10 Signs You Need To Break Off Your Engagement

Dating experience | |
Updated On: August 17, 2023
Removing the engagement ring

When you get engaged, breaking off an engagement is the last thing on your mind. But some engagements do not culminate into weddings. Specialist diamond buyers WP Diamonds conducted an exclusive survey of 1,000 people between ages of 20 and 60 across the US it was revealed that about 20% of all engagements are called of before the wedding. To break off your engagement and call a wedding off, you need to be sure that it is not wedding jitters but something is surely off about the alliance.

If you are not sure of what you are doing, you better buy time. It can be hard to differentiate between cold feet before the wedding and sure shot signs of a looming disaster. Have you gotten engaged to a person who now, doesn’t seem to be the right one? If yes, keep reading.

Sometimes, we confuse infatuation with love and make big decisions of our life in the spur of a moment. As adventurous as it might seem, it can turn into a complete tragedy later.

If you are thinking about breaking off an engagement you have to be ready for the fact that it might not be a cordial breakup. At the same time breaking off an engagement is not a sin because it could save two people from a lifetime of misery.

10 Signs You Need To Break Off Your Engagement

A lot of people throughout the world face the trauma of a broken engagement but more than that, people struggle to make the decision to call off a wedding because, after an engagement, the relationship isn’t just about two people, it’s about two families. How do you decide on whether to do it or not?

Here are 10 signs that can tell you if you should call off the engagement.

1. Your partner doesn’t spend time with you

If you have been engaged for a couple of months now but you still feel you don’t know the person or the person isn’t around most of the time, you should give the marriage a second thought.

Chances are your partner isn’t interested in knowing you that well, or takes you for granted now that the wedding is confirmed. If he/she has time for everything else but you, despite you asking for time, it is probably best that you don’t get married to such a person. Breaking off the engagement is the best thing to do.

2. Doesn’t respect your family

Generally, in the beginning, people are really sweet to each other and later when they get familiar to one another, a wave of dislike enters. Your partner may be a good person but if he/she cannot respect your parents or siblings, be prepared for a red flag.

Everybody, no matter how close they are or aren’t to their parents, expect their better half to be polite to their family and not badmouth them. If you are going to live with this person for the rest of your life, you don’t want to wake up each morning and hear how illogical your parents are.

In that case if you are thinking of breaking off your engagement you are not wrong.

Related Reading: How To Watch Out For The Relationship Red Flags – Expert Tells You

3. Criticizes you

These days, most people lack self-esteem. It is important for your partner to appreciate whatever you do. Marriage is all about companionship. It is about coming back home to a person who’ll accept you the way you are.

If that person does not support you or criticizes everything you do, from that choice of clothing to the color of the tea, you should be aware of what you’re signing up for. Do you want to fight your battles with someone having your back or add on to the battles you are already fighting?

This is a hard call to take. Constructive criticism is welcome but not not ruthless criticism that keeps playing with a person’s self-esteem. In that case breaking off an engagement is a better option than suffering this appalling behaviour throughout your life.

4. Controls your life choices or major decisions

Most engagements get broken off because one partner is extremely controlling. Generally, people believe that once you get married, your souls become one and you fulfill each other’s wishes all the time.

Happy couple at beach
Controls your life choices

Don’t fall into this trap. Getting married means having someone to stand by you in your ups and downs throughout your life, not someone telling you what to do all the time. You don’t have to sacrifice your choices just because you are engaged to someone who doesn’t appreciate you.

If your partner has already started controlling your life decisions like taking up a specific job or not, or investing money in a specific plan or not, you need to ask them to back off.

While taking opinions is important, it is not okay for them to become the decision-maker of your life.

5. Stays in contact with exes

Let’s admit it. Behind this mask of being okay with him/her being friends with the ex, we all know we hate it.

Once a chapter is closed, it’s closed. And if you are planning on getting married to this person, you don’t want them to keep in touch with someone whom they have a romantic history with. Despite the ‘we are just friends’ thing, it’s all too uncomfortable and you know it.

If after expressing your dislike for the same, your partner does not budge, still has the contact saved, discuss this problem with a mature person. If that doesn’t work, call off the wedding right away.

6. Doesn’t give you your physical space

When people get engaged, there is surely a bit of hanky panky. And it is okay as long as it’s consensual. But what most people don’t understand is that getting married does not give you the control of someone else’s body.

Pre-marital sex is not a pre-requisite to marriage. If your partner does not understand the concept of physical space and you are not being okay with certain levels of closeness, you need to make them sit down and explain. If that doesn’t work, you know what to do.

If you think that you are uncomfortable with them being clingy, let them know. It can be difficult to explain to other people but make sure you do not end up getting married to a person who doesn’t ask for your consent before engaging in any physical activity. In that case if you are thinking of breaking off an engagement you are not wrong at all.

7. Doesn’t make you a part of his/her life

When you are about to get married to someone, you naturally expect to know a few things about their life, like their food tastes, or their likes and dislikes, or their future plans. But if you still go blank when someone asks about your partner’s hobbies, you know that you are alienated from their life.

You don’t know a thing about their personality when they are not with you. It is scary to think of spending your life with someone you know nothing about. When you start living together, you start discovering all the annoying things about a person and if you know all of that before getting married, it helps you make an informed decision.

If you are going to step into the wedding shoes, you must know if your partner is interested to involve you in his/her life. Meeting their friends or colleagues, knowing about their dreams, and interacting with their family is very important. If that hasn’t happened yet, you need to think through your engagement.

