I Broke Off My Engagement…!

Jordana Jaffe portrait 052112I wasn’t sure I would ever write about this. Many people have told me I shouldn’t. And I really thought about it – I wondered if they might be right. But recently there’s been this nudge – this whisper – that’s said, “You just gotta, Jordana. You have to write about this.”
Now if you’ve been in the Embarkability family for a while or we’ve connected here or on Facebook, you know that I’m a pretty open book. I tell it like it is. I’m all about being real and vulnerable and honest. And yes, it feels scary to do that. But it also feels freeing and amazing and empowering.
So here goes.
This past April 28, I had planned to get married to my fiance. We had picked the venue (lovely restaurant along the Hudson River), chosen the vendors (really amazing people – let me know if you’re looking for recommendations!), and had even bought our dresses (yes, I was marrying a woman).
We started dating in October 2011, moved in together January 2012 and on March 6, 2012, we went down to the diamond district and bought each other rings. Yes, you did the math correctly – that would be five months of dating before we got engaged. (Call it lesbian stereotype or just “knowing when you know”.)
So we’re happy and grateful and all the good feeling post-engagement bliss that you would expect comes with it. We spontaneously headed to Puerto Rico to celebrate, and basked in the comfort and security and elation that we had finally found “the one.” (I can’t really speak for her, but I feel like we were on the same page at that point in time.)
What happened, you ask? Stuff happened. Things came to the surface that I knew from the beginning, but I didn’t realize (or truly accept) that they would continue or even get worse. People closest to me began to echo my concerns. But hey, we were engaged, and I wanted this to work. I really and truly did. I loved this woman. I cared about her dearly. I very much planned to spend the rest of my life with her.
That whisper – you know that little quiet hush that says, “hey, maybe we should rethink this” – just got louder and louder and louder. And I started to really get that as pee-in-my-pants scary as breaking off an engagement seemed, the thought of marrying the wrong person for me felt a hell of a lot scarier.
Interestingly enough, things came to a head on Valentine’s Day (I know, of all days). I walked into our bedroom, and I told her I wanted to postpone the wedding. She told me we should just call it off and within an hour she had left the apartment.
The past three months have been wild, friends. I hibernated at my parents’ apartment for a week. I cried in the bath, on my bed, and on many shoulders. I’ve called friends in the middle of the night in a panic. My therapist and I have seen much more of each other.
But — I’ve also walked the streets of New York City breathing more deeply and smiling more widely. I’ve redecorated my apartment with brighter colors, a giant Buddha painting over my bed, and the best smelling candles ever. I’ve had more play dates with friends. I’ve seen my family more. I’ve had milkshake dates and fun first kisses. I’ve meditated more. I’ve taken better care of my body. I’ve flirted. I’ve celebrated. People tell me I seem lighter, calmer, more playful. And I feel it. Totally, completely and entirely.
So when April 28 was on the horizon, I started to think about what I wanted to do that day. I’m a positive person who likes to find the good in anything and everything. So I decided to throw myself a party, which I endearingly called The Awesome Party – to celebrate brave decisions, authenticity and love. I spent that Sunday night with 15 of my closest girlfriends and we toasted over margaritas and guacamole. It was delicious in every possible way.
Am I still sad sometimes? Of course. Do I miss her? Parts of her. That said, am I beyond proud of myself for listening to that whisper? Beyond. Will I be forever and ever grateful for being honest with myself? You bet.
I know this isn’t the typical newsletter all about business strategy and mindset – but I do think that you may very well have a whisper (or two or three) that may be nudging you towards your truth today, and you might be avoiding them or denying them or running away from them as fast as possible as though your life depended on it.
I get it. It’s scary as hell. You’re freaking out. But loves, you can’t escape your truth. Your truth is you. And it’s there because it’s what’s going to make you the happiest you can possibly be – whether you really get that right now or not.
So look, the first step is to just observe that the truth is there, then acknowledge it, and then just take one small step towards it. That’s all. Just focus on that one tiny step. The second step will reveal itself once you’ve taken the first.
And when you do come to that place of delicious truth and you start living it, please be sure to throw yourself your own Awesome Party, too.
Heart-ing you,

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Jordana Jaffe is the founder of Embarkability, a company that teaches women how to start and grow their own service-based businesses. You can receive Jordana’s free weekly newsletter here. To learn more about Jordana, visit her website, on Facebook, or Twitter.

