These Marriage Proposal Rejection Stories Are Just Awful

In Depth

It’s always interesting to see the common threads in response to the Pop The Question topics. This week, you shared your stories of saying no to a proposal of marriage; one scenario, in particular, surfaced over and over and over again: The old we were broken up, he swooped in with a ring to win me back chestnut.

Now then, it’s only fair to note that sometimes that works. I know a couple who have been happily married for a decade after just such a proposal. But generally speaking, and after reading so many of those types of stories, it’s also fair to say that proposing marriage to “fix” a broken relationship is probably not the best idea.

Of course, there were many, many stories that didn’t fall into that category. Some were very, very funny. Some were much less funny. Let’s get to them.


My husband died. I moved on eventually. Some British nobleman tried wooing me. I fell for him. We boned in a Liverpool hotel. He asked me to marry him. I said no, and then cut my hair short.

Brene Brawn

We had been on a date and a half (the half date was he had asked for a ride home from something else, and then asked if we could just go to my place to watch a movie. I was too spineless to say no). He left shortly after to go to school out of state, and called me to tell me he had “received revelation” that we were to be married. No ring. No fanfare. Just good old fashioned patriarchal religious dominion.
My twenty year old self noped his number out of my little existence.


The other night my roommate and I were discussing how awkward sporting event proposals are. She then told me the story of a friend who was proposed to at a big time professional event. Jumbotron and all. So of course she had to say yes even though she was mortified. And then had to breakup with the guy a week or so later, because that had been her intention all along, but was just trying to find the right way to do it.


We had an horrid relationship, the last 2 years [were without] sex. We had already broken up, I came to my apartment to find him inside it, lucky me the guy I was having sex with was waiting for me at a part several blocks away, Called my best friend because I wasn’t going to be alone with my psycho ex…
I was screaming a him when He told me I was a bitch and I owed him at least taking a look at what he had for me… a huge engagement ring (I’m guessing the size of his guilt) If I have ever been close to murder someone that was the moment, I was so angry that I just laughed and laughed like a maniac, then screamed at him how he had beaten me and raped me more than once and how I wished he would go and jump from a bridge… He was crying I enjoyed it then I went to my party and did drugs and have sex for 2 weeks straight.
And yes I’m seeing a therapist

Fire In The Hole

We were both 22 (he was maybe 23), and it was February, time for responses to grad school applications. We had been dating (the kind of dating you do in college) for about a year. He received his acceptance from a prestigious design school in the NE that morning, and evidently spent the day romanticizing/fantasizing our lives (without my input). We had never talked about even sharing rent, much less sharing lives.
He gathered about 20 of our friends in a bar and after many many shots, decided it was the time to make this grand exposition of our “love”.
He silenced the bar, got down on a knee – ring in hand. There was much prose recited – all to make him seem like Romeo and only making me feel like I was in the audience watching it all. He proposed. I managed to say No but in a way that I thought was going along with the farce. Fifteen minutes later I screamed NO while we were outside where he wouldn’t be so embarrassed.
Epilogue – he failed out of the prestigious design school and pawned the ring to make rent until he could move back to his hometown.


We dated (or not, based on his “we’re just really good friends” explanation to coworkers and friends) for five years – with a few short breaks wherein he dated on other woman and my sister(!). He asked my to marry him right before he was to move away to take a new job. I realized I would end up miserable or in jail for murder if I married someone for whom I would never be good enough. I said “no.” He married the first woman he met and dated at his new job. He also worked with her. My sis “friended” him on FB. After everything, I’d rather not.

Ooof. What, I ask you, is wrong with people? My cringe muscles are begging for mercy after the workout they’ve been subjected to this week!

But let’s end on a high note, shall we? This week’s best story goes to corgis_for_PM:

I came back from the doctor and said I probably couldn’t get pregnant without a lot of help – help I’ve decided I didn’t want. He hugged me, said it was OK, and asked me to marry him. Right there, in the hallway, with a litter box not 2 feet away. I said no.
I said yes a year later while we were picking out broccoli.

Image via Shutterstock.

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