You really have to put yourself out there when you propose. To ensure you won't get a "no" from your significant other, check out these stories from people who did all the wrong things in the big moment.
I Love You But I’m Moving to Africa
I had planned it for the day after this past Thanksgiving. She has been out of the country for the past 6 months for work, and I was going to make the day about her. Spa reservations were made for a massage, nails were to be did, and salon reservations were made for her special hair cut for super curly hair. I was going to take her to the Mayors Christmas Tree Lighting (we live in Kansas City, MO), walk across to Union Station where I had reserved a private room for supper at a fancy restaurant with 5 course meals and wine pairings, where we would enjoy a meal and privacy together in one of our favorite places. After dinner was to be coffee and a walk up to Liberty Memorial where we could look at the skyline of our favorite place on earth. While this was to be happening her parents and my parents would be setting up a stool, some candles and my guitar, where I was to play and sing the first song that I ever sang for her once more (Alive by Adelitas Way), and then I would pop the question. We had both talked about marriage many times and knew that we both wanted the same things, so I felt that, after 3 years together and 6 years of friendship, it was time.
Unfortunately the day that she returned, the Monday of Thanksgiving week, she broke up with me because she wanted to take a 2 year job in Africa. We cried, we hugged, we were miserable, and she went home with both of us a mess. I’m not mad, I don’t hate her, and I want her to succeed and be the greatest like I know she can be. I was able to cancel the reservations and return the $4000 ring, dealt with the embarrassment of having to return said ring, and picked out a brand new Gibson Les Paul. (Source)
Try to Imagine the Movie of This One
I never “formally proposed” but got “No” a bunch of times over several years. Her job involves frequently divorcing people and she sees a lot of sh_t, so I can’t blame her. Finally she proposed to me.
At a nudist resort.
On stage in front of about 150 other naked people.
And that was the first time either of us have ever been to a nudist place. (Source)
Get a Dog? Get Married? Same Thing Apparently
I’m on the opposite side of this. Thank god I figured out before we left for dinner that he was acting weird, because it prompted him to propose right then and there. We’d never even talked about getting married. He defended himself afterwards by saying that we’d talked about getting a dog together at some point in the future. We broke up not too long after. (Source)
Some People Are Just Romantics at an Early Age
The day of was just a culmination of a false sense of bravado and the feeling of “going for it”. I still look back and cringe some nights.
Basically, this girl and I had been through a lot together. Known her most of my life. We always hit it off, and it felt (to me) that it was getting serious. I had hit this stage where I felt like I was like, more grown up than I was? I dunno…was wearing my favorite outfit that was giving me so much confidence (basically imagine the coolest leather bomber jacket ever. I would get so many compliments on it from people). So, with the adrenaline flowing through me and a pretty big swagger factor going on, I decided to go for it during the trip to our homes where we first had met. The whole ride we made small talk, typical stuff- gossip about friends, interests, that sort of thing. When we got to her stop, I tilted my head towards her, and with a REALLY sh_t eating grin, said “Will you M-A-R-Y me?” She spelled it out, looked surprised, and RAN out, yelling “I have to ask my parents!” I was so f_cking embarassed. I almost cried, especially when I realized I spelled “marry” wrong. Kindergarten was terrible the rest of the year. (Source)
Who’s Says No But Keeps the Ring?
I was with this chick for about three years and I was about to head off to basic training for the military. I thought it would be a good idea to propose (19 y/o and dumb) but little did I know that she was not happy with my decision to join. She said no and we broke up. I kept the apartment with her in hopes that she would change her mind…she didn’t change her mind but found the ring I left with my parents for safe keeping and started wearing it. When I got home she lost it on a trip. I broke up with her for it and that was that. (Source)
Would You Say Yes to a Proposal this Pathetic?
My ex-husband caught me completely off guard, we had been together less than 6 months. I said yes but I was really disappointed with the proposal. Always dreamed of a romantic private proposal. Instead he handed me a ring while I was sitting on the couch at my parents house flipping through tv channels. (Source)
Heartbreaking Reason to Say No
Sadly, the answer was no because my “other half” was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Otherwise, we would’ve sealed the deal. (Source)
Maybe She Said No Because She Knew What Was Coming
She dumped me right before our trip to Florida. I was going to propose to her on the Universal Tour, when Jaws popped out of the water. (Source)
Would You Proposal To Someone Who Already Said No?
On the other end of it and really never made it to the actual proposal, but I had a boyfriend who was planning on flying us to Disney World to propose to me there. This was after I had expressed more than a dozen times that I’d never consider a marriage with him (due to differences in life paths that we wanted). I even directly said “honestly if you ever proposed to me, I’d probably say no”.