  • Tif

    I’m glad you decided to tell your story! I think everyone can relate to that little nudge and how hard, yet necessary it is to change something that you know is not right for you…but how living the aftermath is both wonderful and difficult.

    • Jordana Jaffe

      Tif – thank you for your comment! I so appreciate your positive feedback. xo Jordana

  • I love it, Jordana! Thanks for sharing your story!! It most definitely takes a TON of courage to end a relationship, and especially an engagement. I’ve watched my sister call off two engagements and am proud of her every time. Proud of her for standing up for HERSELF and what SHE needs to do to be happy moving forward in her life. Sometimes we all get caught up in stuff… we make decisions, jump in… and then our feelings change. Things shift. I think that’s perfectly normal. And the best any of us can do is to continue to practice living in love… and loving not only ourselves, but everyone around us (most certainly those we’re in relationships with). And sometimes recognizing that loving someone (and ourselves) means letting go and moving on. Being grateful for what happened, but accepting that your paths aren’t meant to coincide forever.


    • Jordana Jaffe

      Sarah, thank YOU for your comment! 🙂 Bravo to your sister for having so much courage. Yes, sometimes we all get caught up in stuff. It definitely happens. I love your attitude on all of this – hooray to you! 🙂 xo Jordana

  • Hey Jordana,
    All I can say is that THIS piece,.. is so ABSOLUTELY beautiful…. being open and vulnerable like this takes so MUCH courage and strength. I felt so connected to you and your story as I read on. I could go on and on, and mention how I was in a similar situation, but the point is that other fellow teachers, such as you have been through an unbearable and heartbreaking circumstances ESP when it comes to Love,.. expose painful parts of you and tell of your victorious lesson is INSPIRING! So well written, so much from the heart and setting free of your truth. YOU are my hero today. You give strength to us all.. Thank you for always sharing your wisdom with us here, esp today!
    ALL my Love

    • Jordana Jaffe

      Drew, Thank you SO much for your kind words and positive feedback. Really means the world. Your words touch my heart. Thank you for sharing your thoughts – made my day. 🙂

  • cher79

    Hi Jordana,

    I can really relate to your story. I just broke up with my ex of 6 years last November and for a while, I thought he was the one. But throughout those years, I had doubts; my intuition had told me to leave several times but I didn’t because I didn’t want to “be wrong” or start over with someone new. We’d talked about getting married and even went apartment hunting together. I felt conflicted because I DID want to be with him yet my stomach was full of dread. Also, one of my friends mentioned that I never seemed happy with this guy and my family was concerned about the neighborhoods we were apartment hunting in.

    One day, I just prayed and asked God to give me a sign. Next thing I know, my ex had lost his job but still wanted to get an apartment; I didn’t think this was a good idea and ended the relationship. Once I did that, I felt a huge sense of relief. There were times when I missed him and felt sad, but I knew that I made the right decision and I don’t regret it. There are so many things that I need to work on in myself and I couldn’t do it while I was with him.

    • Jordana

      Hi Cher,
      Thanks so much for your comment. I totally hear what you’re saying and bravo to you for following your intuition! 🙂 It’s amazing when we ask for signs, what is presented to us. Wishing you strength, healing and happiness on your journey ahead. xo Jordana

  • MargaritaHueniken

    Facing difficult decisions truly takes great courage…yet eventually leads to great freedom and a deeper appreciation of what it takes to love oneself. This is a wonderful example. Much thanks for sharing. 🙂

    • Jordana Jaffe

      Thanks for your comment Margarita! It’s comments like yours that make my sharing my story all the more worthwhile. 🙂 xo Jordana

  • Love you girl. Emailing you later xx

    • Jordana Jaffe

      love you too Jen xoxo

  • tedge


    • Jordana Jaffe

      Thanks Tedge! 🙂 xo Jordana

  • AP

    I also broke my engagement two years ago. It was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done, but like you said, I knew at the time that marrying that person would have been even worse than calling it all off. Our relationship went downhill after getting engaged — we didn’t communicate, I was planning the wedding solo, and I just felt like things weren’t right. That feeling got stronger and stronger — I felt like I couldn’t even breathe sometimes under the weight of it — until finally I had to pull the plug on the whole thing. We definitely tried to work things out in those last few months, but it was all too little too late. I just knew there was something else, something better out there for me.