Related Reading: 10 Ways to Build Your Relation After Getting Engaged and Before Marriage

8. Lies to you

Have you caught this person lying to you multiple times? It could be small lies or big ones. It could be about them working late while they are actually with their friends drinking or it could be them telling you they have been waiting for an hour while it’s just been 10 minutes.

Lying in a relationship is not acceptable. A person only has strength of character when they are able to be honest with you despite knowing that what they would tell you could annoy you or hurt you. For instance, a partner might not be expected to give you every little detail about their life with their ex but if they tell you they never had sex despite being in a relationship, they could be lying.

All in all, lying is a huge sign to break your engagement because you can never trust this person. Life after a broken engagement is not that hard when compared to dealing with a compulsive liar.

Calling off engagement
He Lies to you

We tend to overlook such things until it becomes a habit. If your partner cannot be truthful to you, no claims of their love for you are true. Love is in being honest to your lover and if you think that the person you are going to marry, is just a big bundle of lies, you shouldn’t be marrying them in the first place.

For the first year of your marriage, these small lies won’t affect your relationship, but later on, as time passes, you’ll start feeling betrayed and then there might not be an open gate to turn back.

9. Tries to gain attention of the opposite gender

When you go out with your partner and tag a friend along, do you notice him/her flirting with your friend more than you? Do you notice them looking at the opposite gender with a lustful eye? Do you ever notice them appreciating other men or other women more than you? By now, you have probably realized that your partner is not loyal to you.

But now that you are engaged to them, without infidelity actually happening, you cannot break off the engagement. So you overlook such instances. Well, if you don’t address this problem right now, in the long run, it’ll give you a heartbreak.

If you think your partner doesn’t find you attractive enough or is more inclined towards other people than you, it’s time that you walk away.

10. Is mentally, emotionally or physically abusive

If you ever feel that this relationship is taking a toll on your life instead of making you happy, if you realize that this is not you want in your life, you will have to muster up courage and call the wedding off. Very often, engaged couples don’t reach the aisle because one of them realizes that the other is abusive – either verbally, emotionally or physically.

It can cause trauma that can stay with you for life. If you are in a committed relationship with a person who is even slightly abusive, is giving you mental health issues, or is the epitome of a patriarch, get out of the relationship as soon as you can and tell your parents about it. No other thing can match up to the trouble caused by a person’s abusive behavior.

Related Reading: Relationship Expert Suggests 10 Ways To Call Off An Engagement

While it is okay to want to break off an engagement, you should know that with this decision, comes a heck lot of questions. Questions from both families, from the society and from yourself about what will you do next. It can feel overwhelming. It may seem extremely difficult to make a decision so huge, but weigh out the pros and cons before getting married because once you do, breaking off a marriage is going to be even more difficult.

Also, make sure you distinguish between nervousness and an actual problem. Consult someone mature before taking the decision and once you do, don’t turn back. You can opt for pre-marital counselling from a professional who can show you the right way.

How To Break Off An Engagement

Once you decide on breaking off an engagement you think of how to make it a cordial break. Life after breaking up an engagement might not be easy but that temporary unsettlement is better than a lifetime of grief. So how to break off an engagement? Let us tell you.

1. Talk to your fiancé

Before you decide on breaking up the engagement you should have a final talk with your fiancé about the changes you want in the relationship and if they are willing to make that. If they agree to put in the effort then you can give some time and stall the wedding.

2. Write down a pros and cons diary

This will help you to decide that if your relationship is really ailing or you have developed cold feet about the marriage. Remember, no one is perfect so making a pros and cons column in a diary will help you get a perspective.

3. Tell a friend or relative

You should share your feelings with someone who is really close to you. A friend or relative will be able to tell you their third person view of the whole thing and help you take a decision. When you are breaking off the engagement take them with you as witness.

4. Get to the bottom of it

A lady was engaged to this handsome man but everything took a turn for the worse when she tried to kiss him. He pushed her aside and ran out of the room. Later she found out he was a drug addict. If your partner is giving you the creeps then try to get to the bottom of the issue before calling off the engagement.

5. Be prepared for the reactions

Calling off an engagement might not be a cordial affair all the time. It could lead to people blaming you, there could be character assassination and mud slinging. But always believe in yourself and know that you are taking this decision for a better tomorrow.

We know breaking off an engagement is not an easy thing to do. Dating after breaking off an engagement is harder because you will keep thinking what if you go wrong again. Just relax. Take your time to heal after you call off an engagement and then get down to living life anew.


1. What percentage of engagements are broken off?

Specialist diamond buyers WP Diamonds conducted an exclusive survey of 1,000 people between ages of 20 and 60 across the US it was revealed that about 20% of all engagements are called of before the wedding.

2. Do you legally have to give back an engagement ring?

No legal steps can be taken against a person if they choose to keep the ring after calling off the engagement but ideally it should be returned. It is an expensive gift that is given with the view that you would get married, but if things don’t work out, it should be returned.

3. How to get over breaking off an engagement?

Breaking off an engagement is like getting over a breakup. You had planned a future together and then you decide against it. You can get over the phase by trying to move on and not letting the negativity affect you.

4. What to do after breaking off an engagement?

Go for a solo trip, connect with friends, keep a journal where you jot down your feelings. Once you have healed you can again start looking for the right person for dating.

5. Can you sue for breaking off an engagement?

Earlier for “Breach of Promise” a person could be sued for calling off an engagement but now most American states have repealed this law.

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