She told me that she was so desperate to get married she would marry anyone who asked as long he wasn’t the biggest loser on the entire planet. I learned something about myself that day.
My fiance proposed a few months into dating and I really didn’t know if he was just really baked or serious. So I said awkwardly, “I’m not sure if this is real, but it’s way too soon for that”. Poor dude was actually asking. I knew he was going to propose the second time because in an argument he blurted out, “If I proposed would you even say yes?!”. Dude was still shell-shocked 6 years later but luckily I didn’t put him through that twice.
Not myself but I did watch one once and it’s god awful. Guy just won an amateur bodybuilding contest and his partner came up on stage with him. He immediately drops to one knee and asks for her to marry him. She doesn’t say a word and starts to shake her head no and he starts to weep on stage while still holding the microphone.
Nothing like watching a grown man oiled up in a banana hammock ugly crying in front of an arena full of people.
Anna and Sarah from The Wedding Society were kind enough to walk Bored Panda through the biggest pitfalls that we should avoid if we’re considering proposing to our partners. Timing, for instance, is a very important part of this.
“Generally, we’d advise not to take someone else’s moment away from them. Don’t tag onto another event—just work on creating a moment that’s dedicated wholly to you both. Also, don’t take risks that you think might not work. If it ‘could be brilliant or be a disaster’…. maybe workshop some other options,” they warned.
Obligatory not me proposing but I was a witness
She hates big surprises and being pressured into things. He proposed at a surprise party in front of all their friends (including me) and families. She said “Here and now, no”.
Then she dragged him out of there by the collar to an empty room, told him EXACTLY how he’d messed up, stating “I’ve never doubted that I wanted to be with you forever until you pulled that”. He apologized. Then got down on one knee and gave her the quiet, private proposal she wanted, to which she said “like this, hell yes”.
Then they return to the party to celebrate and announce that they were engaged.
It was one of the most awkward 15 minutes of my life but I have never respected her more!
I witnessed a proposal that was shot down in a blaze of awkwardness. I was at the Cheesecake Factory sitting at a table where one side is a booth and one is a chair. The tables are super close together. The guy at the table next to me gets down on a knee between our tables (only he barely fit and kept bumping my table). She was horrified he was asking and said no.
They hadn’t even eaten yet so they had the rest of their meal while bickering about the proposal. He kept yell asking her what he should do with the ring now. Truly the most awkward meal of my life sitting less than a foot from that.
A guy proposed to me a couple of years ago. He was just depressed about the lady he was actually in love with rejecting him. And unless I’m mistaken his thought process was: “well this girl liked me a few years ago and has been a halfway decent friend, maybe since I can’t have true love and she doesn’t seem to have any prospects we can just settle on each other…” I did not agree.
I was curious whether the people considering proposals should worry about being originality. Or if originality is even possible in this day and age. (Remember, there’s nothing new under the sun!) Anna told me that authenticity, not originality, is key here.
“Instead of focusing on being original, focus on being authentic. If someone wants to truly spend the rest of their life with you, then all they really want to hear in that moment is what they mean to you. The right kind of fiancé doesn’t need to be impressed by the proposal in order to be won over,” she said. However, she added that we really ought to try, not just wing it: “That said, turn off Netflix and get off the couch. Make an effort, ya know?”
A more gay, funnier, and subverted side to this story, but I did a sort of non-traditional proposal to an ex-girlfriend of mine when I was around my mid-20’s, because she loved surprises and I REALLY wanted to surprise her with this.
She got all flustered and scared, because her family was all homophobic conservatives and she never did end up telling them that she was dating a girl (I have a pretty masculine name) and she was worried about me because she didn’t want me to get insulted or hurt by her family.
It ended with her trying to think up the best hypothetical ways to tell her family that she was “marrying a girl” with the most minimally worst result because she didn’t want to reject me since she really did love the idea of us being married, and me telling her that if she wasn’t ready to marry because of whatever reason then she can say “no.” Which ended with us not being engaged that day.
