It’s interesting how difficult circumstances can feel even more challenging when our friends aren’t experiencing them alongside us. Some stages of life (like adolescence and early adulthood) are especially natural times to compare ourselves to peers, probably because we’re forming a sense of identity and belonging during these critical years. But comparing ourselves to others is something that most of us never stop doing. Maybe you’re going through an unexpected pregnancy, and you’re the only person in your social circle who’s been through something like this (at least, as far as you know). This feeling of “being the only one” may be making your situation even harder to cope with, regardless of your age.
Does it seem like you’re navigating this unexpected pregnancy on your own? The truth is, that countless women are facing circumstances similar to yours. You’re not alone! Avenue Women’s Center exists to help you equip yourself for your next best steps by providing accurate information and ongoing emotional support.
Why is Being the “Only One” So Uncomfortable?
It’s human nature to compare and contrast our circumstances with those of our friends, and to feel uncomfortable when differences become apparent. Let’s explore a bit further why this tends to be true for so many of us.
- People are wired for group solidarity. Desiring to fit in can be one very natural expression of this. Being the “only one” can feel especially unsettling for those of us who have shyer personalities.
- If an unexpected pregnancy is unchartered territory for everyone within your social group, you’ll be the first to have this new experience. This can be intimidating! You may be afraid that your friends won’t be able to understand or offer guidance or support.
- Unfortunately, judging those who are different comes naturally to us. When we experience the fear of being different, oftentimes, we’re experiencing the fear of being judged. A person may feel especially prone to the judgment of others during an unexpected pregnancy, because this is a personally and culturally sensitive topic.
- All in all, being the “only one” tends to feel isolating… especially during a particularly hard season of life, when you need the support of your friends more than ever.
It’s Possible to Support Someone on a Different Path
If you decide to continue the pregnancy, some of the differences between your situation and your friends’ will become more apparent as your body adjusts. If you choose to parent, your lifestyle will probably undergo some significant changes, leading you and your friends down different paths. Keep in mind that good friends will be there to support you and invest in your relationship no matter what. Your peers’ life journeys will lead them in unexpected and unique directions too. This is simply a part of life. You don’t have to understand their circumstances through personal experience to offer invaluable empathy and support. The same goes for your friends.
Considering Next Steps For Support
A good next step could be to identify one close, trustworthy friend or other individual who has your back. Process your circumstances with him or her, and decide from there who you would and wouldn’t like to invite into your pregnancy journey. Avoid making assumptions that your friends have never been personally impacted by a situation like yours. The subject of an unexpected pregnancy can be private, controversial, and delicate, as you know.
Maybe this unexpected pregnancy has been a socially and emotionally uncomfortable experience for you. You’re not the only one. Avenue has been meeting the needs of persons facing challenges like yours for over forty years, and we’d love to partner with you in discovering your own best outcome. We seek to empower by offering free first-step pregnancy services, like medical-grade pregnancy tests, options consultations, and limited medical ultrasounds.
Reach out to us today! We provide virtual consultations and in-person services at our six limited medical clinics in Chicagoland, Illinois.
The information provided here is general in nature. It is not a substitute for a consultation with a medical professional. Before any medical procedure, it is imperative that you discuss your personal medical history, risks, and concerns with your doctor. If you have questions during or after a procedure, your doctor should be immediately contacted. Avenue Women’s Center is not an emergency center. If you are experiencing severe symptoms, such as bleeding and/or pain, seek immediate medical attention. Contact your physician, go to an emergency room, or call 911.