June 9, 2023 | Casey Pino

Heartbroken People Who Had Their Marriage Proposals Rejected Explain What Happened

For some people when their partner finally asks the big question, that special moment can be the best of their life. But for others, it might not be such a welcomed surprise.

When you're in a long-term relationship, there comes a day when you have to decide if this is the person you want to spend your life with. Here are stories of marriage proposals that didn't go exactly the way they planned. Keep reading to find out just how disastrous some of the proposals actually are.


Don't forget to check the comment section below the article for more interesting stories!

#25 Just Need Some Time To Think

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 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.


#24 Sometimes Fear Stops Us From Following Our Hearts

8 years ago. It's been 8 years. We had known each other for 5 years, dated for three and a half. Every single day I saw her was the best day of my life. We met while working at a pizza chain and had gotten close at work. I eventually worked up the courage to ask her out (even though it was awfully frowned upon as she was a driver and I was a manager). She said yes and we went to a party together and literally didn't talk to a single other soul that night. I was hooked.

We dated for a year and then moved in together. I can still see her face perfectly, even that long ago. Her family was wonderful, her father an esteemed professor at a nearby college and her mother was a cancer survivor with a heart of gold. Everything just seemed to fit. And I knew that I wanted to be with her forever. After dating for 3 years, I finally popped the question. I had set up a normal night in, ordered a pizza and had a nice little night in. We had a cat, Triumph, a nice little apartment, the whole shebang. I had tied a little pillow with the ring onto Tri and sat her in the other room while my lady was in the bathroom. When she got back, I called for the cat and she came in, pillow and all on her back. I proposed and she burst into tears, saying she was sorry and ran out of the apartment. I tried desperately to reach her, through family, friends, any way imaginable. I finally heard back from her sister after 3 days. Her entire family knew and I was apparently, I was the only person out of the loop. She was diagnosed with a very aggressive terminal brain cancer, just 3 days prior to me proposing.

I was gutted. For so many reasons, but I could understand why she didn't tell me. After I had proposed, she told her sister that she had decided not to put me through that but I didn't care. I would have stayed with her to the end of the earth. I tried night and day to contact her to no avail. She died just 5 weeks after I had proposed. I have never felt more lost and alone than I did at her funeral. Her family was very comforting but it was awful.

I went into a deep depression for a very long time afterward. Went from job to job, not showing up for days on end. I dropped out of school, lost a lot of my friends.

I know now that she kept it from me to try and save me the grief of losing her. But there's nothing in the world I wouldn't give to go back in time. Just to hear her say "Yes".


#23 Who Says The Guy Has To Propose?

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 crazy, 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. Made sure she properly did it, too. 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.


#22 Learning How To Fight To Save A Relationship

I was 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 who'd 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 counseling, 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.


#21 Man's Best Friend

She said no. I got a dog instead and lived happily ever after.


#20 Just Let Me Shower First

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 is shy and promised to say no if proposed to in public).

She said No no no! No! NO! NOOOO! 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.


#19 Fifth Time's a Charm

The same guy proposed to me 5 times. I finally agreed, and the day before we were supposed to get married, I got horribly sick. I was mortified. He sweetly sat in the living room playing music while everything I'd ever eaten in my whole life came pouring out of me at Mach 5. It was so rotten that it made me cry.

Now I don't usually subscribe to the whole "if you can't handle me at my worst" mantra, so I was well prepared for him to pack his bags and surrender me and the apartment to the bacteria in my gut that had so clearly taken charge of our lives.

He married me anyway, that sucker.


#18 Bullet Dodged

I proposed after 3 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.

Image result for gay marriage

#17 You Missed Your Chance, Sweetie

After a Christmas vacation, we were home and I asked her about marriage. She replied, "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. Tried to make it work but I realize now I stopped trying after that. 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.


#16 First Rule: Don't Be A Player

My parents met in high school. My dad was the new kid and my mom saw him get off the bus, walked up to him and said "That jacket looks warm!" and he said, "Wanna share?" She jumped into the jacket with him and they walked around like dorks sharing a jacket. They were best friends for 5 years. My mom watched my dad be a huge player and fall head over heels for and date nearly every girl in school, but they were just friends.

They used to always kiss each other goodbye on the cheek, but one day when they were about 21 he snuck a real one from her. She was taken aback, and he confessed he was in love with her and had to be with her. My mom was like "Yeah sure you definitely 'love' me and aren't just bored but sure, let's date."

They dated for 2 years and my dad proposed 6 times. My mom always said no because she just didn't really believe he would ever be able to settle down. Finally, he got her a custom-made opal ring and planned a romantic proposal, and she said yes! They had a beautiful backyard wedding and built their dream life together.

