Sometimes it takes a proposal to realize he's not the one!
Let's take a look at some women that turned down their SO's proposal and why they did it.
All posts have been edited for clarity.
"We'd been together about a year, and I had made it clear to him that marriage was a big scary thing I wasn't ready for yet. About a month later, we went away for a weekend to one of our usual haunts. I was looking out the hotel window at something when he suddenly said my name. I turned around and he was standing there with a ring, and then asked me to marry him.
I was so shocked and upset that he clearly didn't listen that I ran out into the street crying. I called my parents and one of my friends, all of whom were incredibly angry that he didn't respect my wishes, and wondered what on earth I was supposed to do. I eventually composed myself and went back into the hotel, but obviously, we were both very upset. He said we could just break it off if it was too much, or we could stay together, and he would promise not to mention marriage again. We took the second option.
We did get married a couple of years later.
But it was mainly because he was the least awful partner I had at that point, and I did that dangerous thinking of, well he does some bad things, but at least he doesn't do as many as my other ex-boyfriends.
I was content and thought being happy was a daft Hollywood thing. I also thought I was being mature and grown-up, and wanted to reward him for sort of looking after me when I had been ill a few months prior.
We got divorced about five years ago, and I realize now that not only were we very incompatible, but he was incredibly pushy and always found a way to get what he wanted. He told me later he had planned to propose in the restaurant, so thank goodness he didn't do that."
1. "He thought asking me to marry him and tattooing 'private property of my name' would be a good way to make me forget serial cheating."
2. "He was proposing to show how he was fully committed and dedicated to me and only me after he was caught cheating."
3. "I had a boyfriend cheat on me so many times. The breakup was hard, but then he got activated from the military reserves. I didn’t meet someone new until two months before he came back.
The whole time I was dating the new guy I wanted him back, but he and I weren’t really officially together, and I knew he was talking to another girl the whole time he was gone.
He came back and saw the other girl first. He claimed it was to break up with her and I realized I didn’t like him. He showed up at my apartment, saw me with my new boyfriend, and proposed in a crying fit.
It was horrid.
Three months earlier and I would have done it, but thank goodness for the timing of things."
4. "We had been together for four nearly blissful years, then went long distance for one. A few months prior, when we were long-distance, he cheated on me then dumped me for her. He came back, realized he had made a mistake, and asked me to be with him again.
I took him back for all the wrong reasons and things were never the same again. So when I went over to finally end it, hopefully on good terms, he pulled out a ring. It just fell flat. I told him it was all wrong.
He said later that he realized the moment he did it, it was the wrong thing to do. He wanted me to keep the ring, which was non-traditional. It has been over twenty years and I still love him like a favorite childhood cousin, but I’m glad we never married.
A second proposal happened the same day. While that boyfriend and I were broken up, I got with someone I had been ignoring an attraction toward for years.
We had an intense little love affair while backpacking through South America but I realized he wasn’t the one while he realized he wanted to marry me. We split up at the end of our trip and the wrong reason I got back with my ex-boyfriend was to keep myself from falling for him. I would be faithful, and my attraction to him was dangerous otherwise. There were other, better reasons for getting back with my ex-boyfriend but this was a major factor.
After I broke up with my ex-boyfriend that day, I went to a friend’s house and he was there.
He asked me to go for a walk with him and asked me to marry him. He said he couldn’t imagine a life without me.
I said no because we just weren't right for each other.
He laid on a massive guilt trip which was another clue that I shouldn’t be with him.
I never saw him again after that."
5. "I found out I had been the side chick for the five months we had been together, and he thought that offering to marry me would magically erase the hurt and lies. Then he stalked me for a while and ended up in jail after stalking another girl.
I've also said yes to a guy who proposed around ten times before he wore me down. I later dumped him when the thought of meeting him at the altar made me shudder.
I've said no to a guy who later ended up being the father to my two children, and now refuses to marry me because he 'doesn't believe in marriage.' I should have married him when I had the chance."
"I said no the first time my ex-husband asked me to marry him because my mom legitimately cried when I said I thought he was going to propose. Like, her soul was breaking crying. She said he would make my life miserable and she didn't want me to experience that kind of heartbreak.
I got married to him a few months later because I found out I was pregnant.
Honestly, my mom was not wrong. Everything about our relationship set of red flags. I was twenty-one and he was twenty-seven. We started dating when I was sixteen.
He didn't like any of my friends in high school or college. He checked my text messages all the time. He had me move in with him so he could 'take care of me' during my final stressful year of college but I ended up doing all the housework, cooking, and cleaning. He made decent enough money but spent it all on luxuries for him to the point where we were constantly broke.
After we had my daughter, he insisted on moving away from my family to live in another city.
I had no support and he was absolutely useless at helping with anything baby-related. And then my dumb self stuck around for another eight years.
Honestly, I should have bounced on the second proposal too. So many regrets."
1. "I was twenty years old at the time and had been dating the guy for a few years. He was very controlling and things weren't going great.
We were opening Christmas presents with his family when he asked. He proposed while saying he loved the woman I would become one day. I said yes in public, but no in private.
If you don't even love me now, why propose now? Needless to say, it didn't last long."
2. "I was twenty and he was twenty-six. I was with him since I was sixteen and throughout the years we were together he was abusive and controlling.
When I ended it, I went on my first spring break trip with my friends and he showed up at the airport.
He thought he was cute proposing in front of everyone.
I said no and walked away. I told him if he followed me I would scream for help.
My friends caught on with the awkward exchange and hid me until we boarded.
I found out my mom had been in contact with him because she wanted him as a son-in-law and when he said he wanted to marry me she gave away where I was."
3. "He brought me up to his apartment about a two-hour drive from my college.
I was basically trapped there.
He asked me while he was feeling insecure about the relationship and figured a proposal would lock me in place.
I dodged it for a few days, but I needed to get back to classes and he wouldn't take me back until I said yes. I figured he was a bright guy and would come to his senses eventually.
He got me back to school. Eventually, he realized that coercion is not a good proposal strategy."
4. "A few years back, I was dating this guy. At first, he seemed very kind, sweet, and happy. He was handsome too. I thought he was a great catch, especially as some toxic friends of mine were lowering my self-esteem.
A few months after we started dating, he started changing. It was subtle at first, he would stop spending time with me and blame me for it. Then came the gaslighting and manipulation.
He started isolating me from my family and hurting me when I refused to do things for him.
Eventually, I got the strength to deal with the situation and told him that we were over.
To get me to stay, he hosted a large party with lots of friends and publicly asked me to marry him.
I said no."
5. "My then-boyfriend wanted to marry me because of how much money I would eventually make upon getting into my field.
He then wanted to share a cell phone bill, rent an apartment, and be a stay-at-home dad. While trying to convince me to do the deed with him, without protection. All while having anger issues, and almost hitting me twice. This isn’t even half of what went on.
We dated for three whole months. I left that relationship fast.
I thought he was a good person initially before we dated, which is why even I went out with him in the first place."
"I had an ex-boyfriend that I hadn't even seen or spoken to in three months show up to my parents' house at three o'clock in the morning.
My stepmom would stay up to all hours of the night watching tv so she saw his car lights when he pulled into the side driveway. She came and got me furious he was there and asked why I lied about breaking up with him.
I had to explain we were broken up and I had no idea why he was there. When I went outside he was leaning on his car looking lovestruck and crazy.
He told me that the universe wanted us together and it was cosmic fate. He then pulled out a frat boy bottle opener ring with a cat toy tied to it and told me he had an important question to ask me.
I told him no flat out before he even asked. I pointed at his car and told him to go home.
When he asked why I listed all the things that led me to break up with him including him dropping out of school multiple times and not having a job once during our two-year relationship.
He told me he did have a job now.
When I asked where he worked, because I knew he was lying, he looked me in the eyes and said if he told me that he'd have to kill me.
I had enough and told him to get off my family's property and he left reluctantly telling me he would be back. I never saw him again but I heard through the grapevine that he told others that he had shown up in a tux with a huge diamond ring that I threw on the ground. I used to wonder what would have happened if my stepmom didn't see his car pull up."
"We were dating for about four years and were in our early twenties. I felt unsure about our rest-of-life compatibility and suggested we needed to have some serious conversations to work out our plans moving forward after college. All of the conversations made me increasingly sure we were incompatible. Surprise surprise, they made him increasingly sure about the future and he wanted to get married.
We were literally doing the deed under a lit Christmas tree at three o'clock in the morning and he asked me to marry him.
I said we weren't ready because we had no life plan. He still didn't have any idea what he wanted to do with his life or how we would work out some fairly serious things around our location and jobs.
Eventually, I got tired of saying no to a marriage I didn't think would work, and felt pushed and trapped so I broke up with him.
We remained friends.
I was even a bridesmaid at his wedding a couple of years ago. It was the right choice.
Another guy and I had only dated very briefly. He proposed in a restaurant, with a terrifyingly large ring, and provided me a pdf copy of his tax return so I could see he would be a good provider.
Everything he did told me he hadn't really ever listened to me or got to know me properly. I said yes in the restaurant, to avoid causing embarrassment, and called it all off afterward.
He turned into an obsessive stalker and I had to get a restraining order in the end."
"We were high school sweethearts. Even though we had dated since the second month of our freshman year of high school, I had zero assumptions that we would get married or even stay together after high school. Everyone including him was adamantly encouraging me to follow him to the university he was going to and I was dead set on going to a very different school that everyone deemed beneath me.
