14 People Share What It's Like to Say 'No' to a Marriage Proposal
"I told him to put the camera down and gave the ring back when we landed."
A marriage proposal is a high-risk proposition, as you can never be certain what your partner will say— even if you’ve flown in their estranged great aunt or have arranged for Seal to serenade them in front of thousands of people.
Here’s what 14 people who rejected a proposal have to say about the whole experience. It’s pretty awkward.
1. “I was proposed to at the captain’s dinner on a cruise ship in front of the entire dining room. We had discussed marriage, and we had both agreed we weren’t ready, just two weeks beforehand. I said ‘yes’ so as not to embarrass him, then when we got back to the room told him ‘no’ and confronted him for putting me on the spot. We got into such a violent argument that we had security called on us and were forcibly separated for a night because the neighbors were afraid for our safety.”
2. “When I was 16, I dated a guy who was 18. We weren’t serious or anything. Just fun group-type dates. One night completely out of the blue, he proposed. I was so shocked I just blurted out, ‘No.’ Then he spent the rest of the date trying to convince me. I told him I was way too young to even think about that.”
3. “It was my sophomore year of high school, and we had been dating for two months. He legitimately asked his mother for his grandmother’s wedding ring, and she agreed to give it to him so he could propose. Beautiful ring, crazy family.”
4. “I caught my then-boyfriend talking to another girl online and confronted him. To prove his love, he asked me to marry him, to which I replied, ‘Next time you propose to a girl, you better be on one knee, have a ring in your hand and you sure-as-hell need to pronounce her last name right!'”
5. “My mom said ‘no’ to my dad twice. And the third time, she was just like, ‘Okay. He’s persistent; I’ll give him that. What do I have to lose?’ They had two kids and then divorced and now she hates him, and he’s secretly still in love with her. It’s weird.”
6. “We were pretty young, both 18, and he was going through a lot of emotional upheaval because his best friend had committed suicide just six months before. I felt incredibly bad for him, and turning him down was super awkward, despite how crazy it was that he was even asking. I haven’t even spoken to him in over half a decade, and sometimes I wonder where he is and if he’s doing any better now.”
7. “My ex contacted me via text a couple of days after Thanksgiving, asking me if we could get married and run away together. When I told him that was a little strange, he lost his mind, accusing me of judging him. And that is why I said no. That is also what made it incredibly awkward.”
8. “My ex asked me to marry him (we weren’t together at the time) at work though IM so he would have someone to write home to when he left for the military. I said ‘no’ because that’s stupid, and he had been seeing his ex while seeing me. He left soon after, and we never spoke again.”
9. “I said ‘no’ because you don’t get engaged to convince yourselves you have a stable relationship that will make it for the long haul. You get engaged because you’re already convinced you will. A ring is not a magical relationship Band-aid.
10. “I said ‘no.’ Twice. To the same man. We had only been together a few months, and he’d been married more than a few times before. The first time I said ‘no,’ he cried and cried and cried. A couple of hours later, he asked again. I again said ‘no,’ telling him it was too soon. Then I let my mother get in my ear with her ‘don’t let this one go’ bologna. I said ‘yes’ the third time, on the condition our engagement lasted a year. He and my mom steamrolled me, and we married a couple months later. I put him on my health insurance, and he had three surgeries that he’d put off because he couldn’t afford it, then moved in with our realtor. He was engaged less than two weeks later. Our entire marriage lasted eight months.”
11. “My ex proposed to me prematurely. I did see a future with him, but we were only 18 months into our relationship. He was in a bind. He had an incredible career opportunity across the country, and they would fund a move for him and his spouse. Without that funding, I could not make the move at that point. I thought about it for a few days and decided that it wasn’t the right choice for me. He told me I was wrong and walked away. I have no regrets at all.”
12. “We had been together for one month, and he proposed in a sea plane on my birthday. It was a surprise, and he was short $75 for the plane when we got there, so I had to spot him. He brought out a ring and asked me to look into the camera and say what was happening ‘so we can replay this moment at our wedding.’ I told him to put the camera down and gave the ring back when we landed.”
13. “I said ‘no’ because it was a game for him to keep me around. I knew our first big fight he would throw it in my face. I wasn’t going to put up with that.”
14. “I said ‘no’ to her. She was nice, but I had never met her. It was just as weird for her. We were both 18 at the time. Say ‘no’ to arranged marriage. I’m glad my parents chilled out after that.”
All posts have been edited from Reddit for length and clarity.