People Who Were Declined When They Proposed Share Exactly What Happened

Proposing to the love of your life is considered, by many, to be among the biggest moments of your existence. The hope is, obviously, that you'll receive a yes. However, there is always the chance that the sting of rejection will needle into you like the dart, as you find your loved one saying, nope! 

Thanks to everyone who contributed their stories. If you would like to check out more, be sure to check out the sources at the end of this article. Comments have been edited for clarity. 

I proposed after 7 months of dating and she said no, as it was too soon. I agreed and put the ring in a safety deposit box and told her that if she changed her mind, it's there for her. After 2 weeks, she said yes, and we decided to have a long engagement period, (2 years), so that we could be sure. We've been married for 37 years.


My dad proposed to my mom the night he met her. The way they explain it, they bared their souls to each other that night. They talked for hours, uninterrupted. And even though my dad wasn't looking to get married, he just knew. She said no, but did say yes to another night out.

He proposed again. She said no, but again, accepted another date. This went on nearly daily for 6 months.

One night, my parents played Scrabble against each other for the first time. My mom loves Scrabble. She kicks people's butt up and down the block, and this is a woman who takes pride in being well read enough to serve as a quick reference thesaurus. After a hard fought game, she lost for the first time she could remember. And my 105 pound, 5 foot nothing mother swept the board and pieces off the table, sending them flying across the room. She looked at my dad and said in a fury, "Fine, I'll marry you!" My dad responded, "Uhhh. I need to think about it."

He thought about it, and barely 8 months after they met, my parents married in a tiny chapel in Vegas. They celebrated 23 years this year.


Not denied during a proposal, but I'm 99% sure she realized I was going to propose, and bailed before I had the chance.

Eight years and change together, everything seemed totally fine, we talked about a future together plenty of times, engagement rings, jobs, housing, kids. The job and housing parts were going forward, and she had shown me rings and talked weddings plenty, so it felt like it was time to finally do that. I bought a ring, tried planning some neat trips to take her on for an awesome proposal, they kept not happening. I finally decided I was just going to do it around New Years, but right before that, she bailed. The timing was just too perfect for her not to have figured it out.

I never really got an explanation, just the general, "I love you but I'm not in love with you."

One of those kinda generic statements that you hate to get, especially after so long, but at the same time I'm sure there was plenty of legitimacy to it. We met when we were young and we grew into different people. People change a lot between the mid teens and mid twenties.

We tried to maintain a friendship for a while after that, but it was super hard for me because I was still totally into her. I had to basically drop off the map entirely for a year or so, because we shared the same social circle and I just got so incredibly uncomfortable around her. No hard feelings at the end of the day. It sucked, but it wasn't like something awful happened between us. Eventually we just stopped talking. She drifted to a new social group, I got back in mine, life goes on. Definitely not where I expected to be at this point in my life, though.


I was with a girl for just over 5 years. When we met, she was in a bad place. The guy she was with before me was really abusive. So it was tough in the beginning, because she had major trust issues, self esteem issues, and depression. But, I went and fell in love with her. I helped her get over a lot of the mental anguish she was going through. We lived together for four of those years.

On our 5th anniversary, I proposed. I was madly in love with her, and I assumed she was with me. She said yes!

Then, a few months after that, I got off work a bit early, picked up her favorite fish and chips for dinner and headed home.

Long story short, I walked in her in bed with some other dude. Both naked. They didn't even hear me come in to the apartment.

I'll skip the details, but within two days of that happening, she was gone. All her stuff was out of the apartment. Half of MY stuff gone from the apartment, including my cash stash that was several thousand. She took my TV. A bunch of my kitchen stuff. She kept the ring. She took my DOG, man. Took the dog.

And I haven't seen or spoken to her since. That was just about 3 years ago now.


I proposed after 3ish years of dating and one year of living together and she said no. I was offering her my great-grandparents' wedding ring. That was Friday night. By Sunday night, after a trip to her parents, she came back and told me that she was gay. That was 22 years ago.

