You’re not alone. I’m 27 and got engaged in 2012 to the guy I had been seeing since for eight years. He took me to the spot where we first met and gave me the most beautiful ring in the entire world. Six months before the wedding the day after Thanksgiving 2013, I found out he was sexting another girl he had met on an online affair website. It was as if my entire world had collapsed. I had my dress, the venue, caterers, sent my save the dates…all of it, suddenly swept away. I found myself living in the house I’d spent my life savings to buy for us, and it was the most empty haunting experience.
Needless to say, Christmas this past year wasn’t a very cheerful experience. I remember a woman I didn’t know at a family party sitting next to me and then proceeding to show me pictures of her daughter getting engaged, the dresses she was trying, and talking all about what a wonderful time it is in life to be engaged. I have to thank my dad for recognizing the agony this woman was putting me in, and asking me to get a drink with him before I completely lost it.
Weddings and engagements were everywhere, and everywhere I went, I’d run into someone asking to see my ring or to find out how wedding planning was going. It was like pouring salt on an open wound every single time.
There were days when I would come home, collapse on the stairs in tears, and pray for the pain to stop. I knew deep down in my heart that this was for the best, but I didn’t think I would ever be able to find someone who could love me.
I went out on New Year’s Eve with my girlfriends, toasting to a new start and a better 2014. I met a guy, and we exchanged numbers. Just like that, I was back in the dating pool. It was fun and exciting, since I hadn’t been on a first date since the days of passing notes during class. Tried dating a couple of different guys. A couple I ended, a couple broke up with me. Be warned you’ll probably take those breakups more personally, because rejection isn’t easy when you haven’t experienced it in awhile, and you’re already struggling with the broken engagement.
A few months ago, one of my coworkers decided to set me up with another coworker. I couldn’t believe how much we had in common. I was hesitant about getting involved with someone I’d see everyday. I’ve always been the type to play it safe, in life and in love…and yet I realized you can crash and burn even when you do everything right. He was worth taking a chance on, and he felt the exact same way.
We’ve only been together a few months, but we’re head over heels in love. He’s met my parents, I’ve met his, both our families hang out together, we’ve moved in together, spend nearly every second together. He’s brought out the best in me, I’ve never been happier, and we’re already talking about getting married. We joke about how fast we fell in love, but neither of us can imagine a life without each other.
I sit here telling you that happy every after is still out there for you. It may not be the next person you meet, but it’s out there. Someone will walk into your life and make you realize why it didn’t work out with anyone else. He’s the best thing to ever happen to me, and if I ever saw my ex-fiance, I’d thank him for giving me the chance to find something so much better, the true love that I deserve.
It’s not easy. It’s going to hurt, and it may take time, but it’s going to get better. In the meantime, I’m sending you love, strength, and support. You’re not alone, and you are going to be happy again soon!