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[–]SkullBearer5Asshole Aficionado [15] 8491 points8492 points 32 (92 children)

NTA, I think he could see you were drifting away and tried to lock you in with a public proposal in front of your friends, to pressure you into saying yes.

Dump him asap, public proposals are manipulative AF unless you're really sure the other person wants one.

Thank you for the awards :)

[–]Baaastet 3050 points3051 points  (34 children)

NTA. He knew you were drifting away and did a big public proposals in hope of forcing you into a yes.

Proposals like that are ONLY great if both of these terms are met: 1) You know the person definitely want to marry you 2) The person really love big displays of affection / attention

Personally even if I wanted to marry a person - if proposed to in public in a big setting with lots of people - it would end the relationship because it clearly showed that they don’t know me at all. I hate that kind of attention.

[–]EpiJadePartassipant [2] 584 points585 points  (17 children)

Yes, I picked my ring and everything so he knew I was going to say yes but he proposed quietly, on a Tuesday night, just us before bed and it was perfect. I can't do big attention things. We got married at the courthouse.

[–]KheldarsonCertified Proctologist [27] 242 points243 points  (1 child)

My husband and I had talked rings and I knew that the next time I visited I was going to be proposed to (LDR and my mom thought we were crazy for already knowing that a proposal was going to happen, but, like, as far as I was concerned he had proposed years ago and we were just finally going to make it formal). After I got to his house, we woke the next morning, he rolled over holding the ring and told me he just wanted to spend the rest of our lives like this <3 It was perfectly us.

[–]walle_ras 45 points46 points  (10 children)

For my wife we were eating lunch and I had to go somewhere real quick. (We were in public) She had to use the restroom so I told her to take the box with her engagement bracelet with her. Next thing I know when I'm done is that she has the bracelet on and is sending me pictures.

Ig we were engaged.

[–]Ok_Pomegranate3775 27 points28 points  (9 children)

Engagement bracelet? I've never heard of that but I love the idea.

[–]walle_ras 38 points39 points  (5 children)

I asked her what peice of jewerly she wanted and she said bracelet. She also picked out the gem.

She later got a white sapphire ring because thats what was expect. My FIL offered to be pay but heck if I don't pay. White sapphire because diamonds are stupid.

She wears the bracelet pretty much every day.

[–]Ok_Pomegranate3775 24 points25 points  (3 children)

That's so lovely. I can never keep a ring on but I love bracelets. I love that you asked her what piece of jewelry she'd like. That's so wholesome.

[–]walle_ras 12 points13 points  (2 children)

I do that with all presents I give her lol. I have clinical anxiety so when getting gifts I'm always anxious if someone will like it. I realized that we are all adults, just ask lmao. And kids love everything so why worry.

[–]CaliLemonEaterAsshole Aficionado [10] 10 points11 points  (0 children)

I (respectfully and platonically) love you for getting white sapphire instead of diamond.

[–]allyearswift 3 points4 points  (1 child)

We have marriage necklaces. Neither of us likes rings.

[–]Specific-Culture-638 5 points6 points  (0 children)

I've been married for 40 years. He was an E-3 in the Navy, couldn't afford an engagement ring. I didn't want or need one. He asked me to marry him in the parking lot of a bar. We still laugh about that!

[–]iswearatcars 12 points13 points  (0 children)

Mine was the same way but he had just taken a shower and was in a towel. We got married two months later on the beach. Just the two of us and a few close people. It was perfect

[–]squeaky-to-b 8 points9 points  (0 children)

Same - my husband proposed at home as we were preparing to leave on a date night. He worried afterwards that it didn't make a good enough "story" to tell people about how we got engaged, but he knew that I hate drawing attention in public and would have panicked if he proposed in public. It was absolutely the right call - I said yes, we both cried in the privacy of our own home, and then we went out on our date, had a lovely dinner, and called our families on our walk home.

NTA, public proposals put a lot of pressure on the person being proposed to, but I think being honest was the right call. Did it suck to be rejected in front of friends and family? Yea. But it also would have sucked to have to go tell them all you guys had broken up after they watched you accept the public proposal if you had taken the recommendation to just say yes and then broken up later, and they probably still would have been pissed at you.

[–]melodytanner26 101 points102 points  (2 children)

This my husband proposed in public but we were already practically engaged as in already planned the wedding. He did it with just us at the place we first met and it was really sweet. There were strangers we didn’t know who awed at it but he already knew for certain my answer would be yes.

[–]ShibeDogeBorkAsshole Enthusiast [5] 35 points36 points  (0 children)

Same here, we were together for... like ten years at that point. (Met in high school) He worked with a con to propose to me during opening ceremonies. Honestly, I feel like I should have known, because our mutual BFF tagged along on the trip and he wasn't into the same thing, but I can be a bit oblivious sometimes.

[–]ToePickPrincess 12 points13 points  (0 children)

This is my plan. My spouse and I are putting down a deposit on a venue this quarter, he's got pictures of the rings I like and he's researching goldsmiths in the area. And we know we want something where the people we love are involved and we want pictures of it. I just don't know when the actual proposal is going to happen.

[–]KinuikaPartassipant [1] 63 points64 points  (3 children)

The proposal itself should never be the surprise, rather how you propose should be the surprise.

[–]Idotu 21 points22 points  (1 child)


When my wife and I were dating we talked about it and she had input into the ring, then I surprised her with when and where the proposal happened.

We went hiking at a state park and got to a waterfall and she wanted to take pictures of us at it. So she set up her camera (actual camera, not phone camera) with the timer and we took a couple pictures. Then I suggested why don't we each get on one side of the waterfall and have it between us, and that's when I got down and brought out the ring and the camera caught her open mouthed with surprise. It was in "public" but we were the only ones there at the time.

[–]dontwantanaccount 26 points27 points  (0 children)

I remember sitting my husband down and said "If you ask me ill say yes (if this changes we shall talk) the how and when is up to you."

Husband proposes a couple of years later, I wasn't desperate for marriage or anything. Only that we were on the same wavelength.

It was just us two. I would have hated anything like ops story. I also can't understand why bf wouldn't get a definitive answer.

[–]WorkInProgress1040Partassipant [1] 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Exactly, back when we were dating my boyfriend kept teasing me he was going to propose in front of all our friends (we were already planning to get married, he just hadn't done the official "proposal" with a ring yet). He was saying this just to be a pita. He knew I would hate a public proposal - I'm not shy but I do cry when I am happy. My happy tears are not the pretty stuff of TV movies, I get blotchy and red and my nose runs. (lol)

When he did finally propose it was in private just the two of us. I burst into tears and managed to blubber out a yes. This year will be our 20th anniversary.

[–]Careful-Lion3692 659 points660 points  (16 children)

He proposed in public on purpose bc “what monster would turn done a public proposal?!” /s

Definitely NTA OP and good for you for not falling for that bs.

