If you've ever witnessed a public proposal and breathed a sigh of relief when the person asked said yes, I am entirely with you. Proposals are already very emotional, so getting proposed to in public sounds seriously intense. Numerous high profile
public proposal stories have many discussing the ethics of popping the question in such a bold way. In the past two years, you might have seen the proposal while a woman was running the New York City Marathon, one at the the Emmys, another at the Olympics, and many more.
Most people in those viral proposal videos or very public at spectacles say yes, and usually everyone moves on. But when people don't say yes or say yes simply because they feel pressured by the publicity of the proposal, things get complicated. It's been discussed frequently on Twitter and in books like
Jasmine Guillory's The Proposal .
Below, nine people reveal why their public proposal stories ended in rejection. Two common reasons? Social anxiety and a lack of clear communication between partners. If a public proposal is truly the right fit for you and your partner, and you've had serious conversations about what you want the special moment to look like, then it'll likely be a cherished memory you have forever. But without those two key assurances, well, things can get pretty tricky.
Because they were clear about what they wanted.
Because some people just don't want a public proposal.
I wanted to propose to my wife at our favorite pub on New Year's Eve, right as the ball hit zero, with her sister and her sister's boyfriend in attendance. She somehow got wind and put an absolute stop to it. She want to be proposed to in public, and made it very clear she would say No in as public a manner as possible if I still did it.So I delayed the proposal two months until the end of February on our Valentine's Day date (I had been out of town for two weeks starting on the 13th). Took her out for dinner, then took her to our favorite spot on the mountain that overlooked the entire city and the lake and the cruise ship and did it there at midnight. Public proposals can be really tacky if not done right or if you don't know your partner. did not
Because sometimes it's just too soon.
My girlfriend's boyfriend before me proposed to her. It was at her favrorite park. So really, it was a nice proposal. The problem was it hadn't even been a year since they started dating and they were having problems at the time. She clearly saw that they weren't working and wanted to break up. He pretty much just wanted someone to raise his daughter for him. She broke up with him and had to drove him home while he cried. He then threatened to kill himself. He's now married to someone else who he proposed to after only a few months.
Because social anxiety is real AF.
Because when you're recovering from crippling social anxiety and your boyfriend proposes to you at the Trevi Fountain surrounded by applauding people, it makes you question how well he knows you.
Because sometimes it's just too stressful.
Because: 1. proposing to me at a sports event was all about him and nothing to do with us as a couple or me as his partner -- much like the rest of our relationship. 2. I refused to be steamrolled by the pressure of it being it all and saying yes as a result -- much like the rest of our relationship. 3. we were not in a good place in our relationship, we had talked about that at length. he had chosen to ignore that -- much like the rest of our relationship. i've known one other person who also said no to a public proposal, and the background was very similar: the person proposing had chosen (or was either so self involved they didn't even think about it) to ignore their partner's wishes/thoughts/wants and got caught up in it with themselves.
Because it's not what you want.
My BF of about a year and a half proposed to me in the midst of a family dinner. We had never spoken of getting married at all; I was raised by my Dad and maybe because of that I never fantasized about weddings.I didn't exactly turn him down - I just said I needed a week to think this over. I didn't marry him, and er are no longer together.
Because one of you just isn't ready.
Other side, I proposed to a girlfriend of a few years. Wanted so much for it to work. It was in public but i was discreet. She didnt give a super emphatic yes and just kind of went along with it, which worried me but i wasnt going to raise an issue if she was going along with it. She did seem happy about it and told some people. Eventually I saw the writing on the wall and could feel the conflict within her, because she knew how much I loved her, how much I'd done for her, how I selfishly expressed that I needed her. I broke things off and let her go. To love is to want what's best for them even at your own expense, I live and die by this.
Because the timing isn't just right... yet.
My girl asked me to marry her, and I said "no". She wasn't surprised or shocked, but I felt I wasn't ready. She just said "that's okay" and we went on dating. About a month later I asked her to marry me (super romantic -- we were at the mall eating pizza and while she had a slice in her mouth I said: "So do you still want to get married or what?") and she said "yes". Been married 27 years.
Because sometimes you have to think it through all the way.
Accidentally got a no. Proposed in a restaurant to my current wife, the whole ring in the cupcake and everything. I go on one knee, and propose, completely not taking into account how bad her social anxiety can be, I just figured her books have these types of things, maybe she'd like it. She panicked, said no, and ran out.
When it comes to proposals, it's essential for partners to discuss marriage and proposal options before popping the question (especially in front of a lot of people). In these stories, it was clear how crucial it is to consider a partner's social anxiety or general wishes. Some folks were gracious and understanding when it came to why they were rejected — and some, thankfully, even got a second chance.