Since then, I have been married for 16 years to the next woman I dated. My wife has the wedding ring that I offered to my ex. The gay girlfriend has been with her partner for nearly 22 years. I have a daughter and they have a girl and a boy. I love them and they are just the best people ever. This is a bullet we both dodged.


I proposed to my girlfriend after she got off work on a Monday with her favorite meal prepared, and the apartment all lit with candles, rose petals on the floor after having had a special weekend together. 

She said No no no! No! NO! when I asked her to marry me as she came in the door to our apartment.

She worked in the medical field and had puke all over her.....

She showered and said yes.


I was proposed to and said no.

After 4 weeks of dating he got down on his knee with a HUGE diamond ring and said a huge speech along the lines of, "When you know you know. Will you marry me?"

Since I barely knew the guy I flat out said no, followed by, "Sorry...are you okay?"

He didn't speak to me for the rest of the night and then when he dropped me home I told my roommate about it. As I was telling her about it I get a text from him - YES A TEXT - saying, "You've broken my heart. I never want to see you again. Goodbye. I love you."

We were both 22 at the time.


She said no, because she didn't think we were ready yet. She was a Senior in College, I had graduated but hadn't found a good job in my field.

After graduation, and her getting a professional job, (and me getting a not quite so crappy job).

We got married exactly 1 year later, on the Anniversary of the day she said no the first time.

19 years and 4 kids later, it's going pretty well.


She said no. I got a dog and a case of beer and lived happily ever after.


I proposed after dating my girlfriend for two years. I was about to graduate college and move away, and she was a year behind me.

I had the ring, everything perfectly planned, we discussed our future together. When I proposed, she initially said yes. About half an hour later, she seemed off. I asked her if anything was wrong, and she said she needed to think. We talked for awhile, and then she said she changed her answer. She said we were too young, she wanted to be on her own for awhile, to be independent, etc...

Jokes on her though, because now we're married.

To explain, we stayed together afterward and another year later I proposed again, that time with a longer lasting success.

I just thought; if Turk from Scrubs, an incredibly immature, selfish guy, can endure being rejected multiple times by the woman he loves, then I think I can at least maintain the same level of persistence in reality.

For some added embarrassment, I proposed on day 2 of a 5 day trip we were on together. That, in retrospect, was poor planning. Trip was fun though!


After a Christmas vacation, we were home and I asked her about marriage. "I don't want to marry you. I never wanted to marry you. I never will marry you." followed by a thirty minute speech about missing her single life.

I died a little inside, honestly. 

Eight months later she moves out. Three months after that she is begging me to take her back, she wants to get married, she wants to own a house. And I'm just too hurt to believe her.

Therapy is helping. But a five year relationship died that day. And I miss it, but I'm not sure I miss her anymore.

Her addiction and alcoholism played a major role in her choice and feelings. She had, apparently, been using for a few months and kept it hidden. If you need help quitting heroin, go find it. It messes up more than just your life. The people you hurt the worst are the ones you love the most. And that love for you may never end, but how much they care for you just may.


Not my story but the best one I've ever heard....

My friend's parents met at a bar down the shore. Her dad was wild about her mom, but it was unrequited. She slept with him anyway, just a one night stand, and ignored him after that. Until, she found out she was pregnant.

He was over the moon and she was intent on having the baby. He tried to be with her, but she consistently refused him. He proposed to her several times, ending in eye rolls and exasperated no's from her each time.

After 9 months, she went into labor and let him come with her into the delivery room. Just her and this guy who had been begging her to marry him. A few hours into labor, the doctors started to notice something was wrong. The baby's heartbeat was slowing rapidly.

The mother started to panic, but the father stayed calm. He stayed with her and communicated information from the doctors. But there was little anyone could do. She delivered a stillborn.

After everything happened, my friend's mom realized she had found her soulmate. They finally got together and are still married to this day.


I'm the denier.

I'd been dating this girl for 6 months, and it was going pretty well. We hardly ever fought, but when we did it was hard for us to get back to normal.

