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Can you go back to dating after engagement and why?


Second Chances Called it off but doubting the decision now? Someone wants you back? Let us know about it!

Old 15th August 2007, 1:41 PM   #1
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Unhappy Can you go back to dating after engagement and why?

  • I posted this in breakups as well guys because I thought maybe I'd get a spread of opinion.
I promised myself I won't write loveshack's longest post, so if you want to know my story, look back over some of my posts by clicking on my name. Or don't bother and just read below!

The short version is that my fiance/exfiance and I had been rowing horribly over the commitmentthing for a long time as I have two girls (from previous marriage) and wanted to protect them. I also love him very much and wanted him to want me that way. I also read WAY too many books (why men love bitches/he's just not that into you/etc - you get the picture.

The rowing became all we did, I took off the engagement ring 4.5 months ago, and he decided to move out 3.5 months ago now. There has rarely been a day that we haven't talked. We've written long letters, we've made plans, we've fought and decided it was all over so many times, then come back together. We're both drama queens and this whole process has definitely encouraged some introspection and growth. Each time we come together and try and fail, it seems we get closer to understanding one another. We both still feel motivated to try, at least there is that.

Now he's not living here, he objects to all my pressure (what are we doing? when will we live together again (bearing in mind he left then bought my BFs! house that I renovated and was suppossed to be for us all as a family!!!)? I object to him not wanting to re-establish that level of connection to make me feel safe enough to give him his 'space' and the fact that he 'flip-flops' like crazy.

He wants us to 'have fun', be together and learn to get along/communicate better and to rekindle the sparks and go slow so we get it right. But how slow? Is this possible after we've put each other through so much? Is it possible to go back to dating after being a family, living in the same home and being engaged?

I really need loveshack help. What is the path of reconciliation? How can we BE together without BEING together. I miss him so much and so do my daughters. I'm so tired of the way we've handled things in the past, that I'm finally ready to admit I don't know the right way. How can I be light and breezy while respecting my deep emotions for him, how can he feel less pressure? We both want it in the end, it's like an argument about timing, a power struggle....
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Old 15th August 2007, 3:15 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by datingmum View Post
[LIST]

He wants us to 'have fun', be together and learn to get along/communicate better and to rekindle the sparks and go slow so we get it right. But how slow? Is this possible after we've put each other through so much? Is it possible to go back to dating after being a family, living in the same home and being engaged?

I really need loveshack help. What is the path of reconciliation? How can we BE together without BEING together.

Yes, it is definitely possible. My wife and I broke up after we were engaged. No, we did not live together, and no, neither of us had ever been married. So, my experiences may not be as relevant as others. But, after the breakup of about a month, we did realize that even though I was not ready for marriage (I felt that she pressured ME into marriage), we did both love each other and want to date. In our case, neither of us dated others, but this would also be a possibility for the two of you so that you "cement" in your mind...do we love each other.

We began dating as if almost a new couple. It was awkward, but we learned a new way to communicate and get along. I felt that I did want to marry her, and now I felt that it really was my decision when I wanted to marry her. She did not pressure me. (Before, her pressure was..."Marry me, or I will leave." Not quite those words, but real close). We simply dated as if we did not know what our future plans would be. We focused on being together and having fun. Yes, I know...I was the one with cold feet, but now I felt that dating was fun.

We dated again after the breakup for almost four months. Prior to the breakup, we had dated for about a year. We had become engaged and set a wedding date. After we dated for those four months, I asked her to marry me. This time I knew that I wanted her for the rest of my life. (That was almost 18 years ago. Despite our marriage not being as perfect as I would like, I do not regret the decision. Why? Because I KNOW that it was MINE. If I had continued as it was before the breakup, I am afraid I would not feel this way).

The interesting thing is that the new wedding date we set was one week EARLIER that what the date was with the first engagement. So, somehow, I think she still got her way...she just did it with me feeling like I was in control.

In your case, I am guessing that if your BF has been married before (you don't say either way), there is an additional fear of not knowing if this marriage will work out. And his love for you may actually make his "feet colder." Why? Because if it doesn't work out, he will lose you. And since you have children, this makes it even harder. He wants to be sure that the love that the two of you have can withstand the many "dramas" that you also have. He knows that if this is what life is like prior to marriage, then after marriage...nothing will change.

I respect him for his decision. I think this shows his love for you. From what it sounds like, if he did not love you, he would have left. With all of the arguing that the two of you do, he may simply feel that a new start may be the best way to even the ground again. I remember that prior to the breakup, I could not sleep at night at least not well. When I woke up, I would have this feeling of dread in the pit of my stomach. If I thought of marriage and being "tied down" for the rest of my life, I felt that fear. After we dated all over and became "re engaged," I no longer felt that. I then felt that the decision was the correct one. This was important to me, I found out after we were married, because when we had fights...and yes, we did, then I knew in my heart that I had made my own choice, so the commitment was mine. I cannot imagine what I would have felt if I had thought in those early days that I had been pressured into the marriage.

