She just got married. She’s set for life, and she’s only twenty.

That’s what one of our friends said recently.

She was talking about her cousin who had just gotten married a few weeks earlier.

Our friend would writhe in jealousy every time she talked about her “perfect” cousin and her enchanted life.

After all, our friend’s life was anything but perfect.

Our friend was inching closer to thirty, with one divorce under her belt, and a relationship that she currently believes is hanging on by a thread. She has some debt from school and credit cards. She’s been living with her parents for the past year. And she just lost her job (through no fault of her own).

She’s often used her cousin as a yardstick to measure her own life.

Every win her cousin had came with forced congratulations, veiling a wellspring of venomous resentment.

Every setback came with a comforting platitude and the giddy sense of relief that our friend felt she was okay with herself.

Maybe you’ve been there yourself.

I know I have…

The Chronology of a Pathology – Comparing Yourself to Others

I’ve felt it many times in my life.

Back when I was painfully single for a year and felt more lonely than I ever had in my life, I felt it.

Back when my ex dumped me just to jump right into bed with someone else, I felt it. After all, why was it so easy for her to get into another relationship, but I had to struggle so much?

Back when all my friends and I graduated from school and they got all the great jobs, while I struggled for months after them to find even the most basic form of employment, I felt it.

And even now, I can’t help but feel it sometimes when it comes to my own business. I started our little online business back in 2009. A lot of people started blogs and other businesses back then, and it seems like a lot of them are now making over 6-figures from their work. I can’t help but wonder where I went wrong sometimes.

I’m not the only one though.

I see this in a lot of the messages that people send in to Mika and I.

They feel alone. They feel like they’ve failed in life. They feel like every dream and every hope they ever had for their life is coming crumbling down around them.

And then the look to someone else and all they see is perfection. They see someone else doing something seemingly effortlessly that is such a challenge for them.


Clay is an author, blogger, and dating and relationship coach for Loving Boldly. He is also a nap enthusiast, coffee aficionado, and home brewer.

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