At a good point, she said, "I feel like I should pop the question". I have absolutely no poker face, and she instantly saw that I wasn't on board. As a child of the 80's, ALL of my friends had parents were divorced, and I'd made an oath to myself that I was just going to be married once. I liked this girl a lot, but I wasn't convinced yet that what we had was going to last forever.

So, we stayed together, went to couples counselling, and learned how to fight. It sounds strange, but I can't tell you how effective it was. We learned that my conflict pattern is to constantly work on a problem until it's solved, where her pattern is to blow off steam over time. The result was that I would keep conversations going when we fought, and would basically chase her around, keeping her mad and blocking her attempts at breaking off to cool down. I learned to just let her be mad, and check back in later, and she learned to say, "I just need to be by myself for a bit". It worked.

Our 'good relationship with rough fights' turned into 'great relationship with mature, low drama fights'. Conflicts that used to hang a dark cloud over the house for days were now resolved in hours. At that point, I felt comfortable enough to say yes to a year long engagement.

....and we've now been married 18 years, have supported each other through thick and thin, and are raising two awesome kids.

The ONLY regret I have is that we ended up without a proposal story, as it was effectively negotiated over time. I did get on my knee and present a ring at a fancy dinner, but even then it was a ring we'd picked out together, as she was a jewelry smith.


Mine was more of a, "[poop] or get off the pot" deal. We had been together on and off for five years.

She kept coming back and telling me she couldn't live without me, then get sick of my crap and drop me for a few months at a time.

(And make no mistake, I was a no-esteem whiner back then).

She knew I am the marrying type, but she could not commit. Finally, after I had moved into my own apartment away from roommates, she asked to move in. I basically countered with a marriage proposal, knowing in the back of my head she would likely say no.

That's what happened, and we never got back together. 18 months later, I met the woman of my dreams and now we have been happily married for over 15 years.

Worked out just fine, thanks.


My good friend was dating this guy for nearly two years.

I could tell things were getting a bit stale with them. One day, when we went out to get lunch, she told me that she was going to break it off with the guy.

She seemed far more stressed about hurting the guy. He was an alright person in my book, but anywho, she is telling me how she is going to do it and was asking for advice.

Right in the middle of me giving her some input, the guy comes in and looks a bit frantic, she must've told him that she was going there to meet me.

He musters up the courage and walks right to our table, completely ignoring me, gets on one knee and pulls out the ring. The dude was shaking so much, and I was in awe of the worst timing ever, that my mouth was open in shock. People around were excited, so everyone gathers around the table starts cheering, the guy asks my friend and my friend just got up and walked out to her car and drove off.

I almost died from second-hand embarrassment. All I remember were the gasps and snickering from the people near me, and he just sat in her place, looking crushed. I didn't know what to say. I felt kinda bad so I just got the check and gave him a pat on the back.

He is doing better, the last I heard, this has been about a year now.

My friend is still recovering from the whole ordeal.


My dad proposed to my mom after they'd been seeing each other for just under two weeks. She laughed and basically told him he was out of his ming, that it was way too soon. My dad said, (and he is very proud of this fact), "Fine. I asked you once. I'm not gonna ask again." My mom thought he was bluffing. After a year of dating she started giving him a hard time about not asking her to get married again, and he stuck to his guns and said she missed her chance and he wasn't going to ask again. My mom finally broke down and asked him to marry her. She made a big show about asking his father for permission, got down on one knee in public, got him the gaudiest engagement ring she could find. He said yes, and they just celebrated their 30th anniversary.

NOTE: I guess I could have done a better job of conveying the spirit of my dad's initial proposal, because some people seem to think it was a serious thing where he actually got down on one knee, but it wasn't anything like that. My mom and dad were planning their next date, trying to figure out if they could go do anything after he got off of work, and he said, "Hey! I know! We could go get married!" He was serious but he framed it as a joke because he knew it was ludicrous. She thought he was joking but kind of suspected he wasn't, said it's too soon but, you know, feel free to ask again later. My dad kept up his joking tone when he said he wouldn't ask again, hence why my mom thought he was just kidding when he wouldn't ask again. It wasn't at all framed like an ultimatum, but he really enjoyed reminding my mom of the fact that he'd already asked her to marry him whenever she nagged him about when he was going to get around to proposing.


