Getting engaged is huge life step and working up the courage to propose is a big deal for any man. You may have picked the perfect ring and the perfect spot, agonised over what to say and when to do it, but no matter how long you've been together and how confident you are in your relationship, there will always be that niggling voice in the back of your head asking, "What if she says ‘no'?".
This is a perfectly normal thing to be worried about, after all, who likes the thought of being rejected? And in many cases, if you have judged your relationship right and you and your partner are on the same page your worries will be unfounded. If you are unsure if you're both ready, read our guide to what to consider before getting engaged.
However, sometimes people say no, it does happen and it's something that you should be prepared for. There may be many reasons someone might reject a marriage proposal, for example, they might not feel ready or feel it's too soon, they might have concerns over money or stability in your living situations. These reasons don't necessarily mean the relationship is over, it might just mean you need to hold on a little longer. On the other hand, it might just be because they weren't overwhelmed with your proposal - over a greasy kebab at 3am in the morning after a big night out is not the appropriate time for a marriage proposal.
So, what do you do if the love of your life turns you down? Here are our 3 tips on how to handle a marriage proposal rejection:
1. Don't react badly
Although you're likely feeling hurt, lashing out and getting angry is not the answer. Try to respect their answer and don't ask them ‘Why?' at this stage. Emotions are running high, this is not the time to talk and it just makes you look needy. Just remember this doesn't necessarily mean the relationship is over and you don't want to say something you may regret so if you can't trust yourself to be level-headed or you're going to get upset, it is best to remove yourself from the situation and politely excuse yourself.
It's also a good idea to stay off of social media of all kinds for a few days. A personal life is called a personal life for a reason and there is no need to broadcast your feelings to the entire world. It's also not a great idea with a broken heart to be stalking your partner on Facebook – trust us just leave it alone for a few days.
2. Take some time
Let your partner know you'd like to take a few days to process this. Use this time to think about the relationship, your plans for the future, what you want and your next steps. Take some real ‘me time', get away for a few days if you can, and try not to drown your sorrows too much, as you'll need a clear head. The time apart will do both of you good and give your partner time to think through their reasonings too.
3. Talk it through
Don't just give up on the relationship. After the dust has settled, sit down with your partner and have an honest conversation about why they don't feel ready and where you both see the relationship going. It may be that there's a possibility you might get married in the future but they feel that it's a little too soon. Or you might both decide to go your separate ways, but at least you've discussed it properly and both got the closure needed.
If your planning on popping the question and need some advice on your proposal, visit our section on getting engaged for some great tips on choosing the ring and planning your proposal.