How to Survive a Broken Engagement

So much hope and happiness attends an engagement that it’s hard to fathom one ending in anything other than marriage. But it does happen. Whether from a life changing turn of events or simply cold feet, cancelled engagements are actually quite common, and dealing with one can be an emotionally devastating, heart-wrenching affair.

In this short article, we’ll take a look at some of the things you’ll need to deal with, and the best way to approach calling off the wedding.

1. Break the Bad News As Soon As Possible

No matter if it was you or your betrothed who broke off the engagement, you’ll have to deal with some details, and the sooner you do it the better. Dealing with the logistics while you’re emotionally fragile is the last thing you’ll feel like doing, but you’ll need to get the word out fast. All the folks who were invited to the wedding may not need to be privy to the personal details of the broken engagement, but they will need to know that the wedding is off as soon as possible, and the closer you are to the wedding date, the more important that is.

You could simply send a note stating that “The wedding of Jane and John has been cancelled” if the wedding date was many months in the future, but if the big day was slated for next week, you really need to make some phone calls to break the news.

Giving people the most time to deal with your change in plans is the only good way to handle a bad situation. Your invited guests may have flights and hotel reservations to cancel, vacations to reschedule with work, and even child care to rearrange. Don’t make your bad news worse for them by not letting them know in a timely fashion.

2. Make Some More Phone Calls

If you were far enough along in your wedding planning to have secured a venue, catering, flowers, a band or DJ, etc., you’ll need to let them know as well. Make these calls as soon as you can. If your wedding was far enough in the future, you may be able to get some deposits back, but be sure to NOT worry about the money. Weddings can be tremendously expensive, but divorce can be even more so.

If your partner, parents, or family members have put down deposit money that’s now forfeited, offer to pay them back, and most importantly, let it go. The sooner you get over the lost money aspect of calling off your engagement, the easier it will be to move forward with your life.

3. Protect Yourself

Regardless of how amicable the break-up might be, you should look out for your assets. If you and your ex have been living together, you may need to get out of a lease, mortgage, or even split up some already shared assets, like bank accounts. Another area of concern is shared digital passwords. Whether it’s a shared email account or Netflix, you’ll need to go ahead and change your passwords now, and establish separate accounts. Handling these details now can help avoid messy interactions down the road.

4. Stop Communicating with Your Ex Completely

Once you’ve handled the basic logistics of calling off the wedding and terminating the relationship, it’s time for space so you can emotionally recover. Resist the urge to text him or her, and do not respond if he or she tries to get in touch with you. If they continue to try to establish contact, consider changing your number. The only way to move on completely is to have your ex completely out of your life.

Social media is another place you’ll need space. As harsh as it sounds, you should unfriend your ex, denying him or her access to any of your social networks. Doing so will keep him or her from checking up on you through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Also, consider unfriending his or her family and friends, so your ex won’t be checking up on you through their accounts. This is a two way street: deleting your ex will keep you from being tempted to check up on him or her as well. Stalking your ex on social media will only serve to keep the wounds open, and not allow you to heal completely.

5. Spend Time with Friends

Often in serious relationships, our friendships can suffer from a lack of attention. The thought that since you’re going to spend the rest of your life with someone, they should be all you need is simply not true. Your friends are incredibly important, so spend more time with them. Reconnect with your old friends by going out to eat, meeting at a club, or just hang out together. Not only will they help you feel better, but you’ll be reminded that you can have a fine time even without being in a relationship.

6. Get Busy

Even if your friends are not available to do something with, force yourself to get out and stay busy. Not only will you avoid sitting at home feeling sorry for yourself, but you might just make some new friends. Try to get more involved in your work, hobbies, or school. Consider working extra hours, or maybe even volunteering at a museum or other non-profit. Staying busy can help you feel vital and worthwhile. Remember that your break up is a chance to actually better yourself.

7. Don’t Forget to Deal With the Engagement Ring

When an engagement is broken off, there is always the ring to deal with. If you’re the jilted bride, consider using the now unwanted engagement ring as an asset you can liquidate to help defer the financial loss of the cancelled wedding.

Diamond Estate Jewelry Buyers can help you safely and quickly sell your unwanted bridal jewelry, and you can begin the process of completely moving on into your new life.

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