If your Instagram feed looks anything like mine, you may be getting swarmed by people's "OMG, just got engaged" posts. It can feel like there's such an emphasis on happy proposals that it's easy to forget that saying "no" is also an option. There are plenty of totally valid reasons to reject a proposal and, in a recent Reddit AskWomen thread, women explain the reasons they'd say no to the big question. And every single one of them is totally valid.
Relationships are incredibly complex, nuanced, and personal. Unfortunately, there's no crystal ball you can peer into or fairy godmother who can appear to tell you if getting engaged to your partner is the right decision for you. (What can help? Time, self-reflection, honest conversations with your partner, therapy, and more — just like no two marriages are alike, no two journeys to getting there are the same, either.)
And let me make one thing super, extra, crystal clear: If you're not over-the-moon ecstatic to say "yes" to a proposal, it's more than OK to say "no." Whatever your reasoning is, that's good enough! So, while all of these reasons highlighted below are totally valid, do yourself a favor and keep in mind that they're just six out of an infinite number of perfectly understandable excuses not to marry someone. It's as simple as that.
You never talked about marriage before.
If it was a surprise and we’ve never even talked marriage or engagement. Or a public proposal, that’s like a nightmare for me.
If we didn’t talk about it beforehand. Even if I would have said yes, I need some time to process the idea. If you spring it on me, I’m going to freak out and have a breakdown in that moment, and possibly take off running.
If we hadn't previously talked about getting engaged it's probably too soon and I'd feel disrespected. If we hadn't lived together minimum 6 months, 12-18+ months would be better.
If we were not on the same page and didn't even talk about marriage/getting married/timelines for marriage
You don't want to spend the rest of your life with them.
You didn't feel like it was romantic enough.
I kinda wanted to say no to my fiancé because I wanted a meaningful sentimental proposal. I’m a big romcom fan I didn’t want like a public one or anything but like a real down on one knee sugarsodasofa you changed my life can’t live without you I love you blahblah marry me please thing. He just asked me in the car. We’d of course discussed marriage beforehand and we knew it was in the cards for both of us down the line. So idk be aware of what your SO expects from a proposal? Some people do just want a spontaneous like I ducking love you marry me?
You don't believe in marriage.
Just the proposal in general. I don't want to get married.
Lack of interest in marriage, whether to that person specifically or marriage in general.
Not wanting to marry the person or get married in general. Not a brain buster.
I would say no always. Personally I don't think marriage is relevant, and am lucky enough to have found someone who feels the same.
You were embarrassed by the public proposal.
I don't know if this even counts, but if I was proposed to in public (even in front of family/friends) I'd say yes due to the sheer amount of pressure I'd feel but I wouldn't be one bit happy and knowing me, just a public proposal alone, would make me break things off
You don't love their family.
Something can go well, but just be missing that spark of "forever".
You can truly care about someone, but just not see them in your future. This can happen for a lot of reasons, like goals, hopes, dreams, kids/no kids, and even family.
I mean, you could really love someone, but perhaps not their family. Perhaps their family/culture has quite different family boundaries/expectations than you are comfortable with. That could make it difficult to envision a future together.
Again, the only reason you need for not marrying someone is that you don't want to marry them. Simple as that.