Taking the major step forward to tie the knot with your bae is certainly not a decision to ever take lightly. You are promising that you have every intention of staying together for the rest of your lives, which, let's be real, is a very long time. While it's easy to get swept up in the moment of a proposal and respond with a resounding yes, if you're having major doubts after careful consideration, then it is 100 percent OK to call off an engagement.
Getting engaged to someone may seem like a logical decision to you at the time. You're ready for marriage. Life might be easier with a combined income or some sort of companion. The list of "logical" reasons goes on. However, all too often, we forgo listening to our intuition, trying to let only logic dictate the decisions we make. And though using logic is certainly a valid way to problem solve, deciding to spend your life with someone is something that both your head and your heart should feel confident about.
At the end of the day, the thought of telling someone whom you may very well still love that you want to take a step back after getting engaged is enough to make just about anyone have a full-blown panic attack. Elite Daily spoke with licensed psychotherapist Allison Abrams (LCSW-R) and Dr. Martha Tara Lee, a clinical sexologist (DHS, MA, BA) and founder of Eros Coaching, to get their insight on whether or not calling off an engagement is really the way to go and how to handle a case of cold feet.
Both Dr. Lee and Abrams agree that it is totally and completely normal to feel anxious and even have doubts post-engagement. According to Abrams, when figuring out the best way to proceed with the concerns you're having, recognize that you are in the midst of make a huge, life-altering decision, so nerves are to be expected.
"Try not to panic. The anxiety doesn't necessarily reflect doubt about the relationship, but could be about a number of other issues that have nothing to do with the relationship," says Abrams.
Dr. Lee recommends taking some time to think about the things you love about your relationship and also the things that may be giving you concerns.
"An activity like writing the pros vs cons (or good vs negative) aspects of the person and the possible life together can bring some clarity," says Dr. Lee. This is an activity that can allow you to zero in on "if a lifetime together makes sense, putting the physical and romantic attraction aside."
Once you've given yourself the chance to fully process the source of your uncertainty, Abrams and Dr. Lee believe that calling of an engagement is, in fact, 100 percent OK, should you realize getting married isn't the best idea for you. This is particularly true if your doubts are about "who you are marrying, and not just about marriage in general," Abrams says.
"As hard and as painful [as] it may be for all involved, calling off an engagement will by far be easier than going through the painful process of divorce," warns Abrams.
And while it may be tempting to put off a conversation like this, Abrams and Dr. Lee recommend bringing up your feelings to your partner as soon as possible. "Practice your speech and think about possible responses to their possible questions," recommends Dr. Lee. This is most certainly not the time to wing it. You won't want things to be misconstrued or to come out wrong, so prepare your thoughts and feelings as best you can.
Even if the thought of telling your partner that you aren't ready to take the next step is likely going to hurt them, remember, you're doing what's best for you and for them in this situation. You both deserve to be with someone who is nothing but excited about the prospect of marrying you. If you can't give your partner that, allow them to find someone who can.
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