Dating after a Broken Engagement - Tips and Advice

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Being engaged usually means looking forward to a wedding and all that presage a happily-ever-after. However sometimes people do get left at the altar after which they feel that nothing could be right anymore. If something like this has happened to you, take heart since it is possible to recover from a broken engagement and start dating again.

Clean up

Start by removing everything that reminds you of the engagement. This not only means the ring, engagement presents and wedding invitation cards but also color swatches and wallpaper patterns that you may have been looking at for your new home. If you feel up to it, go another mile and remove all traces of your ex from your life too, like clothes, personal items, his/her favorite wine as well as photos, videos and mail from your computer. If you are undecided on whether to return or keep certain items, let them lie with a close friend until you can deal with them later.

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Seek help

One of the worst aspects of dealing with a broken engagement is letting the world know about it. If you had been quite close to the wedding date and the cards had been sent out, enlist the help of close friends and family to ‘unplan’ the wedding like making calls to guests and letting them know about it besides cancelling appointments with the dressmaker or orders with the caterer. This way, you won’t have to face everyone at once with the painful news or go over it again and again.


 

Give yourself time

A broken engagement not only leaves behind a shattered heart but also dreams and hopes for the future in pieces. It may seem that you will never be able to trust anyone ever again. The only way to get over the painful experience is to give yourself enough time to heal. This is necessary to cleanse yourself of the hurtful and angry feelings and is especially crucial if you are ever to lead a normal social life again. So take a break for few days and allow yourself to feel sad for all the misery that you endured as well as the hopes that were destroyed. Cry a little if necessary and maybe ask a close friend or relative to help you through the process.
 

Take it slow

For someone recovering from a broken engagement, it may be tempting to rush headlong into an affair. The tendency to succumb to a rebound relationship is particularly strong when the breakup has been initiated by the other partner. However this is one of the worst mistakes that you can make at this point. Right now, the focus should be to getting back your life together and only after that you will be emotionally ready to date again.
 

Go out in a group

Instead of starting outright with new people, get back to socializing in a group. If friends plan to drag you out for a weekend movie, don’t make excuses to stay at home. Or you could plan with close family members to go to a favorite restaurant of their’s. Going out with familiar faces will let you be within your comfort zone while allowing you to get back to the social scene.
 

Analyze what went wrong

Once you have got back a measure of your mental equilibrium, go over your former relationship to see why it didn’t work out. Derive whatever lessons you can and file them away in your subconscious so that you don’t set yourself for a similar disappointment in future. Moreover, making an analysis will also let you focus on all the reasons why you are better off without your ex and help you to move on that much sooner.
 

Start small

Once you decide that you are ready to meet new people, let your close friends and family know about it. They may not only help by spreading the word around but may even set you up with someone suitable. Moreover getting to know someone interesting at your friend’s barbecue party or a cousin’s birthday bash will allow you to be on your home ground, as it were, and thus lessen the tension of a full-fledged date.
 

Look for common interests

When seeking to date again, choose partners with whom you have something in common like a love for the rock ‘n’ roll music of the sixties, cooking Thai cuisine or collecting period silverware. This is because having mutual interests will make it easier to have a conversation on a date from where you can go on to talk about your lives, once you are more comfortable with each other. On the other hand, if the only reason why you choose a date is because he/she looks hot, then you will be missing the ingredients of a more meaningful interaction and hence will have a temporary thrill at best.
 

Let go of the past

Carrying the emotional baggage of a broken engagement while dating is bound to get tiring sooner or later. When meeting somebody new, try not to compare him/her with your ex. Talk about your broken engagement only if your date asks about any serious relationships that you may have had in the past. And even when you are tempted to call your ex some pretty colorful names, refrain from doing so since appearing out of control may scare away your date. At the same time, don’t get paranoid at every mail not replied or phone call not returned. Your date may have simply forgotten or been too busy with other things. Try to put things in context before jumping to conclusions or taking hasty decisions.
 

Don't rush into a commitment Finally don’t rush into an emotional commitment soon after you start dating. No matter how nice it feels to have the vacuum in your life filled by another relationship, take time to meet new people from various walks of life. Fill your days with new and exciting things to do so that dating is part of returning to a healthy social life and not finding a pair of emotional crutches.

One way of looking at a broken engagement is to be grateful that it happened before instead of after marriage. Not only you are now completely free to do things and go places but you have a whole world of new people and experiences ahead of you.