My thinking brain kicked in before the trip actually happened and I was like “if I don’t want to marry this guy after three years together, why am I still here?” So I ended it. He ended up showing me the ring and telling me all his plans afterwards in a last ditch effort to get me to stay.
Looking back, it was a huge bullet dodged but I feel bad because I let the relationship go on for so long without any intention of marriage. A combination of personal issues I needed to work out and an unhealthy dependency on companionship by both parties. (Source)
Whatever You Do, Don’t Drop the Ring
One night my boyfriend drunkenly confessed he wanted to get married. I was shocked and told him I never wanted to get married again but was happy with him and wasn’t going anywhere.
2 years later, he proposes out of the blue while we’re wading around in a waterfall in Hawaii – and promptly dropped the ring in the water! Luckily I was able to fish it out, then I put it on and said, “thanks!” He just stared at me like, “well…?” I laughed and said yes and we got married 4 months later. Somehow the whole thing was so perfectly ridiculous that it made me realize that we were going to be together forever anyway, we might as well celebrate it! (Source)
If Your Would-Be Fiancee Starts Crying, Take It Seriously
Christmas day ’13 we where having christmas with my folks. Presents are basically complete, but I tell her there is one more hiding in the tree. I go to grab it and pull out a tiny box with a ring and propose to her. She looks at me with a slight pain in her eyes then starts crying and runs out of the room. I found out later she had cheated on me the night before, while I was finishing up a shift at work. (Source)
A Promposal Can Be As Traumatic As a Proposal
Okay, not a marriage proposal but still pretty embarrassing. I was a junior in high school and had a super crush on this girl, lets call her Maddie, that had been my friend for about 3 years. I had just recently realized that I liked her as more than a friend so I decided to pull out all the stops to ask her out to prom.
My uncle was the athletic director of the school and was thus in charge of setting up school assemblies before games and such. Our assemblies always ended with “challenges”. So the day comes and I’m set up to do the basketball shot challenge in front of the whole school. Layup, freethrow, three pointer, and half court shot, I got 3 chances per shot and if I made one of each I got some giftcard for like $100.
I had been preparing for this assembly for awhile as my uncle assured me that I’d be selected to participate in the challenge. So I begin. I easily make the layup and freethrow. At the three point line I miss the first shot but drain the second. Once I get to the half court line I miss both the first and second shot, as I had planned (but also because those shots are so hard). Before I take my final shot I wave my arms and tell the guys running the loud speaker to stop the music. My uncle hands me a microphone and I go,”Before I take this last shot, I wanna make it a little more interesting. I don’t want the gift card” Students gasp “If I make this shot I want to ask a certain someone an important question.” students gasp even louder
So I hand the mic back to my uncle and prepare myself to take the shot. Let me tell you, it was dead silent in that gym. My fingers actually started trembling and sweat was pouring down my face. I shoot. The ball flies towards the goal and it looks to be on target. This is the shot I had been practicing for the past two weeks and I had gotten somewhat good at it. It hits the back of the rim and bounces up into the air. You hear every student groan. Then like a freaking movie, I can’t make this up, it falls from the bounce straight into the net. Cheers erupt from the stands like I just made the game winning shot at the state championships.
I grab the mic from my uncle and try to get everyone to quiet down and then I begin, “So, for awhile now I’ve been friends with someone that I find perfect in every way. She’s beautiful, funny, smart, and loves classic rock more than my dad. And I’ve been trying to find a good way to do this, so without further ado..” That’s when the giant sign that I had painted dropped from the rafters. MADDIE WILL YOU GO TO PROM WITH ME?
Everyone goes crazy and forces Maddie to come down to where I was, she was smiling and laughing so I took it as a good sign. She comes up to me and I give her the mic and she says with a smile, “I’d love to but I’m going with my boyfriend from Douchebag High! I’m so sorry FilHeights!” Instant silence again. Luckily I’m somewhat quick on my feet and wanted to make light of the situation, so I took the mic and go, “It’s fine (lol) Hey, Mrs. Stephens, prom?” Mrs. Stephens laughingly shaking head no So I tried to laugh it off and the assembly ended. It was all good though, I had a backup and my senior year Maddie and I went together and even dated for awhile! Still a no from Mrs. Stephens tho. (Source)
Everything’s More Romantic in Italian
On a gondola in Venice, Italy under the Bridge of Sighs at dawn while the bells are ringing and popping the question in Italian.
Her response: Is that what I think that is? Say what you just said but in English.
Bonus, here’s what I said: Sei la mia migliore amica e il mio unico vero amore. Ti chiedo di accettare il mio amore, il mio nome e tutto quello che sono. Fai di me l’uomo più felice del mondo diventando mia moglie.
You are my best friend and my one true love. I ask you to accept my love, my name, and everything that I am. Make me the happiest man in the world by becoming my wife. (Source)