Whether you’re simply imagining a proposal, or you think you’ve got a real one on your hands, there are lots of things to think about. What will you be wearing? What will the ring look like? Will you even say yes? 

If You Don’t Want To Marry Them 

This is everyone’s worst nightmare. You must consider why you don’t want to marry them. Assuming that the relationship is relatively serious, you’ve probably thought about it on some level. You should discuss it together, preferably way before he or she gets down on bended knee. 

It takes a lot of guts to say what you’re really feeling in this situation, but you need to recognise the vulnerability and courage of your partner to propose too, so be kind.

If you want to stay with them, you need to be clear why you’re declining their offer of marriage. Whether it’s because you’re not ready for marriage or because you never want to get married, then you need to make sure they know that it’s not because of them. Reinforce what it is that you love about them, and perhaps suggest a smaller step in your relationship, like moving in together. The ball is in their court then, and you can decide together how to move forward. 

Things can get really awkward after a rejected proposal, so take it slowly and don’t force anything. 

If, on the other hand, you don’t want to stay with them, then you have to be cruel to be kind. It would be worse to string them along. So, be brave and try to let them down gently. 

If You Don’t Like the Ring 

So your boyfriend has popped the question, and you peer inside that little box and you’re less than happy. Mention it later. Make sure that it’s not the first thing that you say! Make sure that it’s not his great grandmother’s hundred year old vintage ring either. Don’t leave it ‘til too much later, but if you’re not keen, then tactfully tell him that it’s not your style and have it adjusted or changed. Take inspiration from these gorgeous designs from George Tarratt. Alternatively, have a short engagement and choose not to wear it when you have your wedding band! 

If You Do Want To Marry Them 

The answer is simple and should come naturally. A big fat “Yes!” will do fine. Congratulations! 

However, make sure you’re not just saying yes for the ring. It may be pretty, but it’s not the ring you’re marrying.

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