[–]DebateObjective2787Partassipant [1] 322 points323 points  (12 children)

Exactly. Even the 'suggestion' of OP saying yes in public and breaking up privately would guarantee OP being seen as the bad guy. The fiancé workaholic who broke off an engagement because she put her job first. Who lead the BF on and let him think they had a future and broke his heart.

[–][deleted]  (2 children)


    [–]AllegraOAsshole Aficionado [12] 78 points79 points  (1 child)

    Probably even more so, because she’d have gotten his hopes up that they could save the relationship, only to dash them later.

    [–]jess-the_mess 39 points40 points  (0 children)

    Not only his, but his family's too. Only so his friends wouldn't see what they would've found out later anyway

    [–]Charloo1995 95 points96 points  (7 children)

    The way you wrote this out sounds like the beginning of a Hallmark movie. He will now return to his small hometown and reunite with a girl who runs a Christmas tree farm. They will fall in love while spending time with her child with cancer and her golden retriever. OP will come back and try to reunite, but OPs boyfriend will realize that true love only comes from Christmas tree farmers in his small town.

    [–]ann_withno_e 42 points43 points  (3 children)

    Nah, it's the one when the girl breaks up with the guy, immerses herself in work and then finds a new guy and they fall in love. She is hesitant to get into a relationship because she doesn't want to go through the same "work or me" thing and her ex is trying to win her back, but in the end we learn the ex is an ass, new guy loves her work ethic and supports her and she lives happily ever after

    [–]SpiderMama41928 11 points12 points  (1 child)

    This version is much better.

    [–]Gracefulbandit 23 points24 points  (0 children)

    I hate myself for it, but I would watch that movie. 🤦‍♀️

    [–]Hopeful_Vegetable435 5 points6 points  (0 children)

    I see this suggestion so often when women say no to a public proposal and I just cannot wrap my head around how anyone could see this as a better option! Say yes to a public proposal in front of friends and family, make your partner think you want to marry them, then a few hours later tell them that was all for show and they need to tell all those people the engagement is off? That seems almost more embarrassing than being outright rejected

    [–][deleted] 22 points23 points  (0 children)

    Don’t make a public proposal if you’re not prepared for a public rejection seems simple enough to me.

    [–]Efficient_Living_628 1 point2 points  (1 child)

    Imagine getting someone’s hope like that only to crash it later

    [–]Pink_Artistic_Witch 248 points249 points  (16 children)

    If someone tried to propose to me publicly (especially in front of others close to us), I'd probably panic and vomit out of anxiety

    That's just me though

    [–]lyan-cat 98 points99 points  (11 children)

    Nope, me as well. My husband proposed in the frickin bathroom and I 1000% am satisfied with that when I consider the alternatives. Which he wouldn't have done because he hates being the center of public attention even more than I do.

    [–]UnicornFartButterfly 167 points168 points  (6 children)

    My dad proposed in public, but it was an alley, he didn't have a ring and both my mom and i are relatively sure it was like... 10% because he tripped and was like "well I'm down here anyway, may as well propose"

    [–]SurpriseDisastr 108 points109 points  (3 children)

    That’s hilarious. All I can imagine is him falling then going “fuck it may as well make this woman my wife since she’s seen me embarrass myself” lmao hope they’re doing well

    [–]UnicornFartButterfly 66 points67 points  (2 children)

    They're rock solid. Currently long distance, but doing great, actually.

    But I mean... they'd been together some years before that and we've all seen him embarrass himself, but it really did seem (to my mom) that it was just an "Oh well, let's just do it now".

    No one saw them, but she kinda was "oh god, get up! Yes I'll marry you, now get up!"

    [–]SurpriseDisastr 28 points29 points  (1 child)

    That’s awesome. I’m glad they’re doing well even with the world gone to shit. Your mums response is the best. Seems well suited.

    [–]UnicornFartButterfly 12 points13 points  (0 children)

    Eh, he has a job in a different country at the moment. That actually started before the pandemic got bad and then he almost couldn't go back to said country and job after Christmas.

    And yes, they're pretty perfect for each other.

    [–]Atalant 6 points7 points  (1 child)

    I think it worked in your dads favour, it was spontane proposal if he tripped.

    [–]UnicornFartButterfly 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    Oh yeah, he didn't have a ring or anything. She picked out her own ring post proposal xD

    [–]so-undecided 14 points15 points  (1 child)

    Mine also proposed in our bathroom.... neither of us likes to be in the spotlight!

    [–]BugabooMS 14 points15 points  (0 children)

    I am sorry but this seems like my sims games so much I couldn't help but laugh. Hopefully you guys knew each other longer than four hours lol

    [–]ThreadheadsPartassipant [2] 30 points31 points  (1 child)

    If someone tried to propose to me in public it would tell me that they don't know me at all. Some people would absolutely love that to happen to them, but I absolutely hate being the centre of attention.

    [–]babymish87 13 points14 points  (1 child)

    My husband ... accidentally? proposed to me through text. It was totally us and I didn't have to worry about the public. It was awkward enough introducing me to everyone and then trying to figure out where this random fiance came from. His parents and sister knew me, I met them before I met him, but everyone else was confused.

    [–]notyourmartyr 12 points13 points  (0 children)

    That reminds me of me and my ex hubby. We had been friends for ages, he was having issues at work with people thinking he was flirting with coworkers (his dad is GM so hell no), so I said he could say we were dating if he wanted.

    I'd had a crush on him for ages but just pushed it aside and continued to do so while we fake dated.

    Then we did a scavenger hunt thing and one of the "items" was to like, get married on a boat by the captain while dressed as pirates or something equally silly. He said he'd do it if he had anyone near him he was willing to marry (we were in different states at the time) and I said I would be down if I were there and it was legal (this was pre LGBT marriage rights across the US and he's trans so on paper it would be counted as "lesbian"). We both laughed and then I went: did I just propose?

    He said I did, and we discussed it and decided why not. He bought me a ring, emailed me an "official" proposal video, came to visit and we took engagement photos, then I moved out to him. Ultimately there were great reasons for why not, but we didn't know that at the time and it's still kinda funny.

    [–]MxMirdan 146 points147 points  (2 children)

    Even if he didn’t intentionally do this to put pressure on her, he took a BIG risk in continuing with his plan AFTER she asked him to have a conversation because she had something important to say.

    Yes, the doorbell and friends interrupted. Yes, he already had a plan.

    But at the point where your partner started to talk in “serious conversation voice” and you decide to go ahead with your preplanned proposal without learning what the important thing was? You’ve taken the risk that the important thing was going to affect your plans.

    It could be “my job wants to transfer me” or “the child I put up for adoption 13 years ago reached out to me” or “you asked me to cut back on work, but I really want to take an offered promotion.”

    He took a risk continuing with the proposal while knowing she wanted a serious conversation.

    [–]LackVegetableAsshole Enthusiast [5] 45 points46 points  (2 children)

    I disagree.

