How To: Say No To a Marriage Proposal


I know what you’re thinking, Is she heartless?!  It’s not the kind of post you expect to see on Valentine’s Day of all days, but this can come in handy.

Just because a woman chooses to hold off on marriage, it doesn’t mean living in solitude, without a significant other. That’s where problems can arise. Obviously, your life-plan should be made clear to your partner, but just in case they lose their mind and try to be spontaneous, be prepared.

Believe it or not, there was an wikiHow for this very situation.

Declining Politely

Request time to think about it. If the proposal comes from someone you genuinely care about, and you just aren’t sure if you’re ready for marriage, ask them for time to think about it.

Consider why you’re in the relationship. If you decide that marriage, ultimately, is not your goal but your partner disagrees, then it’s probably time to break things off anyway. If you do see matrimony as a possibility, then you will have to handle matters gently to avoid causing lasting hurt feelings.

Be firm and honest if you decide on “no.” Proposing to someone is a stressful thing to do, and you likely care deeply about this person. Kindness, sensitivity, and honesty will go a long way in making your refusal less painful to them.

Ask them to wait, if you truly are not sure. It may result in some hurt feelings, but you can overcome those with time, and if they truly love you, giving you a little time will not change that fact.



Refusing a Public, Surprise Proposal

Give unsubtle hints that you would not like a highly public proposal. The time to prevent the ballpark jumbotron proposal is before it starts. If you see a public proposal together on a television show or movie, say something along the lines of “Wow. I would absolutely hate it if someone did that to me. It’s so tacky.”

Do your best to recover from the surprise quickly. If you do receive a proposal in a highly public setting like a ballpark, it’s very likely that many sets of eyes, and even cameras, are watching your every move. Every second you take to get over the shock adds to the tension. Identify a way out. Look for a door, a concourse, or even a natural barrier like trees or bushes. Having an escape route available will help reduce feelings of panic

Quickly ask them to go somewhere private to talk. You want to get out of the public eye in an expeditious manner so you can talk things over with less pressure. Do your best to control your body language and facial expressions, and suggest to your partner that “I would much rather talk about this privately,” or that “I want to answer you, but I’m too nervous in front of all these people.”

If they won’t move, say “no” quickly. Consider giving them a hug while you do it, and do your best to keep a smile on your face. All eyes are on you. Spare their pride and feelings if you can, but if that becomes impossible then your best move is to get things over with as quickly as possible.

Get out of there. Regardless of how well (or disastrously) your refusal went, everybody in the immediate area is going to recognize you and maybe even ask you about what happened. Don’t give them the opportunity.



Rejecting an Unwelcome Proposal 

Give a firm, but polite, “no.” If someone you do not have a particularly close relationship with proposes, or you are receiving repeated proposals despite rejecting them, the time for ambiguity is past. You are under no obligation to worry about hurting the feelings of someone who is stalking or harassing you.

Keep your distance. While it may not always be possible, staying away from the source of unwanted advances can stop your troubles before they start. In this instance, a text-message rejection is not only appropriate, it may be advisable.

Ask a friend to be with you for support. Not only can they provide you with emotional help, they’re also available as a witness to events and a deterrent in case things go badly. Make them fully aware of the situation. They need to know what they’re getting into.

Be prepared to call the police. In some cultures refusing a proposal can be downright dangerous, especially for women. If you think there is a chance of violence or other danger, be ready to call for help.

Read More: wikiHow to Refuse a Marriage Proposal

Bonus Tips from an old eHow that doesn’t exist anymore:

1. Try to head the situation off before a critical point. When the hints start flying, take that opportunity to voice your own opinions. Explain how married life does not fit into your current plans, and how much you are enjoy your independence.

2. Explain that declining the proposal does not indicate a desire to end the relationship, if this is someone you want to continue dating. Be honest. If you simply don’t feel ready for such a big step, tell him so. Don’t sidestep the issue by asking for more time to assess the situation.

3. Do not string the person along if you don’t feel that you have a future together. Leave him free to find someone else. Tell him that you just do not feel that marriage is possible for the two of you. Let him down as gently as possible, and be prepared for any backlash that may result from your refusal.

4. Do not let yourself be pressured. He may decide to pop the question in public, or even in front of your family and friends. While he might be even more hurt when you turn him down in front of everyone, do not let that guilt make you say yes. It will just be awkward when you have to later explain why your engagement was so short.

5. Be prepared to lose the man as a partner and as a friend. Such a refusal can be a serious blow to the ego, and the man may decide to alleviate the humiliation by cutting all ties. Give him time before trying to establish a friendship, and know that it may not be a possibility.

Featured Photo: Pixababy

Author: Resourceful Girl

Beauty isn't always pretty. Careers aren't always successful. And sometimes life is a big fucking mess. Get resourceful.

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