The funny thing was that she was normally the more relaxed out of the two of us, and seeing her freaking out and being all nervous like that was both endearing and concerning because I never expected her to act like that.
Sadly, we did end up breaking up and she’s now currently married to a man (we’re both bi, LOL) that she’s more than happy with; and whom I like as well because he really does treat her well and she does deserve the absolute BEST.
But damn, sometimes I really do miss those times. She was one of the best partners I’ve ever had; but if she’s happy with her life, I am too.
I was in a gondola going up a ski slope and there was a couple in it with me. The guy Decided to propose halfway up and the girl replied with “I know you have been cheating on me bastard” then slapped him. Then we had to sit there in awkward silence for 15 minutes up the mountain. It was hilarious
I thought she’d say yes because she kept hinting at it, showing me pictures of rings she liked, etc. When I actually proposed, she said, ‘You’re too nice a guy for me.
What many people think of when they’re planning how they’ll propose is how nervous they might get. Especially if they’re shy. Luckily, Anna and Sarah had some wise words of advice for us.
“If you’re nervous, eliminate the crowds or witnesses. Instead, record the moment from an inconspicuous place, so neither of you is aware that the device is there,” they suggested. “Then you‘ll have a record of the moment between you both to share as you like.”
They noted that even the most confident people feel nerves when trying to say the right thing. “Writing it down and reading it aloud helps a lot because you’re not focusing on what you might be forgetting and you know you’re not leaving anything out.”
A buddy of mine from college just got rejected while proposing. She was very, VERY adamant about getting married, having babies, looking at rings, the whole thing. Wanted to be a housewife and stuff bc she hated working as a teacher. They even talked about it and she’d said stuff like “I’d be prepared to say yes as soon as you ask.” Pretty up the middle right?
Well, he proposed and she said she wasn’t ready for the settled life, tried to keep the ring, broke up with him (she needed to find herself apparently?), And when she couldn’t explain why to her friends and family, made up (and then recanted) an abuse saga to justify her leaving. Turns out she’d actually been low-key gold digging the whole time and was only dating him because it cut her rent in half and she could drive his truck (couldn’t afford a car). She ended up with one of the ‘nice guy’ types but she’s basically ripping that dude apart right now (and just crashed his car…). So bizarre and she seemed pretty normal when she was dating my buddy. Bullet dodged ig
My grandmother used to be a caretaker for an old optometrist who had ALS. She lived with him on a farm and one could definitely see they had loved each other. He asked her to marry him and she laughed, thinking he was just joking. He wasn’t.
A few months later he passed away at the hospital, smiling because she was on her way to visit him.
Was dating the girl next door, when i went away to Boot Camp. Got out of Boot, went to Tech School in Texas. Was able to come home, which was in Rhode Island, every couple of months or so. I asked her to marry me. She said no, we were too young, and I was only asking since I was away and lonely. I persisted, but she was resolute. Got out of Boot, and was at my first Duty Station, a year after I had gone in. I asked her again. She said no, still too young to know what we were doing. Got in a fight, kinda had a “break” in the relationship for a while. Got back together, and I decided not to ask again, as she was obviously not going to marry me.
Six months later, she said to me, “So, did you give up on marrying me?” I said “Pretty much, yeah”
Her: Well, my answer might be different now.
Me: Can’t risk it, my fear of rejection is insisting I never ask again.
Her: No, really, I might have changed my mind.
Me: Sorry, twice bitten, yada yada.
She basically had to guarantee me should would say yes before I would ask her again.
Today, I woke up, rolled over to give her a kiss, and realized this is our 41st Christmas together, so I got that going for me, which is nice.
My boyfriend proposed after we had our first child. We’d been together 3 or 4 years at that point, lived together, planned to have the kid. I turned him down and told him it was because I thought he was doing it because of the baby. I wanted it to be because of me and not an obligation and I think I was a little hurt that he hadn’t asked before when it was just me in the equation. I told him If he waited one more year and still wanted to and asked again I would say yes. It took him three more kids and like 5-6 more years to ask again (so now we have been together for almost 11 years and have 4 kids), but we are finally getting married in two days :).