Begin dating again. It cannot be as if you had never met, but it can be fun. Do not move in together. This may be the pressure he feels. He may also get little implications and innuendos from you that even YOU do not realize you do. Pretend that you do not plan to marry. Just enjoy the fact that you have him. This is what my wife and I did. Simply enjoy the today of being with one another. Do not expect a commitment from him...just be glad he wants you today. Pressure him, and he may feel that he is not making the choice. Let him sort his own feelings out and love him. You may be incredibly surprised at the results. I know that even I was surprised that I was ready for marriage.

What do you want more...marriage with him/someone so you feel safe? Or do you want to spend the rest of life with him? Back to my life...my wife admits that marriage was more important to her than me. Yes, she loved me very much, but she felt that after marriage, I would be fine. Her concern was that she wanted the security of marriage, so she felt that she belonged to someone. She never liked the uncertainty of dating. Me...I just wanted to be with someone whom I loved. Marriage was for older folks. So, she needed to learn to love ME more than marriage, and I needed to learn that being with her during marriage was just as fun as dating her.

Lay back and enjoy life. He will come around.
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Last edited by JamesM; 15th August 2007 at 3:17 PM..
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Old 15th August 2007, 3:47 PM   #3
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a sigh of relief

James,

Thank you ever so much for replying with such clarity and length. I am really at odds right now. I keep trying to do the 'dating' thing, but I really miss having him in my bed at night, being with us as a family, etc. It's excruciating!!! I'm sure you understand.

But your post gave me hope and light. For the past 3 and a half months, everytime we have a good date or two, I start on the whole being sad and down and wanting to pressure him again. He freaks out, feels bad, backs off, then comes back. I keep saying "it's taking so loooooong" to which he says "well, if you'd not been pressuring me this whole time, we'd probably be in a different place!" I basically, like your wife asked him to decide or I'd leave - again in not so many words the first time he proposed. He is a strong man to stand up to me, I must say. You were a strong man too. I'm so happy to hear that you stayed together for so long after.

I guess for many women, it is about both: wanting security and stability and status (let's face it, we can end up carrying the long term results of coitus - babies!) but also, more importantly, being with someone I love and care for deeply who also loves me.


I guess after reading so many heartbreaking stories on this site, I should count myself lucky that we even have this opportunity.


Thanks so much! I will need help during this time, so I guess I'll keep on posting. If ever you or anyone else wants any opinions from me, I'd be more than happy to offer...

thanks again, from the bottom of my heart!
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Old 15th August 2007, 3:51 PM   #4
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Just realised I put TWO nauseating love faces in there... sorry
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Old 15th August 2007, 4:52 PM   #5
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I definitely think that you can go back to dating after engagement and/or living together. That would be much harder to do while living together, so I think his moving out, while not necessarily moving "on", is very positive. he didn't leave you, he just put some space, or a buffer, between the two of you. His buying the home you had planned to share seems optimistic to me as well.

As a woman, I understand your desire for the seemingly stable and secure notion of marriage, but tying the knot gives no guarantees for the future. Many people seem to feel it is simply the next logical step in an ongoing relationship. I didn't note in your post how long you have been together, but many feel that a year or two indicates marriage is around the corner. As a two time loser in the marriage dept., I am not so convinced that a year or two is a significant amount of time, but I am twice shy.

Like James M., I am happy to be with someone who is happy to be with me. With three years under our belts I am not itching to marry and neither is he. I don't rule marriage out in the future, but I don't expect it either. We don't even live together, yet our commitment to one another is as strong as most married people I know. I would say it's even stronger than the couples we know. The reason for this, I believe, is precisely because there is no pressure for anything more. We simply enjoy each other's company, even when we are doing mundane things like house and yard work. Sure we have had disagreements, but they are more like passing moments than episodes of prolonged anger. Usually within twenty minutes we have apologized, if necessary, and went back to being the loving people we normally are. My marriages were not so forgiving, I'm afraid.

Continued pressure to get back to where you were is counterproductive to taking advantage of the fresh start you have been given. It is difficult to retrain the mind, but try to see your cup as half full versus half empty. Instead of concentrating on missing him so much at night, take some joy in what I think of as "freedoms" to an extent. You can miss him sleeping next to you in bed, or you can revel in having the whole bed to yourself! On the occasions that he IS sleeping next to you, you can appreciate and enjoy all the sensations that go along with that so much more.

Really, I see this as a very positive thing, no matter what the ultimate outcome is. If you end up marrying, you will know that you put in the work to make the marriage work. If you don't end up marrying, you will have avoided a costly mistake. The way I see it, it's all good.
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Old 15th August 2007, 5:21 PM   #6
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thanks again

Cheers dropdead legs. Considering I had a marriage that failed previously, you'd think I'd feel the same...In fact, he asks that very question.

But considering the positives of being alone at night:

I don't have to put up with any grumpyness or other people's moods
I don't have to shave my legs!
I don't have to dress nicely
I have gone without a shower for 3 days ! Yuck, I know, but hey, look at the bright side!
I don't have to worry about dinner
I can do what I like, albeit if it's poring over loveshack and drinking wine and smoking cigarettes each and every night
I can see friends loads
I can facebook all I like

Okay i could go on for a while with a bunch of inane things, but here is the truth:

I miss his smell. I jealously guard the pillow if he's slept on it, I secretly kept one of his shirts and I wear it at night. I miss his cups of coffee in the morning or how we'd run each other a bath before work and turn on johnny cash cds. I miss his bubble baths, the flowers, the pinching my cheeks, holding my hand.

lots more.

