6 Things Not to Say to Someone Who Broke Off Her Engagement

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Whether or not your pal was the one who called off the wedding, going from marrying your soulmate to not getting hitched at all is not an easy switch to make. Yet everyone around her is likely making the transition trickier with prying questions and insensitive statements. Stay on the supportive side by avoiding these questions and comments.

“How much money did you lose in wedding deposits?”
Just like it’s not okay to ask someone how much they’re spending on their wedding, it’s not okay to ask how much the couple had already committed to the event. Finances tend to be no one’s business, and at a time like this, why would you broach an already-touchy topic?

“I never liked him anyway.”
While that may be true, she obviously liked him enough to want to marry him at one point. Telling her that you disagreed with her decision from the get-go makes her feel worse about saying yes to the proposal, a choice she’s already regretting. And what if they get back together down the line–or called off the wedding but are still in a relationship? You just admitted you hate her man.

“Breaking the engagement is better than getting a divorce.”
Can’t argue with that–given that there’s likely (though not definitely) less legal paperwork to contend with pre-wedding than post. Still, mentioning the above minimizes the painful experience she’s going through now.

“Did you give back the engagement ring?”
If she wants to talk about that with you, she will. Forcing her to address what was likely a difficult decision–or at least a difficult experience if she returned the ring–isn’t fair.

“You’ll find someone else.”
Of course she will. But sharing that doesn’t have the reassuring effect you’re going for. In fact, it can cause her to doubt that she will fall in love again. That’s because the above should go without saying. Offering that sounds like finding someone new isn’t a sure thing.

“Did you already buy your dress/book your honeymoon?”
She’s not getting married, yet you’re asking her about her wedding plans. Do you think that’s a subject she wants to get into? If the wedding was a couple of months away, it’s a safe bet that yes, her dress and honeymoon were bought and paid for. And if it was many months away…you still shouldn’t ask.

More Things You Shouldn’t Say to…
Married Women Who Kept Their Names
Interfaith Couples
Childhood Sweethearts

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Photo by James Jordan

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  • http://twitter.com/WeddingSurvival SurviveWeddingSeason

    Great advice! 

    Here’s one more to add to the list: 

    I had a friend who’s fiance broke off their engagement and at the same time she was a bridesmaid in another friend’s wedding. The other bride took the friend’s newly “single” status as an opportunity to cut her guest list and take back her plus one (talk about adding insult to injury) now that she no longer had a fiance. 

    This was devastating and the other bridesmaids rallied around the friend and made it clear to the other bride how offensive this was. The other bride gave the friend back her plus one (side note all bridesmaids should get a plus one no matter the cost/size of the wedding). 

    Overall you can’t make your friend feel like a pariah for ending an engagement. 

    • mereditor

      That makes me so mad. I’m glad the bride eventually came to her senses, but it’s too bad she had to stigmatize her pal first.