When I used to play Warhammer 40K I went to my local GW to buy some miniatures. I grabbed what I needed and took them to the till. The guy behind the counter looked at me, looked down at the stuff, then back up to me. He asked, “is this for you?” When I said yes, he asked me to marry him. I laughed because I thought he was making a joke. His face. Oh goodness, his face. I’ll never forget. It was the look of the most pathetic, heartbroken, betrayed-kicked puppy you’ve ever seen. I freaked out, paid for my things and got the hell out of there.
Older guys comes into the restaurant where my friend worked with a hot, much younger, girl.
He asks for a ring to be put into her glass of champagne and delivered to the table about halfway through the meal.
When it’s delivered she obviously notices but ignores it.
She excuses herself to go to the ladies. On the way she gets her coat and tells the member of staff “tell him I said no” and leaves the restaurant.
The guy I had to shoot down was raised very religiously, and though he didn’t hold those views he seemed to have a blind spot to the difference between being in love and being ready to marry. He expected, because I loved him, I would want to marry.
We were also both pretty young.
It’s sad because he was logical and empathetic in so many ways, but in that way, he was just a bible page. He was stunned and confused. Sad.
My dad got told no the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth time.
The first time he and my mom were sitting in bed eating donuts and watching the people getting married in some rom-com when he says “Hey, we should do that sometime. I got a ring just gotta remember where I put it.”
On the seventh attempt, he collaborated with my mom’s best friend to guide her to a picnic where he actually got down on one knee.
The first time, I actually said yes. He was going away and proposed the night before he left. He had a panic attack after I said yes and ‘took it back’. The second time, he came to my work after we had broken up over his lack of commitment and said ‘You wanna look for a ring then?’. I said no.
My dad actually was rejected by my mom the first time he asked. They were on a cruise and he proposed at dinner, in front of people, and she said no. She just wasn’t ready, and he was embarrassed lol. This is why I plan ahead and will never propose publicly
I witnessed a lunchtime Olive Garden proposal go awry after the gentleman had the server insert the ring into a breadstick. Yes, the ring was pushed into a breadstick, so just the stone was sticking out of the top. Of course, the breadsticks are first to the table, so they seemed to be having a pretty awkward lunch after she said no.
One guy proposed to me because he was going to be deployed somewhere far. We were 19. He was a friend from hs who flirted with me a lot, I thought, jokingly. He was home from leave and had had a growth spurt. Which was great for him but he thought the reason I never went out with him was because he was short. So when he came back, he thought I’d go from not wanting to be his girlfriend to wanting to be his wife when I saw him. It was sad, he was lonely in the military but I was nineteen! I tried my hardest not to hurt his feelings but I never heard from him again.
I was meeting up with an old friend, Joe, from back in the day. We were at the part of the catch-up where we were talking about relationships etc. I told him about my long-term boyfriend (8 years) and our house and dogs. But he just couldn’t fathom that Nathan and I weren’t married and that I didn’t care that we weren’t. No matter what we talked about next, he’d always bring it back to, “you must be so unhappy he doesn’t love you enough” and “what a shame a nice girl like you is stuck with him.” Got quite annoyed but sort of forgot about him and the whole thing pretty quickly.
Fast forward to a year later, and I was at a friend’s wedding with my partner. Joe was also there. Nathan had just gone to grab us some drinks and came back to Joe down on one knee proposing to me, with a ring and everything. He was saying how he could make me so much happier and give me the life I’d always wanted with children and I’d never had to work again. Which if you know me, is very not me. I was just looking at him with my mouth open, completely taken aback.
Nathan just looked from me to him then back to me. I had a deer in the headlights look. I honestly had no idea what to say or do. I scrambled out of my chair and said, “no thanks Joe. I’m good.” Downed my champagne and ran to the dance floor. I’ve never been happier to dance my whole life, and I really don’t like dancing in public.