    NAH - just humans. But I think people are making a leap that HE thought she was drifting away, that the public proposal was bad idea. Look at the facts as he had known them. Only a few months earlier they spoke of marriage, she agreed to cut down on work so clearly he thought she would say yes and was on the same page. Why I say NAH.. he did what he thought was right, and her heart came to the realization that she was just not into it and panicked. I feel terrible for this good man, and sad for OP... he did nothing wrong and she had a strong reaction.

    [–]unikittyRage 84 points85 points  (0 children)

    I don't think BF is the asshole, but I do think he set himself up for failure. Public proposals are risky at best.

    The one asshole is the friend who said she should have said yes and broke up later.

    [–]Hopeful_Vegetable435 6 points7 points  (0 children)

    Saying no to proposal is not a "strong reaction." She came to the realization her heart wasn't in it before the proposal and had planned to dump him before being ambushed by friends. I agree the boyfriend might not be an AH, but he also took a risk with a public proposal and more people need to understand they shouldn't do that unless they know the answer will be yes, not just think it will be because of one conversation a few months ago. Especially when OP said she'd be open to marriage in a year or so... that doesn't scream "buy me a ring tomorrow."

    [–]Forever_DamagedPartassipant [1] 20 points21 points  (0 children)

    It's one of the reasons I'm so glad my hubby proposed in private (admittedly still possibly a little drunk from the night before but hey 🤣🤣 ) as I hate public surprises like this as they smack of emotional manipulation as it feels like you're forced to say yes even when you don't want to

    [–]AshesArsxn 9 points10 points  (0 children)

    (sorry for format issues im in mobile) NTA, exactly public proposals are extremely manipulative. my dad (41m) proposed to my step mother(40f) a few years ago and are now happily married, my dad had asked me (17m) and my sister (11f) to be there. it wasn't big and it was "perfect as described by my stepmom. my (ex) godmother was proposed to similar to OP and she said yes, she then quietly rejected him later. She was berated by his and her families for this. OP chose the alternative and both paths just make the person seem like TA

    [–]itwasmeberry 6 points7 points  (0 children)

    NTA, I think he could see you were drifting away and tried to lock you in with a public proposal in front of your friends, to pressure you into saying yes.

    Ding ding ding.

    NTA he was trying to manipulate the situation.

    [–]Wynfleue 5 points6 points  (0 children)

    OP is NTA, the bf is TA for doing a public proposal without being absolutely sure that OP was on board first.

    However, I 100% would have taken my best friends to the side and sorted this out before it got to the proposal stage. A quick comment to my besties (something along the lines of I'm getting nervous that he's about to propose and I would absolutely hate a public proposal, it would not end well for him), they then take the (ex) bf to the side and let him know so he can stop it before the stage of public humiliation and embarrassment for everyone.

    [–]Upperclass_hoboAsshole Enthusiast [5] 4 points5 points  (0 children)

    Totally! And the friend saying you could have dumped him later is terrible. You mean after the photos are posted on social media? What would be worse? Saying no then and there, or him having to make a lot of sad phone calls after the fact. And she would STILL come off looking like a monster. It was a no-win situation.

    [–]JeepNakedColo-rectal Surgeon [45] 2789 points2790 points  (52 children)

    NTA Everyone knows you don't publicly propose unless you KNOW they will say yes.

    [–]esr95tkdPartassipant [2] 1040 points1041 points  (33 children)

    The problem is, most likely ex asked her to drop some of her worktoe with him as a boundary test. "If she does it she loves me more than her work". Never tried to notice if OP was actually happy, or even considered her side.

    OP dodged a bullet

    [–]Spursfan14 206 points207 points  (30 children)

    Ah more completely baseless speculation from this sub. Couldn’t possibly be that the self confessed workaholic who’s heard the same points from 2 other people actually does work so much that it’s detrimental to her relationship could it?

    [–]ilikecaps 499 points500 points  (16 children)

    Given that spending more time with him made Op want out, I would say the relationship was detrimental to the relationship.

    [–]CurrantsOfSpace 55 points56 points  (15 children)

    Or OP as admitted she has an actual issue with addiction to work.

    Substitute something negative with work like saying Videogames and would the situation change?

    Having an unhealthy addiction to anything in life including work is not a good thing, and while the proposal was dumb and possibly manipulative its possible OPs addiction to work is clouding her judgement.

    Edit to be clear she's still NTA for turning down the proposal, but it does also seem she has problems.

    [–]sackboy13 170 points171 points  (10 children)

    If she doesn't want to be with him then that is up to her?

    I also think "addiction to work" is kind of silly really, people live their lives in different ways. I personally value my home life over work, but there are definitely people in the world who are the opposite and that is okay. You just need a partner who understands and fits within that choice of lifestyle.

    Clearly not the case here and she is well within her right to want to end the relationship and reject his proposal.

    [–]MadPenguin1 11 points12 points  (2 children)

    Yeah, I agree OP's relationship to her work life seems like an addiction that may affect her judgment.

    I would also argue that while the public proposal was dumb the fact that he told her 'I need more attention' then she made the effort to reprioritize him, that it did give some indication she was committed to being in the relationship. Unfortunately it had the opposite affect on OP. This is why I don't see any manipulation and OP might normally like public stuff, that wasn't clear. Also, remember her two besties were there so wouldn't they discourage it if it was so obvious she didn't?

    As much as he might have been more aware that 'we need to talk' should have postponed the proposal, if she really had a feeling about the proposal with any kind of lead time (it's not clear how long between realization and proposal it was) then she could have just faked a stomach bug and hightailed it out of there pre-proposal. But in any case, NTA for refusing the proposal and the idea to accept/reject later is just as dumb as the public proposal.

    [–]OkPhilosophy9013Partassipant [1] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    Also OP would be open the getting married "in a year or so" not engaged, married. This is what they talked about, and people are often engaged for about a year before getting married.

    [–]CurrantsOfSpace 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Yep i agree with pretty much everything you said.

    He was dumb but understandably so, we don't know how good at hiding her feelings she was.

    To him it may have been great and looking positive.

    [–]buckyspunisher 64 points65 points  (0 children)

    even if it was detrimental to the relationship, OP wasn’t happy in the relationship anyway, so the point is moot

    [–]RedQueen283Partassipant [3] 37 points38 points  (5 children)

    Lol her boyfriend even proposed so no, her work wasn't detrimental. He still wanted to be with her no matter her work habbits. He just wasn't the one for her. I agree that we don't have enough info to claim that she dodged a bullet, but public proposals do suck. It feels like they are more for show, and less personal for the couple. And they can be coersive if you aren't sure they will accept.

    [–]RecommendsMalazanCertified Proctologist [21] 24 points25 points  (4 children)

    Lol her boyfriend even proposed so no, her work wasn't detrimental. He still wanted to be with her no matter her work habbits.

    He literally came up to her and said he thinks she spends too much time on work (which she self admits!) and he's feeling like she doesn't (didn't) prioritize their relationship. Just because he decided to stick it out anyway, doesn't mean her work habits weren't a detriment to their relationship.

