11 Men Reveal Exactly What It’s Like To Propose To ‘The One’ And Get Flat-Out Rejected

1. At Least She Was Truthful

I asked her 3 months after she got out of hospital, after a serious car crash (just herself, at a highway which nearly killed her). We had been dating for 4 years and it was in the park. She said no in a small voice, amidst the squirrel chirping.

I won’t lie, it did sting big and it did suck for a while. But I don’t hold it against her. Better to get a truthful ‘No,” then a lying “Yes,” which sets it up for divorce later. We broke up after a few days. Haven’t spoken to her in years, but I hope she’s healed well from the trauma.

2. He Wasn’t Rich Enough

Not me personally, but my roommate moved to Alabama for a while and dated a chick for 2 years. Her family was super rich, she was gorgeous, so of course he fell head over heels for her. He dropped 5 grand on a ring, proposed to her at a Bama game, and she straight up told him no, and that he should actually move away because he had no future where he was living, which he did the very next day.

3. Sometimes Cold Feet Freeze Over

When I asked my ex to marry me, she said yes. It would have been better if she had said no.

We’d been together since our late teens, for 10 years. By the 5 year mark I knew I wanted to marry her. I had convinced myself she would say no if I didn’t have my career together, or even my own mind right. So I spent sometime focusing on progressing in those areas. Even progressed in us, mostly. A few times she said that if I had asked her to marry her she’d say no. Sometimes she wasn’t ready, sometimes I wasn’t.

Then she started dropping serious hints that she needed it, so I started planning. I spent months budgeting out a ring (we were always pretty broke), figuring out HOW. I could never keep a secret from her, so I didn’t ask any of her friends things. I knew her, I didn’t need to know anything else about asking her to marry me. I had to own this, this had to be a strong commitment.

So is asked her. I gave her the best ring I could afford, and she said yes. We went out for a fabulous dinner. This was just after our 10 year anniversary.

She didn’t want to tell any of our friends. Any of our family. That should have been a clue.

7 months later we broke up. She’d been having doubts since before I asked her. I actually broke off with her because I found out shed been lying to me for months, and betraying me for at least one.

Of all the times in our relationship that she had more balls than me, they apparently went away that one night.

4. She Left For An Older Man…Then Called Me After He Dumped Her

We had been together off and on for about 4 years. We were in our longest and best on-period, and I proposed. Told her I wanted her to be my wife and the mother of my children, etc.

She frowned and said, “Well…I’m kinda dating [guy friend I met once] and I think he’s the one.”

[Guy friend I met once] was in his late 40’s. She was in her mid-20’s. She called me up a few months later after he got bored of her. I laughed at her.

5. If She Says No Then It Basically Ends The Relationship

We’d been dating for about 4 years, with plenty of good times and plenty of bad times, but with the assumption that we were in it for good. We were about 25-26. Unfortunately I wasn’t the best at communicating (this whole experience really kicked me into gear working on that), and so I asked the question before we had flat out discussed marriage. I asked while we were at home, nothing special but it just felt like the right moment (yes, I did have a ring, it was well planned in that regard).

Initially, her answer was yes, but by the next morning she’d had time to think about it and decided that she wasn’t ready yet, which I understood and so we put the ring on a shelf and I told her that the ball was in her court, to just let me know when she was ready. In retrospect, I think her answer was always yes, and she was just waiting for me to bring up the conversation again, but as the months and years went by without anything happening (remember that whole being bad at communicating thing?), I felt the distance between us growing, I formed some resentment, but mostly I just stopped feeling that way about her. I felt stuck and trapped and didn’t know how to fix it. I’ve had a couple years to think about it now and I really do think a lot of it came down to that looming marriage thing that made me feel like nothing was moving forward with us, but at the time all I knew was that it didn’t feel right.

So unsurprisingly in the end we did break up, and while we were talking about it when the issue of the proposal came up it came out that she was waiting for me to bring it up just as I was waiting for her. Too late at that point, and I’ve since found a girl I do love, but I still get irritated about that relationship, partially because after all the time I put into it nothing came of it, and partially because as I gain more distance and understanding of what happened, it was such a stupid reason for things to end, that could have been remedied so easily if we’d just talked. Not to say we didn’t talk, but never about what we needed to.

6. She Felt She Was Living A Lie

I asked my SO to marry me after out 2 year anniversary. We had talked about marriage extensively, and I was sure she was going to say yes. I spent about a grand on a ring, which was a lot for my income. I proposed when she came home, and she said yes. I was overjoyed. I was going to marry my first girlfriend, and my best friend I’ve ever had. I told my family and friends, and immediately started planning the event. We were just going to have a small wedding, and not spend much money. About a month before the wedding, she told me she didn’t love me anymore, and was living a lie by staying with me. I moved out that day, and haven’t quite been the same since. Suffered severe depression and anxiety for months after. I would’ve preferred a simple no.

7. To Love Is To Want What’s Best For Them Even At Your Own Expense

I proposed to a girlfriend of a few years. Wanted so much for it to work. It was in public but I was discreet. She didn’t give a super emphatic yes and just kind of went along with it, which worried me but I wasn’t going to raise an issue if she was going along with it. She did seem happy about it and told some people.

Eventually I saw the writing on the wall and could feel the conflict within her, because she knew how much I loved her, how much I’d done for her, how I selfishly expressed that I needed her. I broke things off and let her go. To love is to want what’s best for them even at your own expense, I live and die by this.

8. Proposed For All The Wrong Reasons

In hindsight it was a pretty jerk move for me to propose.