And - MASTURBATION IS NOT CUTTING IT FOLKS!!!!!!

So, I'll try to be 'positive', but it's hard.

Thanks for your reply
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Old 15th August 2007, 7:43 PM   #7
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Yes you are lucky to have this opportunity. I would kill for it.

I know this couple,actually it was the same couple that introduced me to my ex. Well, They are now married and have been for over a year. they had broken up just prior to their engagement due to similar pressures. The breakup lasted around 5 months. During this time both of them dated other people and Im sure even slept with theese people. There was very little contact during this time.

It just so happened that they ended up at a function together. Both had dropped their rebounds and were thinking of each other. Well he made a bold move. Kind of corny but effictive. He walked up to her and introduced himself as if he had never met her before in his life. She was taken back but rather impressed at his fortitude. She played along and the result is that they are very happily married. It worked but it could have backfired.

He knew that he needed to start from scratch, forgetting all the bad things that broke them apart. No expectations.
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Old 15th August 2007, 8:05 PM   #8
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has anyone ever read the site www.marriagebuilders.com. It's awesome for any relationship, not just marriages. full of loads of informative stuff. Highly reccommended.

we do just need to date. I think maybe i've neglected the sexy, hot lady i was when we met and he has neglected the sexy hot man he was. when we met, I boxed, was a writer, etc and he rode a fast motorbike, did crazy things etc.

now, we just have rows and talking about having a relationship rather than a relationship..... i think there's lots of fun to be had possibly in rebuilding who we were.

we'll see. can you tell i've had too much wine now, everything is in lower case?
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Old 15th August 2007, 9:59 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by datingmum View Post
But considering the positives of being alone at night:

I don't have to put up with any grumpyness or other people's moods
I don't have to shave my legs!
I don't have to dress nicely
I have gone without a shower for 3 days ! Yuck, I know, but hey, look at the bright side!
I don't have to worry about dinner
I can do what I like, albeit if it's poring over loveshack and drinking wine and smoking cigarettes each and every night
I can see friends loads
I can facebook all I like
I knew you could see the bright side if you just thought about it! I don't shave, and have been known to neglect a shower myself, on my "off" days." It is common to stop wearing makeup, doing your hair, looking your best, when in a relationship. I know I should put in more effort to be the "hot" woman he fell in love with.

I know you miss him, I miss my man when we are apart, too. Still, there are pros and cons to any situation, and yours has a lot of life in it yet! I tend to be far more laid back and lazy at home alone, and part of me needs the "reason" to take better care of things, but I also enjoy not doing a damn thing if I don't feel like it (within reason of course. I do have young children that have needs.)

There is always a silver lining if we just open our eyes and see it. I believe that this "separation" may make your relationship even stronger than before.
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Old 16th August 2007, 2:20 PM   #10
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What The Hell

Guys, last night and today I've organised quite a few things towards rekindling the person I was before we met. I also made sure I reinstigated some activities that we did together so that we'll have some fun stuff to do when he gets back from holiday.

My problem is this, the night before he left, I did tell him maybe we should date other people. In fact, I told him I had a date on Sat. night. Now, I didn't...but I could and I was just trying to do the whole 'let's be positive thing'. Please don't tell me not to play games...I'm desperately attempting to be cheerful and remember how cool I was and portray that.

He disagreed and said we should be loyal to one another, at which point I said "okay, you're right, we'll hold off on that and remain loyal until we decide how this is going." He said he was very happy with that and that he loved me very much.

Problem is, now he's gone and I haven't heard from him in TWO DAYS! Never a day goes by that I don't hear something. What is going on? Does he miss me? It's a carousel of nightmare thoughts going round and round. I only told him about the date thing to a) allow him to feel I wasn't so devastated anymore, that I was not his emotional responsibility b) that I wasn't so deperate for HIM if he didn't want to be as close to me as I was to him and c) to maybe put the wind up him.

WHY HASN'T HE CALLED? WHAT SHOULD i DO?

Maybe he is angry - late fallout. Maybe he is trying to play his own 'I'm cool' game so that I miss him. And as I was the 'dumpee' in this particular round, I can't contact him! Maybe he's just having a great time and doesn't think he needs to contact. I think the latter option is least viable as I KNOW how he is, usually.

Am I / was I manipulative? I was only trying to practice the dating advice I'd received! I'm in agony.

Thanks for reading.
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Old 17th August 2007, 4:34 PM   #11
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Um, can't you call him?

There could be a hundred reasons why he hasn't called, many of which don't involve anger or coolness.

Manipulative? Maybe saying you had a date when you didn't was somewhat manipulative. I misunderstood before, I thought you were taking a little space, as in not co-habitating, but were still committed to one another but not planning to marry. At least not immediately. Now I'm not sure I really understand your status.

Are you working to stay together, or letting go slowly?
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