I know what you’re thinking, Is she heartless?! It’s not the kind of post you expect to see on Valentine’s Day of all days, but it happens. For women who have chosen a path without marriage, want to hold off until later in life or just aren’t ready, it doesn’t necessarily mean a path without a significant other. Obviously this should be made clear to your partner, but just in case he loses his mind and tries to be spontaneous, be prepared.
Believe it or not, there was an eHow for this very situation. Although, I would not agree with the difficulty level set at Moderate. This is going to be pretty hard.
How to Decline a Marriage Proposal
1. Try to head the situation off before a critical point. When the hints start flying, take that opportunity to voice your own opinions. Explain how married life does not fit into your current plans, and how much you are enjoy your independence.
2. Explain that declining the proposal does not indicate a desire to end the relationship, if this is someone you want to continue dating. Be honest. If you simply don’t feel ready for such a big step, tell him so. Don’t sidestep the issue by asking for more time to assess the situation.
3. Do not string the person along if you don’t feel that you have a future together. Leave him free to find someone else. Tell him that you just do not feel that marriage is possible for the two of you. Let him down as gently as possible, and be prepared for any backlash that may result from your refusal.
4. Do not let yourself be pressured. He may decide to pop the question in public, or even in front of your family and friends. While he might be even more hurt when you turn him down in front of everyone, do not let that guilt make you say yes. It will just be awkward when you have to later explain why your engagement was so short.
5. Be prepared to lose the man as a partner and as a friend. Such a refusal can be a serious blow to the ego, and the man may decide to alleviate the humiliation by cutting all ties. Give him time before trying to establish a friendship, and know that it may not be a possibility.
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