How to Cope with Post-Engagement Anxiety

A young woman standing outside with a hand on her head, suffering with post-engagement anxiety.

While many brides and grooms may remember the anxiety they felt leading up to the marriage proposal—either feeling anxious about doing it or wondering when it would finally happen—not everyone talks as much about feeling that anxiety after the proposal. Since an engagement is such a happy event, it may come as a shock if you experience anxiety afterwards that more closely mirrors the feelings of sadness and anxiety rather than joy and excitement. However, this is very common and nothing to be ashamed of.

Since the idea of committing to one person for the rest of your life is a huge and life-altering decision, it makes sense that anxiety could accompany it, especially if you have a history of such emotions. Plus, when you pair this large life change with the societal pressures that commonly plague couples surrounding their engagement, it makes perfect sense that this important life event can be anxiety-inducing.

Having this anxiety is one thing, but you definitely don’t want it to stick around and ruin this special time. If you’re experiencing these feelings, it should bring you comfort to know that you’re certainly not the only one who has gone through it. This range of emotions following such a monumental moment is normal, and there are thankfully many ways to overcome it.

Understand the Origins of the Anxiety

The first step to coping with this anxiety is to understand the origins of it. While your engagement may have brought it on, there has to be certain aspects of being engaged that trigger the anxiety specifically. For instance, are you fearful of the wedding planning process and what it requires? Or maybe you’re just more anxious surrounding the cost of the wedding. Another possible motivator to your anxiety could be that you simply do not cope well with change. Write down what thoughts and ideas are making you anxious to aid in identifying the triggers so you can face them more head-on.

Be Open About It

Two engaged men with worried looks on their faces and looking out a window.

Couples often report that they hide their engagement anxiety from their new fiancé or fiancée, as they don’t want him or her to misconstrue the feelings into something they’re not. Part of a healthy and happy marriage is being able to be honest with your future husband or wife, so get the ball rolling by telling them the feelings you’re having. Make it clear that you do want to be married to them, but don’t hold back in disclosing these feelings as you’ll be better able to deal with them than you would alone.

Practice Self-Care

A woman stretching on her bed after waking up in the morning.

Self care is an important part of everyday life, and when you’re experiencing anxiety, it’s even more vital. Taking good care of yourself will aid in feeling like your old self more quickly. Get an adequate amount of sleep, eat healthy, drink ample amounts of water, and exercise regularly to help to get rid of any anxious feelings that the engagement may have spurred.

Practice Meditation

A woman sitting in a yoga pose and meditating to relieve post-engagement anxiety.

Meditating may sound silly to those who haven’t tried it, but it’s becoming more popular over a wider range of demographics. And this is for good reason; cited as the most rapidly growing health trend in the nation, meditation is proven to help practitioners navigate stress, have more compassion, and reduce anxiety and depression. Meditating for just a few minutes each day can ward off engagement anxiety for you, and it’s a cost-effective way of doing so, making it something you’ll definitely want to consider.

Consider Professional Help

Anxiety can be scary, overwhelming, and uncomfortable. If you can’t find a way to diminish the feelings on your own, consider seeking professional help. This could be in the form of a therapist or you could also opt to go to couples counseling with your new fiancé. This may help you to face any fears you have surrounding being married and gives you and your future spouse a great platform to use to get on the same page for important life decisions and values. Having a neutral party to talk to whether you do so on your own or as a couple will relieve tension and provide you with a wonderful sounding board.

If you are experiencing engagement anxiety, know that it’s normal and it will subside. Taking these measures aids in that process and will help you to enjoy this special time more swiftly after getting down on one knee or saying “yes!”.

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