Women Are Sharing Why They Rejected Marriage Proposals & Oh My, The Tea Is Scalding
If your love life is about as nonexistent as your weekly gym routine (guilty!), then there’s a good chance that you thrive on hearing all about your friends’ messy dating shenanigans.
Terrible dates? Bad breakups? Awkward sex? I want to hear IT ALL. But there’s nothing quite as juicy as stories of people rejecting marriage proposals. While we have been indoctrinated (from mostly rom-coms) to think that when someone asks you to marry them, you say yes, sometimes it just doesn’t feel right. Whether it’s the wrong guy, the wrong setting, or the wrong timing, rejecting a proposal might feel awkward at the time, but it can save you from a lifetime of misery.
Over on r/AskReddit, a user asked the question ‘Women of Reddit who were proposed to by their significant other and said no, what’s your story?’ and the responses are quite the rollercoaster. The tea, the tea is scalding.
We’ve rounded up some of the best.
Women share why they rejected marriage proposals:
(Some posts have been edited for clarity.)
1. This man who tried to make his partner split the cost of the ring.
“Was 18 and had just graduated high school when the guy I dated on and off since sophomore year texted me that he wanted to marry me. Assumed it was just a flirt thing people do but he wasn’t joking and called me.
“It blew my mind because he was so serious about it. He said, ‘let’s go pick out a ring and have dinner.’ I asked why would he ask to marry me without a ring, he said because he wasn’t ‘wasting his time’ trying to find something when I could do it myself. Oh, and we needed to go half and half on my ring.
“I turned him down obviously and we argued for a week straight then broke up for good. Met my soon-to-be husband two months later. The ex ended up dating my friend’s little sister who was in high school (he was 19, she was 17) and did the same thing to her. Not sure how that’s going for them.”
2. This man who said he loved the woman she “would become one day”.
“Dating a guy for a few years. Was 20 years old at the time. Very controlling, wasn’t going great. We were opening Christmas presents with his family when he asked. He proposed while saying he loved the woman I would become one day. I said yes in public, but no in private. If you don’t even love me now, why propose now? Needless to say it didn’t last long.”
3. This man who showed up at a woman’s parents’ house at 3am.
“I had an ex-boyfriend that I hadn’t even seen or spoken to in three months show up to my parents’ house at 3am. My stepmom would stay up to all hours of the night watching TV, so she saw his car lights when he pulled into the side driveway. She came and got furious that he was there, and asked why I lied about breaking up with him. I had to explain we were broken up and I had no idea why he was there. When I went outside he was leaning on his car looking lovestruck and crazy.
“He told me that the universe wanted us together and it was cosmic fate. He then pulled out a frat boy bottle opener ring with a cat toy tied to it and told me he had an important question to ask me. I told him no flat out before he even asked. I pointed at his car and told him to go home. When he asked why, I listed all the things that led me to break up with him — including him dropping out of school multiple times and not having a job once during our two-year relationship.
“He told me he did have a job now. When I asked where he worked — because I knew he was lying — he looked me in the eyes and said if he told me that he’d have to kill me. I had enough and told him to get the hell off my family’s property and he left reluctantly, telling me he’d be back. I never saw him again but I heard through the grapevine that he told others that he had shown up in a tux with a huge diamond ring that I threw on the ground.”
4. This man who proposed with his tax return.
“Only dating very briefly. He proposed in a restaurant, with a terrifyingly large ring, and provided me with a PDF copy of his tax return so I could see he would be a good provider. Everything he told me proved he hadn’t really ever listened to me or got to know me properly. I said yes in the restaurant, to avoid causing embarrassment, and called it all off afterwards.”
5. This man who proposed at their joint graduation party.
“We were high school sweethearts. Even though we’d dated since the second month of our freshman year of high school, I had zero assumptions that we’d get married or even stay together after high school. Everyone, including him, was adamantly encouraging me to follow him to the university he was going to, but I was deadset on going to a very different school that everyone deemed beneath me.