I was in a 3 year relationship with a guy, I paid all the bills, paid of his debt, kept the apartment clean, lost 30 pounds and then he cheated on me so I broke up with him. We met up for dinner one night to end everything in good terms and that’s when he proposed and said a flat-out no. His reaction was to cry and sing me Bruno Mars songs. I’m sure he hates Bruno Mars now Edit: I forgot to mention he also pulled a Seth Rogan and proposed with an empty box
I have a chronic illness that causes me to be in a lot of pain pretty much daily, but some days it hurts a lot worse. It had been one of those times, where I was curled up in the fetal position crying all day wishing for sleep or death. After I had finally, finally gotten to sleep my ex wakes me up and does the worst proposal ever. Just shoved me awake and apathetically mumbled it, mentioned some copper ring he had. My response was a less nice version of, “Are you serious? You couldn’t have waited?”
At the time I was shocked that he would think to do that knowing how hard it was for me to get to sleep and how much pain I was/would be in. It took me hours and hours to fall back asleep again. I probably could have been nicer, but he didn’t even give a half-a**ed attempt at that inopportune time.
I don’t remember.
I woke up after a surgery and apparently I was madly in love with the nurse because she brought me a dull sandwich and a cup of coffee. My parents say that I told her she was the best human being I’ve met, and that she should be crowned queen of the world. Then I asked if she wanted to marry me so I could be king, but she was already married.
I was in a restaurant and a homosexual couple was at the table next to ours. One guy made the proposal, the other one rejected him because he wanted to propose, had the same plan, goes on his knees, and proposed to him. After that, they were arguing about who is allowed to propose, both were prepared and both bought rings.
Because I thought by helping her and being available for her 24/7 and pretty much simping for her I would win her over. It took me years to realize that’s not how the world works
I once saw a public proposal at a horse show. It was awful. The woman tried to leave the stage when she saw her boyfriend entering the ring as a special surprise. But they would not let her leave. So painful to watch. She did not answer his question and everyone watching was cringing
Witnessed a proposal at a concert. The artists integrated some graphics leading up to him asking and then they stopped the show and put the cameras on them so all 10k attendees were just watching the exchange. There was a long, awkward pause (like 2 minutes) and then they turned the lights and cameras off then restarted the music without any sort of celebration or cheering…because she said no and then walked out of the concert.
Not me, but my secretary’s boyfriend proposed in grand fashion: Rented a white horse, suit of armor showed up at the office and performed the whole scene. His friends called the local news station and it was on the evening news. She smiled/grimaced through the whole grisly act and said yes for the cameras. Later, when they were home and alone, she let him down gently. They stayed together for a couple more months, but then she broke up with him when she found out he had gotten two women pregnant during their relationship.
He proposed about six months into our relationship and I was nowhere near being ready. Neither was he. We were both having a terrible day and he decided to propose then to demonstrate that, however sh**ty things got, he’d be there for me.
I declined, we both cried, talked through it and came out the other side.
We’re still together, stronger than ever, two years later.
I laughed because I thought he was joking. I was 19, neither of us worked, the ring was a promise ring that cost like $20 and wasn’t my style.
The whole situation was hilarious to me until I saw how disappointed he was, then it was just awkward and uncomfortable. We broke up a few months later when he went crazy and pinned me by my neck up against a wall.
Not to mention it wasn’t even legal for us to actually marry because were both dudes.
She told me she couldn’t marry a guy she cheated on. Not sure which part hurt more.
She said yes…3 weeks later said she said it just so I wouldn’t feel bad…needless to say I was crushed, and we broke up shortly after.
My mom rejected a guy because he literally asked over a text message. He was serious.
A few months back, my wife and I were at Alton Towers (a UK theme park) mid-week. We were sitting in the front car of Wicker Man. More specifically, we were in the 2nd row of the front car. There were 2 men in front of us who were sitting in the actual first seats of the whole train.
