On putting your engagement on hold

Please give me some words.

I am engaged to my partner of 5.5 years. When he asked me, I said yes because I was scared of what would happen to us if I said no again. (He asked me early in our relationship fyi and at that time, I said no).

He’s my best friend in the whole world and we have a good time together.

But I’m in emotional turmoil now. I have overwhelming feelings for a guy I work with (who is married). We went on a night out together and flirted outrageously all night.

I have all the signs of severe crushing; butterflies in my stomach when I see him, heart racing, loss of appetite, trouble sleeping etc.

I don’t want this to be something though. I love my fiancé and I want this to work. I’m scared I’m lying to myself about getting married. But on the other hand I’m scared of sacrificing our happiness for a stupid crush which will never amount to anything.

Help me please. I can’t talk to anyone about this and it’s eating me up.


Put your engagement on hold. Give your fiancé back the engagement ring. Tell him to hold on to it for you, just for a while, and that you will ask for it back when you are ready.

It will be a difficult conversation, but you need to do it. One of two things will happen. He will understand and agree and your relationship will continue, or it will precipitate the end of the relationship. (Whichever happens is what needs to happen.)

If it precipitates the end of the relationship, so be it. Let it end. It’s okay, and it was probably inevitable anyway.

Now, if he agrees to put the engagement on hold and keeps the ring for you, see how that feels. At first it will be a great relief, but sit with it for a while. Wait for the next set of emotions to reveal themselves. That’s when you’ll know what to do. In the meantime, don’t have an affair with your office crush. Trust me. Once you’re off the hook for the engagement, the work crush will spike for a hot minute but then it will suddenly begin to evaporate, because the crush itself is really just a manifestation of your anxiety about getting married.

I’m not saying the crush isn’t real. It is, but it’s also your subconscious’s way of screaming at you that you’re not ready to get married to your fiancé. Once the engagement pressure is off, the crush will no longer have a purpose to serve, and it will quickly seem frivolous. (Unless you indulge in it, in which case, you’ll be making a major fuck-up.)

Let me be clear. I’m not suggesting you put your engagement on hold because you have an office crush. I’m suggesting you put your engagement on hold because as much as you love him, you don’t want to be married to your fiancé (yet?). You’ve got so much denial and cognitive dissonance going on that the crush is really just a symptom of a brutal truth that you weren’t quite ready to face until right this moment.


7 thoughts on “On putting your engagement on hold

  1. Anna says:

    I love this piece of advice. This is basically telling the letter writer to stash the ring and re-propose to her boyfriend when she’s ready, the thought in itself is delicious.

  2. a grouch says:

    The converse may be true – upon actually sealing the deed with their boyfriend, then that bit of anxiety about getting married might dissipate. Perhaps it might be good to acknowledge that you’ll never feel ready, but life is short.

    • Kelly says:

      “Life is short” doesn’t seem like a great reason to get married — if anything it’s the opposite. And marrying someone in the hopes that marrying them will ease your severe anxiety over marrying them is emotionally dishonest and irresponsible at best.

      I’m with Coke. This person needs to take a step back and figure some shit out.

      • a grouch says:

        That wasn’t what I meant – what I meant was that person has been with him for 5.5 years, calls him their ‘best friend’, and really sounds like they want to marry him eventually – there aren’t any indicators in there that marriage would be a mistake. Marrying him wouldn’t be like ‘welp, may as well tie the knot’. I meant more that if they want marriage, that feeling of readiness might never come.

  3. RocketGrunt says:

    I totally get this situation. About a year ago I was dating someone who I planned on moving in with. I felt good about the decision at first. My partner was my best friend and it was one of the best relationships I’d ever had. But as time went on and we had to start making more concrete plans, I got more and more nervous and uncomfortable with it. I had a mild, long-standing crush on the guy who was my supervisor at work at the time, and I started entertaining fantasies about him more. I kept putting off and avoiding conversations about the move because I found it more and more upsetting to think about.

    I ended up breaking up with my partner and signing 12 month lease with my roommate. I don’t have a crush anymore (he’s dating one of my friends now, and I’m actually happier to have him as a friend), and my ex and I are still on good terms. Breaking up was painful, but I didn’t really want that commitment. Don’t sign any paperwork unless you’re absolutely sure it’s what you want!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *