Here's a tip: If you want to break up with someone without looking like the bad guy, maybe don't do it an hour before you're supposed to be married.
That's what happened to Toronto resident Cyndi Maisonneuve, who bravely opened up to The Guardian about her real-life runaway groom experience. "Once, it made me cry. Now I find it almost funny," Maisonneuve says as she describes the day leading up to what was supposed to be her romantic destination wedding in Hawaii. She had met her "tall and cute" fiancee two years prior at a baseball game, and though he lived two hours away in northern Ontario, the couple traveled to see each other every weekend and when they got engaged six months later, Maisonneuve told the paper, "It didn't feel rushed. I was 23 and it felt as if life was coming together."
Fast forward to the wedding day in question. "We were staying at a hotel overlooking the beach where the ceremony would take place and, from our window, I watched preparations," Maisonneuve remembers. "Maybe that’s why I wasn’t nervous as I started getting dressed. Maybe that’s why I was so blindsided by what happened next."
What happened next was an unexpected visit from the groom-to-be. He was crying, and Maisonneuve told The Guardian that at first, she "assumed he was letting the emotion of the day get to him." But, "Then he said it. 'I don’t think I can do this.'"
"I stood there – with the veil already in my hair. This man who was supposed to be the love of my life was telling me he was calling off the wedding less than an hour before we were due on the beach. I didn’t even ask why. I told him to leave. That hotel room suddenly felt so small." Out the same window from which she had just been watching final preparations, Maisonneuve watched her sister tell the family and friends gathered on the beach that the wedding was off.
Maisonneuve didn't know what had sparked the sudden change of mind from someone she thought she knew so well, but a quick peek into their shared hotel wardrobe quickly told her that it wasn't just last-minute jitters: "While I’d been out that morning, he had taken all his clothes and passport. He’d actually left me. I was heartbroken. Humiliated, devastated." (Oof. We feel you.)
A few weeks later, Maisonneuve met up with her former love, who told her he called it off because she wanted children and he didn't before suggesting — to her understandable astonishment — that they get back together, just not get married. (Um, no.) Now, six years later, Maisonneuve is dating again, and has proven she has one hell of a good sense of humour, telling The Guardian "I realised it’s actually a pretty great anecdote. I can even laugh about it."