After the ride, we walked by the overpriced photo booth to quickly check how stupid we looked. That’s when I noticed it. In the snap of the gentlemen in front of us, one of them was holding up a small “MARRY ME?” sign. He timed it perfectly with the rollercoaster camera. I can only assume that he had practised it a few times alone first. However, it almost looked like small text on his shirt – no one else looking at the photos seemed to notice. The 2 men were very near, looking at all of the monitors trying to find their picture. I didn’t want to blurt anything out and ruin their moment. I discreetly told my wife about it.
We quietly stepped back away from the kiosk and waited at a brief distance, hoping to witness the incoming special moment. Well, the man’s partner didn’t seem to notice it at all. The one who proposed then opted to buy the overpriced printed version of the photo. We waited, pretending to mind our own business. It printed. They looked at the photo together once again after the kiosk worker put it in one of those lovely cardstock frames. He still didn’t see it.
We started to give up on sharing this special moment with our random rollercoaster car mates. It was our last ride of the day. We started to leave and headed back to the front park gates. As luck would have it, they were walking the same way across the park, about 20 feet in front of us or so. They stopped to sit down on a bench when the proposer got the printed photograph out again. It felt like he was finally going to blatantly point out the proposal since it had gone unnoticed multiple times now.
We opted to spy from a distance one last time. Yes, we’re getting weird at this point, but it felt like a sweet proposal for rollercoaster lovers. We felt connected to it by being in the same train car with them. Finally, he saw it!
And he was NOT HAPPY. In fact, he was ANGRY. I’ve heard of people saying no to proposals, but I’ve never heard of people being FURIOUS at a proposal. I’m not sure if there was a complicated backstory or if the gentleman was upset about receiving a cheesy Alton Towers marriage proposal. Either way, they immediately started fighting (not physically) following the initial shock and anger.
It was at this point that we realised we were definitely not going to be witnessing a special moment and got the hell out of there. Last we saw, the proposer was chasing after the proposee, walking after him around the park, continuing their proposal disagreement fight.
We still don’t know what happened in the end, but hope they worked it out – one way or another.
She explicitly told me she was expecting a proposal from me. She implied the answer would be yes. It wasn’t awkward so much as soul-crushing.
I was in the hospital sick as a dog and on meds when my boyfriend pulled out a ring and asked if I liked it. In a haze I told him not really. It wasn’t until weeks later he admitted he was proposing to me. We didn’t last.
My dad was kind of rejected the first time. They were swimming in a public pool, going in different directions. When they met in the middle he asked if they should get married. She was a bit angry and said it’s not going to happen this way. He had to do it properly later.
He took me to Vegas on vacation. SUPER awkward return trip after I very quickly said no and told him not to even show me the ring. Idk what he was thinking.
I had someone accept the ring from me and said they needed to think about it. They then later said no and refused to give the ring back.
This evening I was out at a family friend’s 50th birthday. This was meant to be a great celebration because this lady has been through some rough times of late. Her ex-husband ditched her for some Russian secretary b**ch and things were going badly for her, then about 6 years ago she met a guy who is lovely, and who decided to make an apparently impromptu speech this evening. He starts fumbling his way through a poorly written, cringeworthy love poem, when all of a sudden, he drops the bombshell of all bombshells. He proposed. Worse, he doesn’t have a ring, but publically suggest he knows somewhere that’s having a sale on rings where you can spend £100 and get £10 off.
Well the lady has a daughter, who is now distraught, and leaves the venue inconsolable, the mother is struggling to keep it together, but puts out a vague answer to save his pride. Making things worse he pushes for a more clear answer and she says “I don’t think so” through the microphone to a completely silent room of stunned onlookers. Trying not to let the night be completely ruined, the mother instructs us to set off our party poppers and enjoy a dance to…black eyed peas, tonight’s going to be a good night. (No seriously)
As if this wasn’t terrible enough, all I can think of is how much I want to leave – I’m awkward enough at the best of times! But my mum insists that it’s rude to leave half-full cups of tea. Of course, my mum can’t drink hot tea because it hurts her teeth, so we have to wait half an hour in this weird social-purgatory, no one willing to discuss the jaw-dropping rejection we just witnessed, while my mum slowly sipped away.