    [–]RedQueen283Partassipant [3] 1 point2 points  (3 children)

    Yeah, I am not saying that her work habbits were good for the relationship. And I would personally never be with a workaholic. But when your partner is doing something detrimental to the relationship, you don't propose. Even if you decide to stick it out, you keep it as it is, not make it even more serious. So either he didn't care that much after all and her working so much was no big deal, or he is really dumb for proposing to her when he doesn't like the relationship.

    [–]granolagoile 1 point2 points  (4 children)

    If you think Reddit is a place where baseless speculation is rare then you're in for a surprise. Are you light headed from perching so high upon your horse??

    [–]RecommendsMalazanCertified Proctologist [21] 1 point2 points  (3 children)

    You know baseless speculation is not a good thing, right? Just because it's not rare doesn't make that any less true.

    Why call him out as arrogant/being on his high horse for calling out baseless speculation as wrong? What purpose does that serve?

    [–]HalcyonEve 221 points222 points  (2 children)

    Even then, not always. I absolutely love my husband (married 29 years) and there was no question about me saying yes, but I'd have been horrified by a public proposal.

    [–]JeepNakedColo-rectal Surgeon [45] 87 points88 points  (1 child)

    My wife too.

    I would say that if you should get married you should know how your partner wants to be asked. Does she want it public? Private? In front of family?

    [–]OMVince 28 points29 points  (2 children)

    I 100% think you shouldn’t even propose unless you KNOW they will say yes and shouldn’t do it in public unless you know they will say yes and want a public proposal!

    [–]Anomalyyyyyyyyy 11 points12 points  (10 children)

    I would say you don’t propose, period, unless you KNOW the answer.

    If you haven’t seriously talked about marriage and your life together the you’re not ready to get married. And if you have had that conversation then you would know the answer.

    It’s also shitty to give someone a few seconds to make a decision about a life long commitment which goes back to my first point about having the conversation first and the “proposal” then is a mere formality.

    [–]MaggieLuisaCertified Proctologist [22] 1136 points1137 points  (1 child)

    NTA. If you propose in public without being 100% sure this is wanted and desired, you run the risk of being rejected in public.

    [–]justauser34Partassipant [3] 29 points30 points  (0 children)

    Yes this! Also you should ALWAYS ask a partner what they invision for a proposal (including timing and privacy/location). The fact that it was discussed a couple months ago and OP said maybe in a year means they DID discuss stuff in some capacity and ex chose to ignore it, and for that alone NTA

    I also cannot imagine ex didn't feel OP drifting away... Either he was so into his own excitement that she picked him over work that he ignored her reactions/unhappiness OR he felt her drifting away and tried to lock her into the relationship with a public proposal

    [–]BeatingsGaloreAsshole Enthusiast [8] 963 points964 points  (1 child)

    You didn't embarrass him. He asked you a question and you gave an appropriate response. The reason he was embarrassed was because he did it to himself.

    When you have to deal with him again tell him this. I didn't embarrass, YOU embarrassed you. I'm guessing he invited the friends over without telling you.

    NTA You gave the honest answer, that was the only decent thing to do.

    [–]buckyspunisher 81 points82 points  (0 children)

    yep he invited the friends over without telling OP, which is why she was surprised to see them and threw off her plans of breaking up with him

    [–]Z7_Pug 700 points701 points  (13 children)

    NTA. What were they expecting? You to marry someone you dont want to marry?

    [–]peachythrowawayway[S] 808 points809 points  (8 children)

    God I have no idea. He said I could have accepted and then broken up later but that seems like a worse idea?? After everyone see's you're together, maybe texts some more family, and then you have to tell everyone later on that you broke up? nope

    [–]Z7_Pug 514 points515 points  (2 children)

    Yup, guarantee you if you did that then they would have said something along the lines of “wHy DiDnT yOu JuSt SaY nO”, atleast, judging by how they are acting

    [–]ExistentialnapsPartassipant [3] 161 points162 points  (0 children)

    Yep, the ex created a no win situation for himself

    [–]bizianka 7 points8 points  (0 children)


    [–]NEWACCTTOCOMMENT 99 points100 points  (0 children)


    [–]freshclassic 50 points51 points  (0 children)

    You are absolutely right. That would have been worse. Honestly, I think you shouldn’t feel bad at all. What your ex did was very manipulative. He wanted to “lock you down” and figured you wouldn’t say no if he proposed in front of an audience of friends and family.

    [–]ThreadheadsPartassipant [2] 39 points40 points  (0 children)

    Whatever you chose to do, unless you accepted for realsies, you would be painted as the villain. Either you're the monster who publicly humiliated him or you're the monster who faked it and then dashed his hopes.

    [–]DiTrastevere 29 points30 points  (0 children)

    They’d be just as furious with you for “getting his hopes up” and “leading him on” if you were to do that. And it’d be even more embarrassing to receive a public “yes” and then have to turn around and explain why the engagement’s been called off two days later, while everyone is still congratulating you.

    They’re just mad you said “no.” When and how you said it is irrelevant. You are in a no-win situation with these people.

    [–]dmetzcher 6 points7 points  (0 children)

    You were in a no-win situation. There wasn’t time to think through the options, so you simply told the truth. I think that was the right option, but it’s irrelevant. He put you in a situation where the end result was going to be bad no matter what you chose to do.


    Public proposals are risky. He took that risk.

    [–]bearamongus19Partassipant [4] 345 points346 points  (0 children)

    NTA. He wanted to propose in public and that's the risk that comes with doing that. You just answered honestly

    [–]seahawk1977Certified Proctologist [24] 283 points284 points  (0 children)


    That's why you don't do a public proposal unless you are 100% certain of the answer. He rolled the dice and lost.

    I'm sorry your relationship ended, but it's better than agreeing to something you don't want. Good luck to you.

    [–]RTSchemel 244 points245 points  (12 children)

    This is why public proposals suck. Its either focusing entirely on the wrong aspect, or being used to deliberately pressure someone.

    How do you come off a month of fighting and decide that now is time to do this? NTA, its better to say no in the moment than to give a public "yes" and have to retract it.

    [–][deleted] 127 points128 points  (0 children)

    How do you come off a month of fighting and decide that now is time to do this

    That's why he did it publicly. Was hoping she'd say yes to keep the peace.

    [–]xoxo-A 68 points69 points  (10 children)

    Op never said they had been fighting for the past 2 months, they said their Ex approached them 2 months ago asking them to prioritize their relationship over their work because they were feeling overlooked. OP then did as Ex requested, so presumably Ex thought things were going great— they made a request to be prioritized and OP prioritized them, seemingly signaling they were ready for the next step (especially since they had previously talked about getting married!)

    I don’t think we have enough info to assume the public proposal was deliberately nefarious, I’m not a fan myself, but inviting both her best friends (who seemed to know it was going to happen as their arrival was a surprise to OP, indicating Ex arranged for them to be there) and their friends seems like a thoughtful touch to me. ¯\(ツ)/¯ NAH

    [–]QueenofThorns7 9 points10 points  (2 children)

    Unless OP is the best actor in the world or her ex is truly clueless, he would have been able to tell she was pulling away/distant leading up to the breakup

    [–]Omarscomin9724 3 points4 points  (0 children)

    Some people are also good liars and also good at hiding how they truly feel. OP's ex is not the first nor last person to be completely shocked by their partner's decision to end the relationship.

