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    Women Share Why They Rejected Proposals, And I'm Begging You To Avoid A Public Proposal If You Can

    "When I wanted to get married, he wasn't ready. When I told him I was leaving, he asked purely out of desperation. This happened twice."

    A proposal can be a pretty emotional experience, especially when you don't get the answer you're looking for.

    Reddit user u/dinnsposable recently asked, "Women who said no to a wedding proposal, why?" Here are some of the top-voted responses:

    1. "I enjoyed dating him, but he knew I didn't want to get married before finishing college. I also saw how he and his father often treated his mother disrespectfully, and I wasn't going to marry a guy like that. So when he showed up with an engagement ring, I said, 'No, thanks.'"


    2. "I said no because I was barely 19 and he was 29 with a kid and financial issues. It smelled fishy."

    Engagement ring on a hand

    3. "I said no because he was proposing to save a doomed relationship. His family was worried that I was going to leave him (which I was, but because he was controlling and abusive) and were planning on a family vacation where I would be trapped by his proposal to say yes in front of all of his family. I was warned about this by his younger sister, who didn’t like me. Thankfully, COVID hit and ruined the trip. I stayed at my mom’s house for the weekend and planned on ending things when I came back. As soon as I told him I couldn’t do it anymore, he started crying and begging me to stay. He pulled out the ring from his pocket and proposed."


    4. "I felt the relationship wasn’t a two-way street. I went above and beyond every single day to try to make his life as happy and comfortable as possible because I loved him so much. He wouldn’t make the tiniest effort to do something kind for me. I knew I was done when I sliced my finger almost to the bone, and he wanted to have sex and go to sleep instead of allowing me to go to the ER for stitches."


    5. "I said no to my now-husband. We had been dating for about a year, and we were serious. I knew at that point that we would likely get married. However, for whatever reason, we hadn’t actually discussed it, and I hadn’t put a lot of real thought into it. I was just enjoying dating him. When he asked me, it took me 150% by surprise. I freaked out and said no. Thank the lord this was before it was common to photograph a proposal. After we had time to calm down, he asked me if we were still a couple and if he needed to return the ring. I explained that I was just very surprised and I did love him. He proposed again at a later date. We’ve been married for almost 10 years."

    Couple celebrating their wedding

    6. "They shouldn't have asked. I didn't want to marry them, they had no reason to think that I would, and our relationships weren't anywhere near the level where asking would be appropriate. These were genuine proposals from people who actually wanted to get married to me and who incorrectly thought it was an appropriate situation to ask that question."


    7. "I said no because I realized I was far from ready for marriage AND I had a gut feeling he wasn’t the right guy."


    8. "He was kind, he cared for me, and he treated me well. But he had a lot of unresolved trauma that he didn’t want to seek help for. I kept hoping he would, but he just didn’t want to. It would creep up in our relationship in certain ways, and I knew the pressure of a life together would only make it worse for both of us."

    Proposal showing an engagement ring in a box

    9. "It kind of felt as if he was doing it to fix our relationship after he cheated. I told him to hang on to the ring for when the time was right, but it never happened after that. I actually broke up with him. I recognized I could move on from the past, but he couldn’t and wasn’t happy with me. It just wasn’t meant to be, either way."


    10. "He was 10 years older than me, and we had only been dating for six months when he proposed. I didn’t have enough dating experience to recognize that he was lovebombing me. Looking back now, I can see the signs were really obvious; he was not subtle or unique at all. Thank goodness I realized that being with him made my chest feel tight with stress, not excitement. If I was going to get engaged, it should bring me happiness."


    11. "I knew that the proposal was out of fear of losing me or, rather, losing the things they benefited from. I was a great partner to them (not perfect), but I essentially added a lot of value to the relationship, and they wanted to keep that without providing the stability I needed in the relationship."

    A proposal on the beach

    12. "I was 20 and he was 22. He had an unhealthy codependency with his best friends, who were a couple. We were friends in high school, but we’d only been dating for about six months. Right after I broke it off with him, he got married to a girl we seriously had just met like a month earlier. They divorced, and now he’s married to the woman from the unhealthy codependent-besties sitch, so I was right."


    13. "He thought we were dating, I thought we were friends. He thought I was a 'waiting for marriage' type of girl; I thought he knew I was queer. He proposed at a mutual friend's party and I said no. He got angry, and to prevent a brawl, some of the larger guys threw him in the pond."


    14. "When I wanted to get married, he wasn't ready. When I told him I was leaving, he asked purely out of desperation. This happened twice."

    Hands held up "no" in response to hands holding an engagement ring

    15. "The only men who have ever proposed to me have proposed based only on what I could do for them. None of them loved me. Most of them probably did not like me. But they knew I was someone who moves mountains for the ones I care about, and they wanted to put me to work. I made that mistake once; I will never do it again."


    16. "I was in a relationship for nine years. We lived together for six of those years. It was fine. We didn’t fight. There was no drama. Just…fine. We went on a vacation together, and by the beach, he pulled out a ring and proposed. I said no. At that moment, I immediately pictured our 'fine' relationship being forever, and I couldn’t do it. It made me realize that 'fine' isn’t good and that not fighting isn’t being in love. I felt sick, and all I could imagine was a mediocre life I didn’t want. We broke up instead."


    17. "I turned down my now-husband twice. I loved him (and still do), but I wasn’t ready. Have to hand it to him, because he persisted and would ask me about twice a year. There were a few things I wanted that weren’t yet present. Once I saw what I was looking for, I accepted. We've been married 30 years."

    A bride-and-groom wedding cake topper

    18. "He broke up with me and thought that proposing six weeks later was going to be the way to get me back. I wouldn’t even let him get down on one knee before I rejected the proposal."


    19. "The one and only proposal I've ever gotten was from a guy I only dated for two months. He was seriously the cutest and sweetest person imaginable. I just apologized to him and said that he moved way too fast and I wasn't even remotely ready to settle down. He did go on to get married to another girl, so I'm happy for him."


    20. "We were from two different cultures, and I knew that marrying me would cause his family to cut him off completely. I knew he was already torn by his decision to stay, for now, in the US, and I knew that feeling as if he was forced to stay forever would eventually cause resentment. He understood and later thanked me for taking the decision off of his shoulders, and sent congratulations when I got married and when we had our son."


    21. "This is going to sound so vain and shallow, but I promise it’s deeper than that. When my ex proposed and I said no, it was because of the ring. It was nothing like me. We’d been together for six years, and when I saw the ring, it all came together that he doesn’t listen to me and we weren’t compatible at all. I’d spent years ignoring things because 'I love him,' and our relationship should’ve ended a long time before it did, but the ring was the light switch for me."

    Close-up of a diamond engagement ring

    Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.