3 Tips for Handling a Proposal Rejection

What should you do when you pop the big question and the person says "No?" Modern Manners Guy offers 3 tips - and a reality check.

Richie Frieman
5-minute read
Episode #319

Tip #3: Leave the Situation

When it comes down to it, when someone tells you, “No,” as I said in Tip #1, don’t ask questions; take your ring, say goodbye, and simply leave. That’s right - you leave.

This is not “hiding away,” but rather, dealing with your feelings in private, and stopping yourself from doing and/or saying anything you will regret. Trust me, I’ve had many MMG readers email me with rather, ahem, “colorful” things they've said after being dumped, and it’s not very pretty.

So after all of this, why do I recommend flat-out leaving when rejected? Well, it's a lot better than standing there with tears running down your face and several thousands of dollars of jewelry in your pocket. Simply put, there is not much to say about a relationship when someone rejects a proposal. You opened your heart, and they shut its doors with one word. There isn’t much more to be said.

And if the ex-love of your life wants to explain, they can do so in a letter - but not discuss it at the time. Nothing said after a rejection could possibly make someone feel better. “You’re right, I’m not the one. Thanks!“ or "You aren’t ready? You’re right, I’ll ask again in a year! ” I mean, come on!

I’m a romantic at heart (and a romance novelist,) but there comes a time when your brain and your heart have to see eye-to-eye. So if you’re rejected, you need to leave the situation/scene, take some nice, long me-time, and really think about the relationship. Maybe it’s a night away, or a weekend - that’s your call. But use this time to yourself to focus on your next steps and decide if this person is worth that journey.

As always, if you have another manners question, I look forward to hearing from you at manners@quickanddirtytips.com. Follow me on Twitter @MannersQDT, and of course, check back next week for more Modern Manners Guy tips for a more polite life.

Do you have any recent graduates in your circle, or perhaps someone who is looking to start a new career? Check out my new book, Reply All…And Other Ways to Tank Your Career for great tips and advice on job success. It's available now!

Photo of proposal courtesy of Shutterstock.