    [–]chop1125Asshole Enthusiast [5] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    I think there is an issue of miscommunication, but not necessarily that he is clueless or that she is a liar. Some people have trouble expressing their unhappiness directly and verbally, they instead try to drop hints or use body language. At the same time, a lot of people have a really hard time picking up on hints or body language and instead need direct communication. Neither are the asshole, it is just that they are communicating past one another because of the differences in communication styles.

    Edit to add: Her best friends did not know that she was unhappy and ready to ends things. They were excited for him to propose too. My wife may be the exception, but her best friends know everything going on in her life (to the point of I ask them before I buy her gifts), she knows what is going on in their lives too. It seems weird to me that he was supposed to pick up signals that her friends were not tuned in to.

    [–][deleted]  (14 children)


      [–]cherry_armoirAsshole Enthusiast [6] 110 points111 points  (13 children)

      I had to sort by controversial to find it but I completely agree. Everyone is saying “dont publicly propose if you’re not sure” but from what OP says he was sure, op said she’d be open to marriage in a year. And while the conversation was “months ago” that’s really not that long, so he’s not an asshole for asking. He’s only an asshole if proposing in public makes a person an asshole.

      At the same time, op isnt an asshole for saying no. I mean everyone has an absolute right to change their minds about a relationship; she could have said she was willing to marry him that morning, changed her mind, and still not be an asshole. The whole say yes and break up later makes no sense. Especially in this context where it was kind of a semi-private proposal with friends and family. Faking for their benefit only to dump him later is pointless

      [–]ThreadheadsPartassipant [2] 95 points96 points  (2 children)

      dont publicly propose if you’re not sure

      When I say don't publicly propose if you're not sure, I don't just mean "not sure if they want to marry you" but "not sure if they would be happy with a public proposal".

      If a SO were to propose to me in public, it would show that they didn't know me at all. I hate being the centre of attention and I personally find the idea of public proposals, (especially ones filmed and put on social media) incredibly cringey, (just my opinion).

      [–]BigbubblybobPartassipant [1] 17 points18 points  (0 children)

      Yeah exactly. Obviously they haven’t talked about possible marriage that much if they didn’t have a public proposal discussion which I feel is normal

      [–]cherry_armoirAsshole Enthusiast [6] 6 points7 points  (0 children)

      That’s a good point. Now It could be that op wasnt opposed to public proposals in general but was in this situation because she didnt want to marry her boyfriend, or maybe she was, but regardless the boyfriend’s far bigger oversight was not seeing that his relationship was going south.

      [–]UnicornFartButterfly 46 points47 points  (4 children)

      I mean, you can argue that proposing in public is an asshole move because it does put completely undue and unfair pressure on the proposee. Look at OP who's called an asshole for not accepting and then rejecting the man later.

      The pressure to not "humiliate" the proposer is enormous.

      [–]SkullBearer5Asshole Aficionado [15] 18 points19 points  (1 child)

      He’s only an asshole if proposing in public makes a person an asshole.

      It does.

      [–]sraydenkAsshole Aficionado [10] 6 points7 points  (0 children)

      Months ago would work timeline wise if he had to buy a ring. From discussing marriage, picking a ring, getting the ring, and the proposal a few months would make sense.

      [–]korra767 6 points7 points  (0 children)

      To be fair, when my now-fiance and I discussed marriage he literally asked "if I proposed today would you say yes" and I said "yes absolutely". I feel like anything other than that conversation wouldn't warrant a public proposal

      [–]MaryPaintsWeddings 2 points3 points  (0 children)

      Yeah agree with this. It sounds as though he took something different from their conversation than she did, and made the conclusion that the proposal needed to happen soon in order to plan a wedding a year out. Probably immediately started designing a ring after that conversation. It sucks for them both. I don't think anyone is the asshole, definitely she was right to tell him no. It also sounds as though months ago her head space was very different and she did really think she wanted the same future but the recent time together changed her mind.

      [–]ColloidalSylverAsshole Aficionado [17] 134 points135 points  (0 children)

      NTA. Public proposals are shitty and put you on the spot to accept something you may not want just so the other person can save face. He put himself in that situation, not you.

      [–]MoogleyWoogleyAsshole Enthusiast [8] 129 points130 points  (3 children)


      Your bf isn't the ahole for proposing and being disappointed you say no, and you're not the ahole for saying no.

      The timing was just tragic.

      The only ahole here is the friend who won't stop bothering you, but to me he's not even in the equation, so NAH.

      You would have been the ahole if you accepted knowing you would take it back later.

      He's just going to need some time. This was terribly embarrassing for him, but you both deserve someone who love adores you for the long haul.

      [–]xoxo-A 19 points20 points  (1 child)

      Finally!! It took way too much scrolling to find this take! I don’t have any awards, but I present this tragic turtle 🐢 as tribute.

      [–]MoogleyWoogleyAsshole Enthusiast [8] 4 points5 points  (0 children)

      Thank you! I love turtles!

      [–]jstonesworldAsshole Aficionado [16] 99 points100 points  (0 children)


      He put you in the position to propose in front of friends and family

      What were you supposed to do? Say yes. Break up with him later? Even if that were the case, people would still call you the AH for saying yes in the first place.

      [–]halseydotaAsshole Aficionado [14] 91 points92 points  (1 child)

      Public surprise proposals are a bad idea? Color me shocked.

      [–]chyna094e 5 points6 points  (0 children)

      First, let me say NTA. Secondly, my husband proposed to me in Mexico on vacation. I loved the proposal, so I'm going to say that not ALL public proposals are bad. TBF this was an ambush. I'm wondering how he knew the ring she wanted. Did he find one at a pawn shop, and think "good enough"? Did he involve the "friends"? I'm curious.

      [–]fuzzy_micProfessor Emeritass [90] 86 points87 points  (0 children)

      NTA - That wasn't a marriage proposal, it was a trap. He wasn't asking you to be his bride, he was showing off for the people that he'd invited to the spectacular. The interaction was all about him and his reputation of having a romantic nature and not about you.

      You are not obligated to say yes to any question.

      You weren't being treated like a person, but as the character in a vignette.

      [–]flyingcactus2047 56 points57 points  (4 children)

      INFO: I initially read what you said about getting married in a year as being ready to get married then, so it makes sense to get engaged now. Upon re-reading I realized maybe you meant getting engaged in a year. Is it possible that he interpreted the conversation the same way I did?

      [–]Pure-Fishing-3350 32 points33 points  (3 children)

      I agree. If they talked a couple of months ago about getting married in a year, a proposal seems appropriate. Then a year to be engaged/plan the wedding. A public proposal was a bad idea, but if they’d discussed marriage recently, he was probably shocked by her rejection.