    Now, two years later, I’ve moved to another state for a dream job and I’m dating somebody AMAZING who I truly can picture spending the rest of my life with. I feel SO thankful I did the right thing and left my previous relationship. I hope anyone else out there who is in a similar situation can find the courage to follow their gut and their heart. Those feelings don’t lie! As hard as it is to leave a long-term relationship, it only gets worse the longer you deny how you feel inside.

    I’m so glad to hear from someone else who went through the same thing and has come out on the other side stronger, wiser and happier!

    • Jordana Jaffe

      AP, thanks for sharing your story, and bravo to you for listening to those whispers. I’m so happy for you and your dream job and amazing relationship. Happiness is so the best, right? 🙂 Enjoy life on the other side – it’s sunnier for sure. 🙂 xo Jordana

  • Dawn

    thank-you for sharing your story….I didn’t listen to my invoice and 18 years later we divorced but I have 2 amazing children from the marriage…..since then I have been in a relationship a few times same person… an inner voice was telling me no just keep it simple as friends and I didn’t. well 4 months in I found him with someone else and sadly they had been seeing each other all along….listening to the inner voice is hard it can be scary as it takes you somewhere you may not feel you want to go…. but it is just that fear of the unknown…… thanks again…..

    • Jordana Jaffe

      Dawn, you’re very right. Listening to your inner voice is not an easy thing to do, which is why so many of us don’t do it – or if we do, it takes us much longer than we would like it to take. Wishing you strength, healing and love on your journey ahead. xo Jordana

  • JPR

    About 6 years ago, I wasn’t engaged but left a very committed relationship and it was so, so hard to find the courage to admit it wasn’t right. You’ve done the right thing, girl! Now I’m happily married and so glad I took that leap.

    That said, I think it’s important to point out that doubts/fears once engaged/committed are very common and don’t always point to your truth. As someone who has anxiety, I struggled a lot with getting engaged to my now husband, what it meant, if I could be a wife etc. There were no red flags, I was just terrified of the change, terrified it wouldn’t work, terrified we’d fall out of love, terrified we’d end up like me and my ex. It got so bad, I almost left my husband during our engagement because I was so damn scared. Thankfully I found this website and Sheryl Paul’s website and it helped me see the difference between legitimate truth and fear twisting the truth. I learned about love, about marriage and that I was capable of it, despite my own demons. Marrying my husband has been the best choice for me and everytime I think about how i almost let fear win, it makes me cry with utmost love and gratitude. If anyone is thinking of leaving, I would encourage you to delve into the depth of your body and discover what is causing your doubt… Truth, or fear?

    • Jordana Jaffe

      Thank so much for your support! And yay that you’re currently happily married! 🙂 I think everything you’re saying makes a lot of sense and bravo to you for exploring your feelings. xo Jordana

  • Jorge


    • Jordana Jaffe

      Thank you Jorge! 🙂 So glad you felt inspired. xo Jordana

  • Pamela

    I’m glad you decided to share this! I know first hand that it takes bravery to escape a negative relationship, so congratulations.

    • Jordana Jaffe

      Thank you Pamela! xo Jordana

  • Lindsay

    This story is beautiful and exactly what I needed to hear right now…I have been dating the same person for eight years and engaged for one month..we broke off the engagement about 20 minutes ago.

    We have done this before and have always ended up running back to each other and trying to ignore our problems. More and more new problems began building up on top of the old ones until we became extremely hostile and cold with one another.

    Having been together since we were 13 years old, I an extremely addicted to this guy…not calling him back and begging to get back together is going to be quite the challenge for me. Your post gives me the strength not to pick up the phone no matter how much my brain tells me that it’s a good idea….. Thank you :))

  • Millie

    Hi Jordana, thank you for sharing your story. I broke off my fiancé and currently waiting at Starbucks as he moves out. It’s so nice to see someone else who has gotten through losing someone they loved. I’m so proud of you and hope I can be as strong. Letting go if my best friend has been the hardest thing I’ve ever done and I hope I’m doing the right thing. We fight a lot and breaking up feels like the right thing to do. Thanks for your encouraging words.

  • Muzzi

    Sometimes the right decisions stem from the hard-to-accept thoughts and realities. But eventually, it will be alright. Life, goes on. =)