healing power of compassionate presence. We may have protected ourselves by closing our heart, but instead, for the sake of love, we refuse to push anyone, including ourselves, out of our heart.”
When you give yourself the compassion of allowing your emotions to be, you will find that you will move past your confusion. This radical acceptance of your emotions – including your eagerness to marry now – will process your emotions so you may experience clarity.
You don’t need to settle
It’s natural to get confused sometimes about romance and partnership, yet, as soon as we know it’s a “no” the kindest thing we can do for ourselves is move on.
As a woman, I know that there is still a lot of pressure to get married especially if you want children. Yet, there is absolutely something worse than not getting married (now or anytime) – marrying the wrong person.
Who you marry matters so much more for your long-term happiness, mental health, and satisfaction than we talk about all too often. If you know that you are not that into the guy you are seeing, then no amount of mental gymnastics will erase this truth. Honoring your authentic truth is the single best gift you can give to your future self to prevent divorce, long-term unhappiness, or both.
Related: How to be authentic when dating
You know your truth
You clearly know, deep down, that this guy you are seeing isn’t right for you. He doesn’t light you up or excite you. Yes, I understand he is the practical choice but the advice you are receiving that there is no Mr. Right isn’t quite accurate.
There is absolutely no perfect person or partner out there. Yet, you can definitely meet the right person for you – the person you click with who you just “know” is the love of your life. You can feel the difference in your bones.
You already know your truth. It takes a lot of courage to honor your authentic knowing but it’s the only path to certain joy, peace, and satisfaction in this life.
It was as though I’d been drowning & in my panic I had been gasping for air, calling for rescue, & flailing on the surface. But what I really needed to do to save myself was let myself sink. It struck me that this is why we say to people to “Calm down.” Because beneath the noise of the pounding, swirling surf is a place where all is quiet & clear.
Since the chaos stills in the deep, I could sense something there I was not able to sense on the surface… There, in the deep, I could sense something circulating inside of me. It was a Knowing. I can know things down at this level I can’t on the chaotic surface. Down here, when I pose a question about my life – in words or abstract images. I sense a nudge. The nudge guides me toward the next precise thing, & then, when I silently acknowledge the nudge – it fills me.Glennon Doyle, Untamed
Being too picky
Firstly, wanting to connect with the person you will be spending your entire life with potentially and raising children is the opposite of being “picky.”
Wanting to be passionate about your future husband is simply wise and self-respecting! However, if you want more information on the differences between being too picky and just dating in a smart way check out the article, “Am I too picky?”
Setting boundaries around reality
To truly connect with your purpose, outside the narrative that our life is incomplete until we marry and/or have kids, I encourage you to set boundaries around reality. This is a complex process, but I introduce it in the video below.
If you like this idea, then I highly recommend you check out my course, Stop People Pleasing and Start Being True to Yourself. I explain this concept in much greater detail in this course. When you can set boundaries around reality, you stop feeling insecure because of what other people believe is “right.”
You cannot be left behind
It may feel like you’re being left behind but each person’s life path is their own. You cannot be “left behind” on your unique life path.
While our paths sometimes overlap with others, and relationships add joy, there is so much living in life to that has nothing to do without anyone else.
It takes tremendous courage to honor our own unique and separate path from those we know and love. Yet, it’s the only way to ensure that when your life comes to an end (as all do), you will have few regrets. I can’t think of anything more important than living your life with meaning and integrity.
Your Future Self Thanks You
It is my sincere hope you feel less confused and more confident in honoring your truth. You know what it is, deep down, I can see and it’s ok that getting married isn’t quite yet on the radar for you. Take this time to figure out what you really want and have the courage to honor this. Your future self will thank you tremendously for this hard work now.
About The Author
Krystal Mazzola Wood, LMFT is a practicing relationship therapist with over a decade of experience. Currently, Krystal sees clients at her private practice, The Healthy Relationship Foundation. She has dedicated her entire career to empowering people to heal from unhealthy relationship processes. She does this by teaching the skills and tools necessary to have a life filled with healthy and loving relationships.
This passion led her to write her best-selling books and create courses. Her books, The Codependency Recovery Plan: A 5-Step Guide to Understand, Accept, and Break Free from the Codependent Cycle and The Codependency Workbook: Simple Practices for Developing and Maintaining Your Independence have helped many people heal.
Her third book, Therapy Within Reach: Setting Boundaries, will be released September, 2023.
If you have any personal dating or relationship questions, Krystal is happy to provide advice using her expertise and compassion. If you feel comfortable, feel free to leave any questions in the comments of this post. Otherwise, you may send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or DM her on Instagram. Your name and any other identifying information will always be kept confidential.
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