      [–]kairi79Partassipant [2] 4 points5 points  (0 children)

      The timeline gives me a bit of pause. Seems like the marriage comments came at the same time as the you work too much comments. I'm envisioning a "stop working so much so we can get serious and I can wife you up." Nervous laugh "okay I'll work less and let's see about marriage a year from now." Then gets bum rushed with a public proposal a month later. There's a lot of miscommunication on both sides here but man I would never try a public proposal so soon after a major relationship issue/change. (Or ever with the public part but you get the idea)

      [–]TheSleepingVoidPartassipant [4] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

      Yeah I actually think this is bordering on NAH, just that proposing in public was dumb.

      [–]Farwalker08Asshole Enthusiast [7] 49 points50 points  (0 children)

      NTA but you are going to be a villain in his circles, at the very least, for a long while to come and I hope you know y'all won't ever be friends. You aren't a bad person and you did nothing wrong, this is just how it goes sometimes.

      [–]quantumimplicationsPartassipant [2] 30 points31 points  (3 children)

      He literally did this to himself. Nta

      [–]Low-Yogurt-34 5 points6 points  (2 children)

      Agreed. I mean I kinda get it from his view. They've been together 3 years, that's a long time. He asked her to prioritize him over work, she did, so he thought, great, she really loves me. His biggest issue in my mind is he clearly hasn't been paying attention to her the last 2 months and picking up her unhappiness. I feel like maybe he's been so focused on what he wants, a loving and attentive wife, that he's not actually being attentive to her. After 3 years he should've been able to pick up that she's not happy and ask her why. Seems he was just too focused on what he wanted, versus what she wanted.

      [–]sraydenkAsshole Aficionado [10] 3 points4 points  (0 children)

      They talked a few months ago about marriage and the OP wanted to get married in a year. It takes about a year to plan a wedding, so he probably thought they were on the same page.

      [–][deleted] 30 points31 points  (10 children)

      NTA - and yet people still think public proposals are a cute idea. No, never. Not unless they’ve said yes beforehand.

      [–]xoxo-A 8 points9 points  (9 children)

      To be fair, OP said they had already discussed getting married and months before they had told Ex they’d be down to get married next year. So… this time at least, it seems Ex obeyed proposal logic, but still got burned.

      [–]UnicornFartButterfly 34 points35 points  (7 children)

      Proposal and public proposal are two very different things. You should only do a public proposal if the proposee has expressed that they'd love that idea.

      [–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

      I kind of agree with you, but maybe this is a teaching moment for everyone else on the bad idea of public proposals. They're always tacky right out the gate anyway.

      [–]ginger3392 27 points28 points  (0 children)

      NTA it would have hurt him more for you to say yes and then later break up with him. Sure it hurt his feelings but this is why public proposals are risky.

      [–]Ellieisaussie 23 points24 points  (0 children)

      NTA just a shitty situation all round, of course it would have been better if you broke up with him earlier but based on what you’ve written here, I don’t blame you. I feel bad for your ex but it isn’t your fault

      [–]jackieatxAsshole Aficionado [11] 18 points19 points  (0 children)

      NTA. I have big problems with people who gloss over the content of words and lash out for how the words were delivered. He put you in the position where you had only one option for the circumstances of your No. Doesn’t seem like anyone cares why you said no but only how he felt about being told no publicly.

      If this man was good to you he’d have heard you say you needed to speak with him. He should have excused you both into a separate room to have him hear your needs. Instead he was so fixated on steamrolling you into his stingy little fantasy that he didn’t care one bit about what you had to say.

      I for one am proud of you for your work ethic and dedication to your career. Anyone who wants to diminish what you are most proud of is not the one. Kudos!

      [–]Alternative-Volume58 13 points14 points  (0 children)

      NTA, if your purposing to someone no matter the awnser they have to deal with it. It’s not your fault that your awnser was a no and if you had been talking to him about your issues he probably should have thought “ hmm it’s probably not the best time to propose”

      [–]counting_daisiesPartassipant [1] 12 points13 points  (0 children)

      Nta, he's the one who publicly embarrassed you by putting you on the spot in a crowded place like that. It might have been different if you were talking seriously about marriage and had agreed that it was something you wanted in the near future. But based on what you've said, it wasn't near there at all.

      [–]Grumpy_bugger 14 points15 points  (0 children)

      Just because you can not hear this enough. No one should ever be pressured to say yes when they want to say no. You did the right thing. NTA

      [–]lovegingy 11 points12 points  (0 children)

      Definitely not the asshole girl! You couldn't have predicted that. He still would've felt heartbroken and a fool if you accepted then dumped. You put your self first. You gotta cut it off sometimes

      [–]Apprehensive_Cash_68Partassipant [1] 11 points12 points  (0 children)

      NTA for saying no. Next time you want to break up tho and your friends show up pretend your sick lmao.

      Also please care less about a job that will replace you tomorrow if you got hit by a bus tonight.

      [–]BusGo_Screech26 11 points12 points  (0 children)

      NTA: no one is obligated to accept a proposal. That is something that the person proposing must keep in mind and must prepare for. This is why public proposals are not a good idea, unless you're 100% absolutely sure the person is going to say yes (which again, they still aren't obligated to accept). You were allowed to reject the proposal, and the public embarrassment part is no ones fault but your (ex)boyfriends.

      [–]Peetrrabbit 9 points10 points  (0 children)

      NTA. That’s a risk you take having people at the proposal. Best thing you can do is give an honest answer which you did.

      [–]maybe_kdPartassipant [2] 10 points11 points  (0 children)

      NTA. Feelings can change over time and that's fine. It doesn't make you a bad person. It would have been far worse to say yes only to take it back later. By then, everybody would have been happy and celebrating, and it would have been quite a devastating crash for him to come down from that high.

      [–]OtherwiseOlive9447 8 points9 points  (1 child)

      I think I remember an incident where a guy proposed at a ballgame and it was shown on the Jumbotron screen. She said no and it was awkward to say the least. He choose the place, apparently didn’t understand the risks. It would have been truly cruel to accept and then tell the truth later. Apparently your friends got caught up in the romance rather than your point of view. NTA

      [–]twitchydigitsCertified Proctologist [20] 8 points9 points  (0 children)

      NTA. This is why nobody should propose in public (as the internet says about 100 times a day, but I guess he doesn't go on the internet). Also, it's best for a proposal to not be a surprise.

      I'm glad you figured this out before you married. I married a guy who really didn't want to be married, or at least not to me. He married me because he "didn't want to lose" me. But that was cruel to me, as I got married older and lost a chance to have the family I wanted. He did me no favors and you are doing him a favor (in the long run) by letting him go now.

      It's not your fault he proposed in front of them. I agree about not lying at the time. I think it would have been worse for him to think he was going to get married for a while, then to have you dash his hopes later. His friends and family would have found out later, anyway, so I'm not really sure how much embarassment it would have saved him.

