I've heard of people cautioning young people who change their minds after getting engaged that they are better off going forward and can always get divorced if things don't work out after all. A broken engagement, on the other hand, could stigmatize one forever after in the world of shidduchim. That does not sound like sound advice to me, but now I understand where such well-intentioned people are coming from. In the "Ask the Shadchan" piece in Jewish Insights Magazine, a broken engagement follows "hospitalizations for psychiatric disturbances" on the list that answers the question "Which pieces of information are grounds for exercising caution?" While the writer acknowledges, "these issues do not necessarily mean that the person hasn't grown beyond old issues or beyond some family issues -- they just mean that you have to look into the person a bit further," that would probably not be very consoling to someone who realizes that his/her mistake in getting engaged to the wrong person will count as a black mark just as institutionalization would. also how do you "look into the person a bit further?" Do you get a microscope and ask for tissue samples? Somehow I don't think this means you can ask the person him/herself about it, for all these things are presented as "issues" to be assessed before even going out. In my next post, I plan to go over some of the questions that the writer suggests to include "when doing a background check on a prospective date." Note the wording, it is a check to do before even agreeing to meet the person in question.