I married my husband last year on their 30th wedding anniversary.


#15 You'll Miss Me When I'm Gone

I turned down a proposal using the excuse that he was didn't know what he was asking. He did, but I knew he was serious. I drove him home and tried the old 'I want to be friends' speech but he shut me down. He said if I didn't love him he would just have to get over me. And he got out of the car and walked away.

A day later I realized what an idiot I was being and I called him.

Tomorrow is our 26th anniversary.


#14 Not A Way To Ring In The New Year

Not denied during a proposal but 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, etc. 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. Bought a ring, tried planning some neat trips for an awesome proposal, they kept not happening. Finally decided I was just going to do it around New Years, but right before that, she broke up with me. Timing was just so perfect for her not to have figured it out.

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 I guess 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.


#13 What's Meant To Be, Will Be

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 decent 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.


#12 Timing Is Everything

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 anyhoo 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 that I was 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 if gasps and snickering at the people near me and he just sat in her place looking crushed. I didn't know what to say. I feel kinda bad so I just got the check ASAP 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.


#11 Oh Brother!

She said no and then confessed that she had been sleeping with my brother. It ruined the trip a bit, to be honest.


#10 Maybe It Was Worth The Wait

From South India.. proposed her and got rejected right away. The reason is her parents won't accept the marriage outside their caste. Long story short, I waited and she accepted me after 3 years. Took another 5 years to convince both our families. Married in 2011 and expecting our 2nd child next month.


#9 At least She Was Honest

My mom had been going out with my dad for a few weeks. One day she said to him, "We're getting married."

He said, "I'll have to think about it."

She said, "It wasn't a question."

Last week they celebrated their 48th anniversary.

Image result for marriage

#8 And They Lived Happily Ever After

In 1988, I asked the love of my life to marry me. She said no. In a funk, I left town and went on with my life. Married another girl, had a son, years went by. My marriage was pretty bad, so after 16 years we divorced.

My friends convinced me to join Facebook; they said it would help meet girls and stuff. A few months into Facebook, I get a message from the past. The love of my life had also married, had kids, and divorced. This is 25 years after my proposal and her rejection. There's a lot more to the story, but six months after that first message on Facebook we were married and I was happy for the first time in decades. We are still going strong, with our 6th anniversary coming up in a few weeks.


#7 "Doooon't Do it"

Dated this girl off and on for 12 years. Most recently we had been together 6 years. We're on a trip to the Philippines and we're swimming in this beautiful lagoon. I decide it's the perfect setting to propose. I begin with "hey baby" and she must have heard it in my voice because she turned around and said, "Ddoooon't do it". Took the wind out of my sail real quick. She eventually said yes a few months later in Australia.



#6 I'll Be Here When You're Ready

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.


#5 Don't Forget Your Towel

I asked her twice, over the course of 5 years. She said no twice, so I told her I wouldn't ask again.

5 years later she proposed to me in a hotel called 42 (I'm a huge "Hitchhiker's Guide" fan) using an iPod (I'm also a huge gadget fan).

I said yes.

Married for 12 years now.

1920x1080 px 42 The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy

#4 Love At First Sight

My dad asked my mom to marry him the moment he met her. Not joking, I swear. My dad was an Air Force captain and my mom a civilian worker when she became his secretary. Dad had a ring in his pocket for his girlfriend as he was going to propose that night. He decided to "practice" on my mom, who flat out said no. Apparently, she elaborated with, "Not while I'm your secretary and before the first date!"

Dad dumped the girlfriend, mom transferred, they dated for two years, then she said yes.

They celebrated their 13 1/2 anniversary when he passed away from cancer 14 years ago. Every moment prior was filled with happiness and love.



#3 That Wasn't The Way It Was Supposed To Go

My friend proposed with a ring his girlfriend had picked out. She said no, but kept the ring as a promise ring.

They are now happily married.


#2 Don't Scratch The Paint

My dad proposed to my mom in the 8th grade. It was her first day after moving from out of state and her first class. When she sat down he walked over and said, "I'm gonna marry you." She said, "No, go away." They didn't see each other beyond that class till they were 19.

He saw her when he was "cruising the strip" at Sonic (that was the cool thing to do, park at sonic while the car train turned around) asked for her number. He had no paper so he scratched it on the roof of his 69 Mustang (it was primered).

They have been married with 3 kids for 37 years now.

Also years later, my dad saw his old Mustang painted candy red and you could still see my moms name and number plain as day.


#1 She Said Yes!

Just asked my girlfriend of 5 years this weekend and got left on my knees for a solid minute or two of back and forth before she finally said yes (we won't tell anyone except our immediate family).

How it turned out? I went from madly in love with her to question why I'm still with her.

marriage proposals



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