I was 26 and had been dating this girl (let’s call her Mona) for 9 months. She had moved to my town for work and we’d met when a friend of mine had brought her “new colleague from out of town” to a BBQ another friend was having. I had just come out of a relationship in which I had strong suspicions I’d been left for another guy (turns out I was wrong). I was keen to date in general, as in it didn’t have to be a specific girl, just anyone, to prove to myself I still “had it” and to prove to my ex she’d made a mistake.Mona was just keen to meet people in general, I think.

Looking back the nine months we spent together was nice but that’s about it. There was no deep closeness, the kind you feel when you find someone you think is “the one”. We were just comfortable, our lives and friends supported the existence of the relationship.

A few things combined led to my proposal:

  • Mona was offered a promotion at work that would move her back interstate – she was going to take it.
  • We attended two weddings together which had been fun and romantic in the way that makes you forget that weddings are really stressful for the people involved.
  • People in my life (friends and siblings) were all pairing off and I was scared of being alone.

When I started to plan the proposal I guess I was doing the whole thing with blinders on. In my head there was no option for a negative response. You don’t hear about that very often and I guess I thought that just me making the decision was all that had to be done. It’s almost as if I completely erased her from the equation. In my foolishness I thought the timing of the proposal was romantic and grand but really it was the worst timing ever.

I proposed to Mona at her own farewell party. Most people she knew were my friends and they were all there (about fifteen people). I didn’t tell anyone I planned to propose. Mona and I hadn’t even discussed how we would manage our relationship once she left. I’d bought a ring at a sale at the local mall (I later discovered she only wore silver and the ring was gold). As I’m writing this I’m getting really annoyed at myself for not hearing all these alarm bells.

So, after a nice group dinner I got up for my big moment. I had a bit to drink for the nerves which didn’t help. I rambled for a bit, I guess it just seemed like a bad farewell speech. A friend later told me he didn’t know why I was trying to be so formal, he thought I was farewelling her like a colleague. Mona was politely smiling for the whole thing but wasn’t particularly moved. It occurred to me as I neared the moment that in order for me to do the down on one knee thing I needed her to stand up. So I asked her to stand and she just shook her head and said, “no no I’m fine” or something like that (I still wonder whether at that point she sensed what was coming). Her girlfriend sitting next to her kind of shoved her up to standing. I was a bit lost at this stage trying to fumble the velvet box out of my pants pocket and in my pause she started to raise her glass in order to wrap me up I guess. The others at the table started to raise their glasses too. I got the box out and dropped down on one knee, knocking over my chair with my back leg as I did so a waitress came over to pick it up.

What I remember then was me saying “marry me?” but in this weak kind of quiet voice. One of my friends started to clap but then stopped. Mona kind of looked horrified, she still had her glass up and was craning her neck to look down at me. Then she bent down to me and said in my ear, “is it ok if we talk about this later?”. She didn’t even look at the ring. I had not prepared for that. I just got up awkwardly from my knee, using my hand to push me up on the table which tilted in and a spilled a few drinks that people tried to save. Mona sat down then quickly went to the bathroom with her girlfriend.

The rest of the night passed in a weird haze. I drank a lot more. No one was talking (at least to me) about what just played out. I had a long rambling discussion with some guy I barely knew about the war in Iraq. Mona came back to the table but we didn’t talk.

Mona called the next day. To her credit she wasn’t cruel. She just said she wasn’t ready, she was moving, she didn’t know I felt that way, she apologised. I was pretty numb. I knew we were breaking up. Even though I had thought I would spend my life with her the day before I didn’t put up any fight. We only saw each other a couple of times after that just to exchange belongings. We didn’t speak about the proposal.

Only a few friends have ever brought it up with me and no one has tales about it for years. I don’t see or hear from Mona anymore, as far as I know neither do my old friends. Thankfully, no one has ever brought it up with my now wife (whom I proposed to alone, after we talked about it and from whom I received an ecstatic yes much to my complete joy). I think I haven’t told her because I realise it was such a jerk move. I was proposing to trap Mona into staying because I didn’t feel like being alone. It wasn’t about her or wanting a family with her. The idea of a wedding sounded nice, not like a massive commitment. It was so different with my wife, and I never wanted to taint her view of how important that moment was when we decided to marry with this completely foolish thing I did.

9. Just Devastated

I’m still trying to figure out what to do. It was 3 months ago – I’ve been depressed in a way that I don’t really understand. Normally after a breakup or some tragedy, I am able to redirect my negative energy into something constructive. This time is different. This time I don’t even have negative energy to do anything with. It’s just sadness. We had an incredibly strong bond – the kind that you’d hope to have with someone you would spend the rest of your days with. It’s incredibly difficult to break; it’s exactly what you’d want with a partner. I miss her like crazy.

She says I know where to find her whenever I feel better, without even considering what it would do to me. This is what happens when you fall in love with someone who is emotionally stunted; medicated or otherwise.

10. Unbelievably Awkward

It was really awkward. I wanted to do it with all of our family around because I thought it would be super romantic so I did it during a party at a lake (our fathers work together and the company owns property on a lake nearby). We were out in a row boat with her parents and my parents. I asked her to marry me and she said no. About a minute later my mother started crying. And then one of the fucking oars fell into the water and I had to swim after it.

11. He Thanked Her, Eventually

We broke up.

To be fair, my proposal was an inexplicable, knee-jerk reaction to her concurrent attempt to dump me at the time. For me, it was truly a “What the hell were you thinking???” moment.

We became friends again later, and after I married the woman who really was the perfect fit for me, I sincerely and gratefully thanked my ex for saying “no.” And she smiled and told me, “You’re welcome.” Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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