My self worth is depleted after a broken engagement

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This topic contains 4 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Eliana 10 months, 4 weeks ago.

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    I’m a female and was in a 5-year-long relationship in which my ex-fiance had proposed to me. We were engaged and planning a wedding and then he decided he didn’t want to be with me anymore, called off the wedding, and left. This was 3 years ago.

    Over the past 3 years I’ve had pretty severe issues with self worth. I’ve heard many times “you shouldn’t let another person dictate your worth,” but please hear me out. I think we’re very social creatures and I not only lost someone I loved, I also lost their family who I had grown to love, several mutual friends, and a dog we shared together.

    Right now I live a very modest life. For the past year I’ve lived in an old studio apartment building alone. I have a handful of friends. I don’t have a lot of extra income, although this is something I’m working on at my current job. I also have chronic illness and cannot currently do extreme activities like marathon training, mountain climbing, or long hiking trips. I’ve also been trying to work on my appearance. I’ve bought some nice face creams, make-up, and am trying to lose those last 10 lbs.

    I just feel worthless, like there’s nothing exceptional about me. I’m not exceeding at work, in my social life, in the looks department, in adventurous achievements (for example: marathons).

    If I no longer existed, I do believe the impact would be low.

    I guess I’m not a mean person or someone who intentionally hurts others- so maybe the world would have lost a fairly decent person in the grand scheme of things? That’s the only thing I can think of. And don’t worry, I’m not suicidal or anything. I’m just thinking about this all hypothetically.

    How do you gain self worth? How do you feel happy and content that you’re “enough?” In a world of wealth, models, people with exceptional health, incredible talents in art, etc… how can I possibly feel like I’m good enough?



    It sounds like your still in a time of mourning a future that is no longer possible. There is a time for all things and as your posting on this site it seems a time to start the journey out of the stuck place you find yourself in. Well done!

    Along with such morning one will experience the realisation and disappointment of not being in full control to make things workout as you desire. Such disappointment often leads to depression and low sense of self worth as well as inevitable comparing your experience to what you imagine others experience – models, artists, healthy people… which will only deepen the hole you find yourself in. So, part of the healing process will require you to come to terms with control and acceptance while remaining engaged in life. Which I guess is why you came to a Buddhist site. There are lots of helpful articles on the site that will help you with that.

    The good news is that much of your suffering is a result of what you are imagining and this is something you can work on to change. I found a good place to start is to identify cognitive distortions in your story (google cognitive distortions) Avoid labels like good, bad, or happiness as you do so. If you do label a part of your story good or bad avoid labeling your sense of self with the experience. A bad experience does not make you a bad person only a person that had an experience you did not want to have. Once you identify the distortion a path forward will be much clear and I suspect the thinking of ‘good enough’ left behind.

    As for happiness and contentment, these experiences are not something you create, they are something you allow yourself to experience if you allow yourself to notice.  One can be content and happy in a storm… I bet you still find moments where you smile… the only difference between those moments and the moments of disappointment is that the tendency is to focus and fixate our attention on the moment of disappointment. Practice noticing when you find yourself smiling. The goal is to return to the present which is the only place you might shape your experiences.



    Hi Dreaming715,

    You are good enough..why? Because there is no one else out there like you! Out of 7 billion on this planet, there is one unique, with your own set of qualities, what you have to offer, traits, you are able to love, you are loveable whether you believe it or not. You seem very intelligent from the posts I read from you. Please don’t compare yourself to other people, because they have their insecurities, flaws and imperfections. Including those models you see in the magazine’s..they do not live the glamouous life we think they do. In ten years, we won’t be seeing them in magazines anymore, as they will be replaced with younger models..who have to work extremely hard to stay thin, which can be a very stressful and exhausting life. Looks fade. Personality, and our uniqueness don’t.

    Your ex-fiance lost out. Who knows, maybe he is somewhere unhappy. You will not be alone forever, and will find a loving man who deserves you and nothing less. Meanwhile, you can focus on things that make you happy. When you are happy and doing things that bring purpose to your life, you will see changes, changes in your self-esteem. Wrote down on a piece of paper things you enjoyed doing as a child. Was it reading? Painting? Drawing? Animals? I know I enjoyed playing badminton as a child and have started looking for people to play with. I also used to enjoy playing pool and art. These are things I can do in my adult life that bring me fulfillment and purpose. When women concentrate on looks, appearances, or always having to have a man, that is depending on someone to “bring” us happiness, yet that can be short lived. We have to create our own excitement. If a man comes along that’s great, if not, we will know we will still be good enough and we will be okay. x

    • This reply was modified 11 months ago by  Eliana.


    agree with eliana and peter, love yourself and enjoy life!!!!!



    Hi Dreaming715,

    I was just checking on you and seeing how you are doing, and if you are feeling any better. Please post again if you would like.



    Dreaming715 :

    Do you sleep in a warm bed, have enough food to eat, have two eyes to see the world, two legs to move around the world ?

    When  your mind starts comparing, STOP !!  Refocus your mind on your many,many blessings.

    Just try , you might feel a little better.

    The most important lessons in life usually are born out of our deepest struggle.

    We are all put on this earth to learn ..

    Kind regards, Cathy

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