EVERYONE got engaged this Christmas, right?
At least that's what our social media feeds and the physical embodiments of our social media feeds - our mothers - are telling us.
If it's not engagement ring selfie after engagement ring selfie as we scroll mindlessly through Instagram, it's a jolting blast from the past in our Whatsapp group announcing the girl who eat the wood on her desk has found a partner for life.
Good for her but for a single guy or gal, or even a paired-up but patient partner, it can all feel like everyone is just getting engaged AT YOU.
If engagement season is getting you down, and you are currently feeling a little 'it should have been me', here are some ways to deal with it.
Instagram posts, Facebook updates, gossip over the garden fence - it's all just small stuff, and you never really know what's going on with people. An engagement is a joyous thing, but you don't know what a couple took to get to the point of marriage, nevertheless it has no bearing on wherever you are in your life whether you're in a relationship or not.
If the engagement ring pics and saccharine selfies are giving you a pain in the gut, take some time off social media. Delete the apps completely from your phone and mute the Whatsapp groups that aren't priorities. Consider it a 'Dry January' for mind.
It feels like EVERYONE is getting engaged, but they're not. Either way, take the focus off others and look to your own life for a while. Are you killing it in work? Being an amazing listener for a pal who needs it? Have you finally started reading that book you always meant or have you stuck to your new skin-care regime for the past week without forgetting to cleanse before bed? Great. Keep doing what you're doing. And if you're not doing it, start now.
If you're in a happy relationship but part of you was expecting the question to be popped by your partner over the festive season, don't lose your marbles. Take a breather, realise that you're happy and reflect on why you're happy. Restrain yourself from taking digs at your partner by commenting about friends who are together for a shorter time than you but are making the big commitment - you'll either end up winding yourself up or causing an argument your relationship might not recover from. If in a few months you still haven't discussed marriage, be mature about it and find our how each other feels instead of being disappointed - or angry - that you've not got a ring on your finger right now. Putting pressure on anyone to do something they aren't ready for is never a good thing, and can sometimes even push the person away.
If you're find yourself knee deep in sickly sweet social expressions of love and romance, use it as a source of humour instead of getting wound up about it. We live in a society that finds it acceptable to Google quotes to use as captions for engagement announcements (which the listical '18 Instagram captions for a Christmas engagement ring' can attest to) so the battle is already won. Check out Instagram's more quirky accounts like 'Not Engaged' - curated by a woman who is 'not engaged but 'okay I promise'. Follower the adventures of her left hand as it makes it through day-to-day without a diamond on its ring finger. If that doesn't cheer you up, we don't know what will!