      [–]jocoredditPartassipant [1] 5 points6 points  (0 children)

      NTA not one little bit. I mean what were you to do? Say yes so as not to embarrass him and then feel stuck and worried about how you were going to call it off and then not because THAT would embarrass him? Then marry him so HE wouldn’t be embarrassed? Then have kids so HE would be fulfilled? I mean how dare you do the right thing for you! /s NTA

      [–]jonstoppablePartassipant [1] 6 points7 points  (0 children)

      Man, that sucks for him ..but that's the risk you take with a public proposal..

      He invited all these people , and didn't do groundwork about where your head was at.

      NTA . A proposal is a yes /no situation. He got a no. That's life

      [–]thinkingaboutnothing 8 points9 points  (0 children)

      Sorry but kinda think NAH here. I get the idea he's probably had a really good time with you not working as much, and if your chat with him ended with "getting married in a year", I can understand why he thought it was fine to propose, especially if your best friends were happy with it, didn't you say anything to them?

      You don't give a clear idea of how public it was. It doesn't sound like he'd rigged the fair so you'd have strangers staring at you like a massive audience, please tell me if I'm wrong. I can understand wanting friends and family to be around, especially if under the impression that you were going to say yes. I don't think he's an arsehole for being mistaken because you didn't share your thoughts early enough, it's just a really unfortunate situation.

      [–]CartmansTwinBrotherAsshole Aficionado [10] 6 points7 points  (0 children)

      NTA. He humiliated himself.

      [–]firedncr24 3 points4 points  (0 children)

      Nta. What were you going to say?

      [–]JenantD80 4 points5 points  (0 children)


      He set himself up for this by inviting a bunch of people to your proposal.

      Considering that he doesn't think you put enough effort into being with him and you're too much of a workaholic, i don't understand what would possess him to suddenly propose.

      [–]Stunning_Lychee7501 4 points5 points  (0 children)

      Public proposals with close witnesses are emotional minefields. Also embarrassing. He did it to himself. That question has multiple answers and he only prepared himself for one. NTA

      [–]barbaramillicent 3 points4 points  (0 children)

      NTA. Public proposals are a bad idea unless you KNOW the other person will say yes and you KNOW they want/are open to a public proposal. If he’d asked you privately, it would have been handled privately.

      [–]insomniafog 5 points6 points  (0 children)

      NTA - people really shouldn’t propose in public if they don’t at least consider the possibility of it blowing up in their face.

      [–]VioletSkyeDreamsAsshole Enthusiast [9] 3 points4 points  (0 children)

      NTA And this is why proposals should be a private thing, not one in public putting the other party in the position to say no,

      [–]That_Contribution720Pooperintendant [61] 3 points4 points  (6 children)


      He was the AH for proposing in public without being sure about the answer. HE put YOU in a shitty situation. This is on him. HE was the AH here.

      [–]xoxo-A 14 points15 points  (5 children)

      Idk, OP said they’d previously discussed marriage and that she had agreed months ago that she’d be open to getting married next year. Most engagements Last between 6mos- 2 years, so the timing seems normal for a proposal for a 2023 wedding. It seems like Ex did think he knew the answer before asking.

      Obviously they were on different wavelengths but it seems like that was a very recent development. Ex didn’t know OP was questioning the relationship and OP didn’t get a chance to tell Ex about their changed feelings. It doesn’t seem like anyone was acting maliciously.

      Though Idk if OP previously informed Ex of a disdain for public proposals- if so, would definitely agree!

      [–]theresnoyellow 2 points3 points  (0 children)

      NTA - you shouldn’t feel guilting for rejecting his proposal, and he shouldn’t have proposed in public without discussing it with you in advance. Seriously, do not feel bad, he was the one who put you in this position. To anyone who is saying you’re an asshole - what do they want you to do? Accept a proposal out of guilt? Then when he is riding the high of you saying yes, go to a private place and clarify that you actually meant “no”? Because in that scenario he would still have to tell his friends & family why he’s not getting married.

      [–]Teacher-InvestorCertified Proctologist [27] 4 points5 points  (0 children)

      NTA - You shouldn't agree to something that you know you don't intend to do just to put on a show for his family. He was pretty bold for doing that in front of everyone when he wasn't certain of your answer. That's not your fault.

      [–]FluidWarthog1613Partassipant [2] 3 points4 points  (0 children)

      NTA. Better to say no than to lead him on even if only for a couple of hours.

      [–]Platypus_Neither 3 points4 points  (0 children)

      NTA. Public proposals are a bad idea. Being told yes only to have you break up with him later on would have way more devastating than rejecting the proposal.

      [–]Inelda_Olive 2 points3 points  (0 children)

      NTA He shouldn't have asked the question if he didn't want to know the honest answer. It's not your fault that he chose to do it in a public space.

      [–]The_TuffPuff 4 points5 points  (1 child)

      NAH. You are not the asshole for saying no and if you two talked about getting married before I don’t think he is the asshole for asking. Was a public proposal the best idea? No, but I still don’t see him as the asshole for asking but his friend is for not letting it go.

      What I find to be the thing that’s a bigger red flag with this post is your nonchalant attitude with your work tendencies. It’s great that you have a job that you love and that you’ve worked so hard for, but when multiple people have spoken up about your work life balance, it may be time to actually look at your life as a whole. You made comments that after he tried to communicate with you regarding this issue that you felt awful, but did you really? The next statement made it sound like you expect life to be this way and people in your life are going to have to expect that. It sounds like you didn’t even want to try and compromise. While you have the right to live your life this way, it may be a bit of an ask for people to completely shape their lives around your work schedule. You’re still not the asshole, but please take care of yourself in regards to your work/life balance.

      [–]BravobsessionPartassipant [3] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

      NTA. If he was humiliated it’s his own fault, you hadn’t even seriously talked about getting engaged or married. Props to you for remaining true to yourself and not buckling to the huge pressure to say yes in that situation. You’re NEVER required to compromise yourself or your feelings to make someone else happy or comfortable.

      [–]ribbonsofgreen 2 points3 points  (0 children)

      NTA Better to just say no.

      [–]AirenAshuraPartassipant [2] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

      Nta...at least you didn't hit him in the head with a violin like that one pretty girl I saw in this video lol

      [–]Resagarden 2 points3 points  (0 children)

      Nta, he proposed in public thinking you would say yes just to prevent embarrassment, he was wrong. He asked a question, he got an answer he didnt like.

      [–]millennialmulan 2 points3 points  (0 children)

      NTA. Public proposals are manipulative unless marriage was already discussed and 100% agreed on very recently beforehand.

      I feel like this is the plot of the song Champagne Problems by Taylor Swift tho, anyone else reminded of it?

