Once a hardcore party girl, I’ve since hung up my dancing shoes in favor of a comfy pair of slippers and comfy nights in with my other half and I couldn’t be happier. That is until I check social media and see how much fun everyone else is having. Cue my FOMO.
When I was single, I was out nearly every night. I was a social butterfly in my single days and rarely spent any time home alone. It was a lot of fun, but if I’m honest, even then I often only went out because of my FOMO. I could be half asleep and in my pyjamas and still agree to get myself ready and go out if someone asked me to. While I don’t miss the constant partying and I’ve made a conscious choice not to do it, I still struggle to see my friends out having a great time without me.
Social media makes it 100 times worse. These days, there’s no escaping all the fun my friends are having. Whether they’re posting photos to our group Snapchat or just flooding my Insta feed, the evidence is everywhere. My friends are out having a great time and I’m not involved. I could be having a perfectly lovely evening at home, but as soon I see that first snap, my mood totally drops. A social media detox would probably do me good, but I’m not strong enough to stay off it.
I don’t even want to be out most of the time. The ridiculous thing is that as much as I love going out with my friends, I’d still choose to stay home with my partner nine times out of 10. I just don’t have the energy or the inclination for it. I’m a total homebody these days and I’m OK with that… until I see or hear about my friends having fun without me.
It makes my partner feel like I’d rather be somewhere else. The last thing I would ever want to do is make my partner feel like he’s my second choice. He’s my best friend too, and whether we’re chilling at home watching Netflix or out for dinner or with friends, I always have the best time with him. Still, I know my constant desire to be involved in everything my friends are doing makes him feel like crap and puts a massive strain on our relationship.
When I do go out, it’s often not worth it. Don’t get me wrong, I have some amazing times with my friends and I love dancing as much as the next person, but sometimes it doesn’t take long to remember why I prefer a well-stocked wine rack, a good playlist, and the comfort of my own home to ridiculous bar lines, sticky floors, and deafening speakers.
It stems from a fear of being left out. Just to clarify, my friends invite me to everything. I never feel like I’m being pushed out by them; it’s 100% my own choosing. Still, part of me gets scared I’ll be left behind anyway. Surely there are only so many times I can say no to things before they stop bothering to invite me, right? I can’t help but wonder.
My anxiety goes into overdrive. I’m on edge. I’m grouchy. My brain is working 100 miles per hour. I can’t give my partner the attention he deserves, nor am I the most pleasant company when I’m like this. I know it’s foolish because I’m doing what I want to do most, but I can’t help panicking about what I’m missing out on. What if it’s the best night ever? What if some amazing stuff happens they’ll talk about for years and I won’t be a part of it? My mind gets filled with a ton of ridiculous what-ifs that drive me mad.
It makes us both miserable. It’s such an unfounded fear and totally pointless. I’m already doing what I want to do most, so why do I care what others are doing? I end up getting myself all worked up and hurting my partner in the meantime, for no good reason. I know I must come across as so ungrateful to him when I don’t mean to at all. I’m so happy in life right now, I wish I could let myself enjoy it more. I really need to work on that.
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