Women Are Sharing How They Said ‘No’ To A Marriage Proposal (18 Stories)


An engagement is usually time for celebrating—except if the person being proposed to is ready with a no. There are a lot of reasons to reject an engagement: your partner is horrible, you’re both going in different directions, you’re being manipulated or abused, or you’re just not ready yet. In some cases, a later engagement ends on a happier note. In others, it’s clear a bullet was dodged.

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On Reddit, women are sharing the reasons they turned down an engagement.

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And some stories are terrifying while others result in a happy ending.

1. Gang way

“I loved him, If he asked me to get married 3 days before I would’ve said yes, BUT I received a message 2 days before the proposal from someone telling me that he was part of a gang, with proof and everything.” — GalaGalaxy_

2. Ink stains

“He thought asking me to marry him and tattooing ‘private property of _____’ would be a good way to make me forget serial cheating.” — vega_barbet

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3. Snap decision

“An ex, 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.” — Lust-Exe

4. Horror movie vibes

“He brought me up to his apartment about a 2 hour drive from my college. I was basically trapped there. He asked me while he was feeling insecure about the relationship and figured a proposal would lock me in place. I dodged it for a few days, but I needed to get back to classes and he wouldn’t take me back till I said yes. I figured he was a bright guy and would come to his senses eventually. He got me back to school. Eventually he realized that coercion is not a good proposal strategy.” — Selenay1

5. Scared straight

“He proposed as a knee-jerk reaction when we were going through a rough patch. It was a pretty inappropriate gesture and I told him no and why it was a no. He wasn’t being flippant, just turns out he was scared of where our relationship was going. We ended up working on ourselves and were married five years later.” — JennaLS·1d

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6. Cheating fix

“He was proposing to show how he was fully committed and dedicated to me and only me after he was caught cheating.” — WiseFox9850

7. Pawn star

“Sold my great grandmom’s wedding set to buy a gaudy diamond monstrosity of a ring. I had asked him to use the engagement ring to propose with as I would have been the fourth generation to wear it. He said it was ugly and awful and wouldn’t have his ‘woman’ wearing second hand garbage. I dumped his ass and got the set back from the pawn shop. Just realized this was the second time I dumped a guy based on this kind of behavior. I sure can pick ’em.” — Rundoges42

8. Private humiliation

“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.” — pineapplewin

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9. Second chance

“About 3 or 4 months after we started dating he asked. It was a moment…we had a fun night out, a little buzzed, in a cab over the Williamsburg Bridge looking at the NYC skyline, weather was beautiful…I think we were both feeling immortal. But I said, you know…I’m saying no now because we haven’t been dating so long and we’ve had a bit to drink and we’re just caught up in the moment. He seemed dejected. He was still dejected days later. That said, a few years later after we’d been together long enough I said yes and we got hitched so we still got the happy ending!” — omgIamafraidofreddit

10. Bad ring

“I had an ex boyfriend that I hadn’t even seen or spoken to in 3 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 me furious 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 2 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. I used to wonder what would have happened if my stepmom didn’t see his car pull up.” — gubblebumstar

11. Toxic proposal

“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. He started isolating me from my family, and hurting me when I refused to do things for him. 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.” — YourRoyal_thighness

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12. Shark attack

“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.” — SpyJane

13. Grand gesture

“We were both 18 and still in high school. It was around 10 months into our relationship. I broke up with him. I get an urgent call from him to ‘please come over to my house. I need you.’ I was legitimately worried at this point. Went to his house. There was a dress on his bed and a note to meet him at the bay. At this point I’m just annoyed and didn’t pick up on it. I drive to the bay and I walk up to him dressed in a suit. I’m so confused at this point. We sit down to talk and he goes into the speech and stands up to kneel. At that moment I realize what’s up. I quickly stand with him and ask him to stop. I didn’t want to ruin this moment for him forever. We just sat there and cried together. He thought that if he made a grand gesture that I would want to get back together. If anything it showed me he would truly do/say anything to get what he wants. It’s was heartbreaking all around.” — exWiFi69

14. Cracked up

“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.” — Medical_Phone78

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15. Taxing relationship

“Only dating very briefly. He proposed in a restaurant, with a terrifyingly large ring, and provided me a pdf copy of his tax return so I could see he would be a good provider. Everything he did told me 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. He turned into an obsessive stalker and I had to get an AVO in the end.” — pm_ur_tea_n_biscuits

16. Better late

“We were 19 & 21 and had been together for 2 years. He took me to Paris, pulled out all the stops and proposed under the Eiffel Tower. I told him it wasn’t a no, it was a not yet (if he would wait). I wanted to travel and knew I was too young for marriage. We ended up traveling together, making amazing memories through the years – we got engaged when I was 24 and married when I was 27 in the most perfect service and have been happily married 4 years next week!” — Curious-giraffe-1

17. Bad temper

“We were looking at houses, and I had a panic attack whilst he was checking out the bedrooms. And I realised he was the worst person to live with. He had incredible temper tantrums, that he had threatened to hit our future children (if they touched his Dr. Who collection), but no one knew and thought he was perfect for me.” — Bluekagool

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18. Taco ’bout lame

“I was literally breaking up with him because he was abusive, manipulative, and our life goals did not match up (I wanted to get married and maybe have children and he didn’t). I had packed up most of my things while he was at work and when he got home, we had the long-awaited conversation and he pulls out a taco bell hot sauce packet that said “marry me” on it. When I told him absolutely not, he then grabs the keys to his shotgun cable lock along with the ammo and hands them to me and says ‘take this, cause I can’t be trusted with it.’ Implying he was going to kill himself. This was about 5 or six months after my dad had committed suicide.” — martinaadela