Top 5 Reasons People Reject Marriage Proposals

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It’s no secret that a proposal is no guarantee of a wedding — but if you’ve ever wondered why some proposals are rejected, we might have a few answers for you.

Coupon and discount code site VoucherCloud recently surveyed 2,144 American residents, both male and female, who were 21 years or older and had previously rejected a proposal. The survey was conducted via email over the course of seven days, and the results are… kind of surprising.

Young girl unprepared for marriage

It’s worth noting that the respondents weren’t asked to pinpoint one particular reason for the rejection; rather, they were asked to identify all of the reasons they turned the proposal down (hence, why the figures below don’t add up to 100 percent).

Let’s take a look at the five most popular reasons and the percentage of respondents who cited them, shall we?

1… Unromantic proposal setting: 67 percent
2… Poor ring choice: 53 percent
3… Bad wording of the proposal: 51 percent
4… Lack of trust in the relationship: 39 percent
5… Scared of the commitment: 36 percent

Additionally, 39 percent said that the rejected proposal had occurred in public (see? This is why you don’t propose in public unless you’ve a) talked about it first, and b) know that the other person is cool with the idea!); the average number of people who regularly witnessed these public rejections was 35 per proposal.

That may seem like a lot, but at least it’s not as many as the number of people who have seen this cat fail to make his jump over the years, right?

Respondents were also asked to identify whether the reason for the rejection was the proposal itself, rather than the actual relationship; those who did peg the failure on the proposal specifically were then asked, “Would the proposal have been more acceptable to you if it had been more expensive e.g. a more expensive ring or setting?” 74 percent said they would have been more likely to accept the proposal if their partner had spent more money on it… but it might also be worth noting that a whopping 89 percent said the relationship had broken up after the failed proposal.

This is purely conjecture on my part, so take it with a grain of salt — but to me, this trend points to the “problems” with the proposals being symptoms of the relationship itself, rather than the actual cause of the relationship’s demise. Self-reporting can be tricky, after all.

I’ve got to admit, I’m actually kind of surprised that “lack of trust in the relationship” and “scared of the commitment” didn’t score more highly; “unromantic proposal setting,” “poor ring choice,” and “bad wording of the proposal” seem like kind of petty reasons to reject a proposal.

At the same time, though, it’s also true that no one needs to furnish a reason for ending a relationship other than “I don’t want to date you anymore,” so maybe I should just shut my trap about it.

VoucherCloud’s Matthew Wood had this to say about the survey’s results:

“It seems that perhaps people are being a little too money-conscious when planning their proposals, and aren’t as keen to splash the cash as their partners would like. As much as it seems silly to turn down the big question because the cost isn’t high enough, it’s important to remember that getting engaged is a huge moment in your life. It’s an investment and should be treated as such.”

However, Wood also wisely went on to note, “There are ways to make a person feel special during a proposal without going bankrupt.” I mean, yes, the survey was conducted by a coupon site; as such, one of the points of the whole thing would obviously be to tie it into the business itself. He’s absolutely right, though, and he hit the proverbial nail on the head when he continued,

“The main thing is to put your partner in the center of all your plans and make sure the moment is the stuff their dreams are made of, for your best chance of a ‘yes!’” Remember the proposal reporter Maryanne Firth’s intended set up for her over the summer? That’s a perfect example of a proposal that ticked off all the boxes: Unique, special, all about the person to whom you’re popping the question, and budget-friendly. A-plus there, Ryan St. Denis — and let his awesome idea be an inspiration to all men and women hoping to say their “I do’s” one day.

Oh, but before you start thinking about getting engaged, don’t forget to make sure you know these important details about both your partner and yourself. Your future depends on it, after all!