Tl;dr Man ruins 50th birthday with poorly thought/executed marriage proposal. Mum drinks tea.
My grandfather proposed to my grandmother in a hot air balloon. She said yes, and she claims the balloonist said, “Thank God! You don’t know how many people propose up here and then we have to spend 2 hours of awkwardness up here if she says no!”
My friend was at the Phillies game last night and witnessed a failed marriage proposal. The dude told his wife (sorry- girlfriend) to “stand up honey I’ll clean off your seat” and from there it went all downhill ultimately she said no and left. The guy was entirely demoralized in front of thousands of people and I honestly don’t know what could be worse.
My boyfriend of 4 years and I went on a holiday together. I was still very in love with him at that moment and i thought he had the same feelings. The 3rd night I had a bad fever and told him he could go out if he wanted because I was going to bed at like 7pm. So he went to the hotel bar I think. I woke up at 4:00ish all sweaty and took a shower and he was still not back from drinking, so I went to the hotel bar (this was a big hotel so it was stil open and pretty crowded) and saw my boyfriend being a little to comfortable with some college-age girl. I asked a waitress of she had seen him do anything, and she told me they had been making out dozens of times. I was too shocked/hurt that moment for the confrontation so promised myself to break up with him as soon as we got home. 3 days later, while we were at another hotel, he asked me to marry him. The answer and the reason were pretty obvious.
He proposed in the middle of a Tim Horton’s parking lot with a bread twist-tie. I was 18, but thankfully not an idiot.
9 years later he still lives in a camper in a field. I hear he’s been promoted to the manager. He’s going places, you know.
I once saw someone propose at the top of the Eiffel tower and get rejected, I then shared the lift down with them (not intentionally), she spent the entire time berating him for proposing after 4 months and embarrassing her in front of so many people. I have never been more uncomfortable, she left immediately after we all got off the lift, we felt so bad for him that me and my girlfriend took the guy for a beer, she came back and apologised a while later and they agreed to stay together, haven’t seen or heard from them since.
Some guy who went to high school with my husband offered to pay him if he sang some song and played his guitar while he proposed to his girlfriend. My husband agrees and shows up at her work (Applebee’s) My husband starts playing, the guy gets down on one knee and she says no and started screaming at him. My husband just stopped playing, got in his car and came home.
I worked at a portrait studio, and this guy called ahead to make an appointment asking us to help him surprise his soon-to-be fiancé with photos. She showed up, and looked annoyed to be there right off the bat. She grumbled and griped and whined about how fat she was going to look. We get to the first outfit change, when the big moment was supposed to happen, and he drops to his knee…I start snapping photos of the two of them quickly. The series of photos was so sad to look at the end of the session. She said no, and the look of total irritation on her face showed through. The poor guy’s face of rejection was heartbreaking.
The worst part? He still paid for $150.00 in photos after all of that.
We were (and still are) friends, I asked her out on a dance. looking back on it I don’t think it was ever going to happen, she came from a very reserved family that probably wouldn’t have approved of her being in a relationship. I still took my shot and I’m glad I won’t have to regret not doing it so there’s that. Teen me was a bit too much in love with the idea of having a relationship and I’m glad I’ve moved past that mindset.
I was proposed to at the Cheesecake Factory. It was the start of the meal and there were at least 60 people staring at us. My heart said no but my mouth said yes because it was so awkward and I didn’t want it to turn into a bigger scene (especially as this guy tended to have strong, explosive reactions to negative events). I broke things off a few months later.
If you want an honest answer, don’t ask in front of a large audience.
Wasn’t me, but I was a witness and I definitely felt embarrassed on his behalf. Middle of a mall, the guy brought out a whole mariachi band, got down on one knee and she ran away.
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