You might have a habit of falling for the wrong boys. You might have spent years in a toxic relationship. You might have assumed you would never find anyone who treated you with love and respect. When you finally get into a comfortable, consistent, serious relationship, you should be proud of yourself. You should be thrilled about how much progress you have made.
But if you’re always comparing yourself to the people around you, then you might not be happy at all. You might actually be upset because it’s taken you this long to find someone. You might actually be upset because you’re only in the puppy love phase of the relationship when you want to fast forward to the marriage stage like the rest of your friends.
You shouldn’t let the successes of other people dampen your own successes. You shouldn’t feel like what you’ve accomplished is no big deal because you know a bunch of other people who have accomplished it earlier than you.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re the first person in your friend group to get in a serious relationship or the last one. Either way, you’ve found a stable relationship. You should be basking in your excitement. You shouldn’t feel silly for celebrating something simply because everyone else in your life has already accomplished the same thing. You have a right to be happy. You have a right to be proud.
When you treat everything like a competition, you’re not only hurting yourself. You’re also hurting the people you care about the most.
If your best friend gets engaged, she wants your support. She wants you to be jumping up and down with her. She wants you to be excited about getting to walk down the aisle with her on her wedding day. If you’re bummed about your own relationship status and unable to give her an authentic congratulations, it’s going to make her feel bad. It’s going to push her away.
That’s not the impact you want to have on a close friend. You want to support her the same way you would want her to support you. You want to be there for her to celebrate her accomplishments. You want to be able to count on each other — but that won’t happen if you’re looking at her as competition. That won’t happen if you feel like you’re taking a step back every time she takes a step forward.
The happiest girls are the ones who aren’t treating life like a competition. They’re the girls who only compare their current selves to their past selves. They’re the girls who realize everyone moves at a different pace, everyone follows a different timeline, everyone is meant to reach milestones at different times.
The happiest girls are the ones who trust themselves. The happiest girls are the ones who are able to say they’re proud of their friends, not jealous of their friends. The happiest girls are the ones who never wonder whether they are falling behind because they realize there is no such thing.