Breaking off an engagement is one issue no one ever wants to talk about but did you know that 20% of all weddings are called off before the big day? There are plenty of reasons for breaking an engagement. In this article, I’ll walk you through how to know when it’s time to break off an engagement.
Everyone talks about the excitement of getting engaged but when it comes to breaking up an engagement, happily never after is a bit taboo.
The pressure from family.
The money you’ve already invested.
The thought of going through a breakup.
The shame of having to tell your friends and family.
For some, it’s easier to get married and then deal with the aftermath later.
And sometimes doubt can just come from wedding jitters.
Regardless, before you walk down the aisle saying I do to a man you’re not 110% sure about, here are 5 things to consider:
Some reasons for breaking an engagment:
Did you say yes because you couldn’t say no?
Saying yes is easy. People celebrate you. You get to do all the things of your wedding dreams. You get to have engagement parties, bridal showers, kitchen teas. Saying no? Well that’s not so easy especially when you’ve already said yes.
Did you say yes because you really wanted to? Or was it because:
- You didn’t want to hurt his feelings
- You really do love him, just not sure if you’re in love with him
- You didn’t know how to say no?
You love him but are you in love with him?
There’s a big difference between loving someone and being in love with them. I’ve witnessed so many couples get engaged just because it was the next thing to do in their timeline, the next logical step. Depending on what your ideal marriage looks like, it’s important to consider what your future will be like in 10-15 years with a man you love but are not in love with.
Can you see yourself with him in the long run?
When you’re in your 20s and 30s, the pressure of finding someone to marry can be heavy. With my Asian background, I was asked A LOT in my 30s why I was still single. Plenty of uncles and aunties with good intentions wanted to set me up. It was just not right for me to be single at such a late age they said.
With all that pressure, it’s no surprise that people marry under those circumstances. Not because they’ve found the right person, but because that person was ok to marry.
My motto is: if it’s not a f&*( yes, it’s a no.
Are there any deal breakers?
A marriage is not a band-aid fix to deal breakers that may exist in your relationship. If your man has a drug/gambling/abusive behaviours problem, they will not go away once you’re married. If there are any deal breakers you struggle to cope with, it’s best to get it on the table now before it’s too late.
Are there unresolved reoccurring issues?
Just like the previous point, if there are any reoccurring issues in your relationship, they really should be resolved before you say I do. A wedding isn’t going to fix your issues. In fact, when your lives are officially merged, it may further heighten those issues. The most common issues couples have are around housework and finances. For me, it was the way Cristian and I dealt with conflict. We both have very different approaches to it and knew we needed to resolve it before we got married – and so we did.
Breaking off an engagement can be a scary and risky thing but it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. If you both need some time to think it through, you can always extend the wedding date. Your friends and family will understand. After all, this is one decision that will affect the rest of your life.
What's Your Reaction?
Iona is a Wellness Coach specialising in relationships and dating. She works with single women to write their own love stories.