“Our families held a joint graduation party for us at his family’s house, after we did the official school walk/diploma thing. I was asked to grab something upstairs from his room. When I came back to the top of the stairs and looked down EVERY MEMBER (grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, siblings, parents) of both of our families was standing on the bottom floor looking up at me expectantly, as he knelt at the bottom of the stairs with the ring. I was shocked. I didn’t want to come down the stairs but I did, shaky legs trembling from adrenaline. I started crying which was misinterpreted as a yes and everyone cheered. I grabbed him and ran out the front door. We talked and I told him we weren’t on the same page and I just couldn’t go back in there. He was devastated. I left the party.”
6. This man who proposed to get the woman to stay.
“I told him things were going downhill and I wanted to end things, so he decided to propose to me (thank god not in public) as an attempt to get me to stay. I said no.”
7. This man who proposed at 4am after a night out with his mates.
“He went to see a movie with a friend, and he forgot to hit ‘send’ on the text that would’ve informed me that he was just going to be out really late and was not, in fact, dead or something. (I had some serious anxiety back then.)
“I had to work at 5am, and he didn’t come home until around 4am. Apparently he’d had a very serious discussion with his friend, and he’d decided that he wanted to marry me. So he asked me. Right then, at 4am, an hour before I had to be at work, and after I’d spent several hours laying awake thinking of all the horrible ways he could’ve died. (Anxiety is a bitch, OK?) In retrospect, I get the sentiment, but it was a really dumb time for a proposal, so I told him to go f*ck himself.”
8. This man who proposed after dumping the woman over and over again.
“Ex asked me over lunch to marry him. He’d broken up with me about once a week for the last few months over nothing. He had serious emotional/mood issues that have now been diagnosed but he was just a really difficult person to be around in general. I started laughing because it was just absolutely ridiculous, he asked why I was laughing and I brought up how he broke up with me every single week. He flat out said he wanted to get married because then he knew he wouldn’t be able to leave, as if that stopped people from just getting a divorce??? We broke up for good not long after this but the whole thing was bananas.”
9. This woman who proposed in front of a crowd of people at an aquarium.
“A girl I was casually dating — not even in a relationship with — proposed in front of her toddler, niece and nephews, and a LARGE crowd of people at the aquarium. Even asked her nephew, ‘Do you want OP to be Auntie OP?’ with the ring in hand. I said yes in public and then no privately. Never saw her again after that one.”
10. This man who didn’t actually propose.
“The first year I was with my ex, I went to Christmas at his family’s place. We’d been together close to a year, and we’d had a lot of problems already. Three months prior to this, I had nearly broken up with him, but we ‘worked it out.’ Cue massive eye roll. His family had this weird tradition, where they watched each person individually open each gift while the rest watched on. I thought I was done opening gifts, and was chatting with his mom on my right, when she motioned for me to look to my left.
“There was my boyfriend, down on one knee, holding a small jewellery box, and smiling. I didn’t wait for him to say anything, I just said, ‘No! Please excuse me,’ and ran out of the house. His brother-in-law later told me all the colour drained out of my face, and I looked at my ex with ‘abject terror.’ Anyway, he followed me out of the house, and explained that what he was holding wasn’t an engagement ring, but a diamond necklace. He convinced me to come back inside and his family was nice, but there was definitely tension for the rest of the night. We ended up staying together for two more years, and actually did get engaged later on, but it was an incredibly poor decision, and I’m very relieved that I did not actually marry him.”
11. This man who proposed with a tattoo.
“He thought asking me to marry him and tattooing ‘Private Property of OP’ would be a good way to make me forget serial cheating.”
12. This man who proposed at a party despite the fact he had been dumped already.
“A few years back, I was dating this guy. At first, he seemed very kind, sweet and happy. Handsome too. I thought he was a great catch, especially as some toxic friends of mine were lowering my self-esteem. A few months after we started dating, he started changing. It was subtle at first, he would stop spending time with me and blaming me for it. Then came the gaslighting and manipulation. Eventually, I got the strength to deal with the situation and tell him that we were over. To get me to stay, he hosted a large party with lots of friends and publicly asked me to marry him. I said no.”