Our families held a joint graduation party for us at his family's house after we did the official school walk and diploma thing. I was asked to grab something upstairs from his room. When I came back to the top of the stairs and looked down every member of both of our families was standing on the bottom floor looking up at me expectantly as he knelt at the bottom of the stairs with the ring.
I was shocked. I didn't want to come down the stairs but I did with shaky legs trembling from adrenaline. I started crying which was misinterpreted as a yes and everyone cheered. I grabbed him and ran out the front door. We talked and I told him we weren't on the same page and I just couldn't go back in there. He was devastated. I left the party.
Unbeknownst to everyone, including him, I had planned to leave to work abroad for the summer. I was keeping it a secret so that no one could talk me out of it and I was going abroad primarily so I wouldn't have to deal with more pressure to switch schools over the summer. So when I left the party, I decided that rather than wait to leave until the next morning, I would just get my stuff together and leave then. I was out of the house within the hour having left pre-written notes for everyone letting them know I would contact them when I got where I was going.
Pretty much everyone was livid with me. I'll admit that literally running away from the pressure and continued conversations I didn't want to have was not the most grown-up thing to do, but I still maintain it was the right thing for me to do. How many times can you calmly tell people to let you lead the life you want only to have them not listen to you and tell you they know better, insist you live your life according to their wishes? I had reached my limit and that trip allowed me to assert my independence, find myself and my own voice. I came back a new person and I believe I have had a much happier life for following my own path."
"The first year I was with my ex-boyfriend, I went to Christmas at his family’s place. We had been together close to a year, and we had a lot of problems already. Three months prior to this, I had nearly broken up with him, but we 'worked it out.' Massive eye roll.
His family had this weird tradition, where they watched each person individually open each gift while the rest watched on.
I thought I was done opening gifts and was chatting with his mom on my right when she motioned for me to look to my left.
There was my boyfriend, down on one knee, holding a small jewelry box, and smiling.
I didn’t wait for him to say anything, I just said, 'No! Please excuse me,' and ran out of the house.
His brother-in-law later told me all the color drained out of my face, and I looked at my ex-boyfriend with 'abject terror.'
Anyway, he followed me out of the house and explained that what he was holding wasn’t an engagement ring, but a diamond necklace. He convinced me to come back inside and his family was nice, but there was definitely tension for the rest of the night.
We ended up staying together for two more years, and actually did get engaged later on, but it was an incredibly poor decision, and I’m very relieved that I did not actually marry him."
"I was in college and had been dating a guy for a few years. At first, I was pretty excited about the prospect that we would get married eventually.
A year in, I went through a hugely bad time in my family and he wasn’t supportive. I was working and supporting my parents while helping care for my dying grandfather, but he got really mad at me when I didn’t have time to talk to him.
He had gotten used to always being together on campus and summer break absolutely killed him. He was possessive and angry all the time. He tried to blackmail me by threatening to tell my parents we had done the dead because they were adamantly for abstinence before marriage.
When I told him we needed a break, he texted a picture of the ring he had bought me and asked what he was supposed to do with it now.
We dated for another year, and he kept bringing it up but I never could get to a place where I trusted him.
During finals, I had to block him and hide in the stacks because he wouldn’t leave me alone and followed me all over campus.
In the end, I had become good friends with someone in a class and he treated me better even just as a friend so I completely disengaged from the relationship. I never actually dated that guy. I don’t know what my ex did with the ring.
His mom was pretty cut up about it too. She sat me down for a long talk about how I had been unfaithful for being friends with my classmate. I took the berating and then didn’t look back."
"I was a year out of high school, nineteen, and still living with my parents while I worked and went to a cheap local college with a plan to transfer to a different school with a program I was really keen on out of state. I was sort of going out with this guy for three or four months but when I say going out, we weren’t really even doing that. He kissed me two or three times and mostly I told him I wasn’t really interested in him like that because I was about to leave to go to another state.
Things came to a head when my parents and I asked him to take care of our cat while we were out of town for a week. He did not feed the cat and the cat ran off. He did use my stereo which I had told him not to do because I was in the middle of painting it and it did not have any ventilation. He burned out the amp. So he lost my cat and broke my stereo.
When I got back, I called him furious about the missing cat and broken stereo. He had no idea the cat was missing.
I ended up getting him back from the neighbor our cat had convinced to feed him.
He tried to claim the stereo was broken when he got there. He then demanded to know if I was still planning to leave the state and yelled at me for being mad that my cat was neglected and my stereo was broken.
I was like, ‘Yep.’
And that’s when he proposed.
My immediate reaction was ‘absolutely not.’
He insisted on giving me a ring and I was like, 'I’m nineteen. I’m not marrying you, you idiot.'
I pawned the engagement ring to pay for the repair to my stereo and of course, dumped him. I gave him the pawn slip so he could get back the ring. It turned out that it was actually supposed to be his sister’s given from an aunt she had been really close to. She ended up paying to get it out of the pawn shop.
I never told my parents, or anyone else, he proposed."