Happened a couple years ago. Me and my partner had been seeing each other for about eight months. Though we loved one another and I felt we had a strong relationship, we hadn't yet gotten around to talking about marriage much.

What led to me proposing was a mini meltdown over a slew of family and acquaintances seemingly all getting married or engaged at the same time. This led me to a sudden realization; I was approaching thirty and nearly everyone in my life around my age were already married. I know that's not a good reason to get hitched. But when you get to be that age, things change. You start thinking long-term. You start looking in the mirror at yourself a little more closely. You realize you aren't going to be around forever.

So one night, after much wine and sex, I proposed. Didn't really plan it out that much. We were listening to the Dirty Dancing soundtrack on repeat, as was custom. "She's Like the Wind" came on and I got to thinking about Patrick Swayze and how he died and Jennifer Grey and how her career died. It just got me really sentimental. I sort of blurted out "Hey, let's get friggin' married." Not romantic, I know.

Well, my partner was pretty stunned at first, but then levelled with me. She said they didn't really picture us together in the long term. She wanted to keep it casual, apparently. I said I'd put my blood, sweat, and tears into our relationship. Our respective levels of emotional involvement were simply vastly different. It was a huge blow for me. Not as big as what came next, however.

My partner said it might be a good time to take a break for awhile. Just to re-evaluate things. I agreed, but held out hope that we still had a future together. When they didn't see me or even text for a month afterward, I knew it was over.

So what was the end result?

Well, I took a few days off from my job at a food store and life in general to spend some time working through the grief and quietly reflecting on things. And by that I mean I drank copious amounts of boxed wine, watched hour after hour of Hallmark movies, ate nothing but Flamin' Hot Cheetos with my right hand, all while softly weeping into a pair of dirty underwear, which was the only item of clothing my partner left behind.

By the sixth such day, I began to feel a painful, cramping sensation in my upper abdomen. Turned out to be a precursor of diarrhea. Not just any diarrhea, though. It was of an orange-red hue. Since my loose stools are traditionally a light shade of mocha, I knew it was time to visit a physician.

During my exam, I filled the doctor in on all my recent activities, making sure to leave out not one bit of information, even the stained undies. He considered what I told him for a minute, then told me the first thing I had to do was stop drinking for a few weeks. I told him I would definitely not drink anymore alcohol whatsoever before eleven in the morning unless it was a holiday, like Thanksgiving or Fourth of July or Black History month or the year of the rat. He gave me a funny look, like he was rethinking some of the choices he'd made in life, then continued with his diagnosis.

It turned out that the discomfort I had suffered was brought on by the Cheetos. Apparently, consuming Flamin' Hot in excess can give one acute gastritis. 

In the days that followed, my symptoms cleared up for the most part. I felt healed enough, both emotionally and physically, to return to work and also to the dating pool, as well. Yes, I kept eating Flamin' Hot Cheetos, but I made sure to dip them in sour cream before taking them into my mouth, for safety. Much easier to digest that way, plus it keeps the Cheetos "dust" from turning my fingers, lips, and privates orange.

So what have I been up to since?

I downloaded a dating app called "Tinder." Even though I'm new to it, I think I'm actually pretty good at this whole "online dating" thing, (though I might simply be experiencing the Diane-Kruger effect). Most importantly, however, I'm fine with not being married and just being me, because no matter what my partner took from me, they didn't take away my dignity. That's the greatest love of all.


Thanks for reading!


"It wasn't me!"

There's not much you can do when the righteous fist of the law comes down on you. Call it a mix-up, or call it a mistake, if someone's pegged you at the scene of a crime there's not much you can do but trust the justice system to prove you innocent. However, that's a gamble, and just because you've been given a "not guilty" doesn't mean the effects won't follow you for the rest of your life.

Reddit user, u/danbrownskin, wanted to hear about the times when it wasn't you, seriously, it was someone else, when they asked:

Redditors who were once considered suspect of a crime they did not commit, what's it like being held under suspicion and how did it affect your life?

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