Why I Called Off My Wedding

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bride with cold feet
Going through a breakup after you've already started wedding planning? Here's what to do.

When Kim Kardashian got reamed by every comedian, blog and tweet possible for marrying Kris Humphries in a public, televised, multimillion-dollar spectacle, and divorcing him not three months later, I could relate. Well, in one tiny way, anyway: I understood the importance of calling things off, no matter how inconvenient the circumstances.

I called my wedding off eight years ago. It cost considerably less than $20 million, even by the most generous estimates, but it felt like an awful lot to us at the time. (It was about $10,000, truth be told, an amount I still wouldn't mind having in the bank right now.) It felt, in fact, paralyzingly expensive. When my first I'm-not-sure-I-want-to-do-this pangs began, my initial thought was not, tellingly, how I would express such hurtful feelings to my fiancé, nor was it even how we might break the news to friends and family. It was: I don't think the caterers would take this well. Maybe I'll just stick things out.

I stuck things out for a long year after that, claiming for month after month that we were merely "postponing" our plans. I wish more than anything that poor, clueless, 2003 me could score a brief consultation with 2012 me, who would tell that girl that the sooner she put this relationship out of its considerable misery, the better. As it turned out, I was pondering—and pondering, and pondering, and pondering—the decision that would change everything in my life for the better.

Of course, my life wasn't easy after leaving my comfortable digs with my ex. I went from a condo in a doorman building on New York's cushy Upper West Side to a studio apartment in the "artsy" East Village that I shared with several mice and where I slept on a sleeper sofa obtained for free on the street. My heart was pulverized by its fair share of young men, and I pulverized a few, too, once I got jaded enough. I drank too much Pinot Grigio and shed countless tears.

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