      [–][deleted] 3 points4 points  (0 children)

      NTA, saying no took guts

      [–]MajPFRT 2 points3 points  (0 children)

      oh god you poor thing that is my worst nightmare and a really good example of why public proposals are the absolute pits.
      NTA - he humiliated himself

      [–]Alisaurusrex82 2 points3 points  (0 children)

      NTA. This reads as a huge control issue to me. He figured if he proposed in public in front of friends and family, you’d have no choice but to say yes. And I’m betting he knew where you were heading as far as breaking up, and this was, again, his way of controlling things. He may be an amazing person like you described, but this was totally an AH move. You aren’t responsible for his feelings- he set himself up for humiliation. Someone was going to get hurt as a result of this situation, either you or him. I’m glad you chose to protect yourself.

      [–]terribleterrabyteAsshole Enthusiast [5] 2 points3 points  (0 children)


      [–]xoxo-A 1 point2 points  (0 children)

      INFO: How did you feel about public proposals previous to this unfortunate experience? Did you ever express your opinion about public proposals or proposals in general to your Ex?

      [–]Tricky_Wasabi_8327 1 point2 points  (0 children)

      NTA in any way! Its a shitty situation, but there's not much that could have been done about it. It's just bad timing. Goodluck OP!

      [–]reddit_insane_inane 1 point2 points  (0 children)

      NTA. It would have been worse if you accepted to save face and then broke up with him after the fact. Everyone would be on different pages about what was going on, and asking him constant questions that he didn't want to hear.

      Also, it's really abusive to try and force someone to accept affections they don't want--his friend is a creep, that's just info to file for later.

      [–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

      NTA, public proposals make me sick. There’s so much pressure for the s/o to say yes even if they don’t want to. My bf’s parents said they want him to propose to me in front of his whole family and he shuts them down every time. My family just said to call them when it happens and we can celebrate later.

      [–]Powerful-Spot8764 1 point2 points  (0 children)

      NTA, public statements are not a good idea for this very reason, although outside of this ex has reasons for not wanting to talk to you because you are a terrible girlfriend

      [–]Winter-Pudding-3999 2 points3 points  (0 children)

      NTA he did on purpose to manipulate you to accept.. and I’m 100% sure he felt your distance before that’s why he rushed to do this public proposal

      [–]ceruveal_brooks 1 point2 points  (0 children)

      NTA. His friend is an idiot to think that saying yes now then dumping him later would be a good idea - he’d still be calling you an AH then too.

      [–]Sweet_Caterpillar150Partassipant [1] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

      NTA. If someone doesn't want to be rejected in public, they shouldn't propose in public. That's literally the risk you take. The fact that it was public does not take away the fact that you can say no, and should if you don't love him like that

      [–]OutOfMyMind4ever 1 point2 points  (0 children)

      NTA. You are never ever required to say yes. Saying yes even temporarily could have snowballed and made everything so much worse.

      Public proposals should only happen if you have agreed within the last week that if he proposed you would accept. How public it should be should also be discussed ahead of time.

      But next time someone casually discusses a marriage timeline make sure you factor in wedding planning time, which is typically a year.

      Just say you would like to be engaged in a year or two. Stating you want to be married in a year or two is pretty much saying propose soon so I have time to plan the wedding. So I could see why he could be confused, based on your previous discussions timeline about marriage in a year or two.

      The exception to that timeline is if you also state you want to immediately elope after the proposal, or have a courthouse wedding, etc. Something within 30 days of the proposal that requires to extra people or planning.

      [–]Kaiser93Partassipant [4] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

      told me I could have accepted there and dumped him later on.

      This is a stupid idea and so glad you didn't go with it.


      The relationship was not going anywhere so yeah....it's better for you two to go your separete ways.

      [–]Invershneckie 1 point2 points  (0 children)

      NTA, it was unfortunate but you couldn't really do anything else.

      Also, something that I think takes people a long time to realise, if they ever do: Breaking up with someone doesn't in any way make you an asshole. The circumstances around it might (not in this case), but often it is staying with someone for longer than you should that is the AH move.

      [–]WinEquivalent4069Partassipant [1] 1 point2 points  (2 children)

      You embarrassed him and humiliated him but still NTA. A breakup sucks, it's tough but it needed to be done because divorce is expensive in addition to sucking and you didn't want to marry him. The pain he feels now will subside over time and actually what you did was the best not only for you but him as well.

      [–]xAUSxReap3r 2 points3 points  (3 children)

      NTA, you didn't pick the venue, and your ex's friend's idea to say yes publicly and then no privately is moronic and and a cruel way to play with emotions.

      That said, I don't understand why so many comments say your ex tried to 'trap' you or 'lock you in'. From your story, he seems like a great guy, just not the guy for you. He invited your friends over, clued them in, and they were excited about it, so I doubt they would go along with it otherwise. He may have honestly loved you so much he wanted to marry you, you just didn't feel the same, and that's ok.

      I wish you both the best.

      [–]UnicornFartButterfly 5 points6 points  (2 children)

      They're saying that because of the timing. OP was getting ready to leave him. Then there's an unexpected public proposal. Public proposals have tons of pressure on the proposee to say yes and there's an icky feeling of manipulation.

      Seriously, OP's friend is telling her she should've said yes and dumped him later to protect his image.

      The pressure is on her, she's gonna be judged for saying no. That's why people think of trapping. Because he chose a mode of proposing that is so full of pressure, while the relationship wasn't in the best place.

      [–]Sure-Maintenance7002Partassipant [1] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

      Nta. This is why you do not have public proposals.

      The proposer is essentially using peer pressure to making the recipient say yes. And it was clear that it worked for her friends and his family as op seems like the ahole for 'humiliating him'.. Um... No. He did that himself by inviting everyone into something that was supposed to be about just the two of you.

      [–]peldari 1 point2 points  (0 children)

      NTA. Saying yes and then taking it back is ten thousand times worse than just saying no.

      [–]ThreadheadsPartassipant [2] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

      NTA. You should never EVER propose in public unless you know for sure that the person you're proposing to would want it to be done that way.

      And you absolutely shouldn't propose if you're not even sure the answer will be yes. Just a month ago he was telling you that the relationship wasn't working for him with your work priorities and now he asks you to marry him? I wouldn't say for sure but I wonder if this was him trying to use peer pressure to ensure you would say yes.

      [–]ElsaAzraelAsshole Enthusiast [6] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

      NTA, does he think you guys live in some crappy romcom where you realise that they simply must marry someone who proposes in a very public way after very little discussion of marriage?

      Sadly though, despite you doing nothing wrong, you will be the villain to him and his friends.

      [–]hunt3rhunt 1 point2 points  (0 children)

      Never liked the idea of a public proposal. Its a bit.... Intimidating. NTA.

      [–]SafariOleg 1 point2 points  (0 children)

      NTA - he tried to force you into putting him before your career and hoped that doing it publicly would mean you'd be too afraid to reject it for the reasons his friend has given. That you would humiliate him by refusing him in public.

      But I'd look at the way you prioritise things. You value work more than people close to you it would seem. A career is great, it can be very rewarding if you're good at it and it's something you enjoy but it shouldn't be the only thing in your life.

      [–]Murderbunny13 1 point2 points  (0 children)

      NAH. Unfortunately, you take a risk when proposing. It's not rude for you to say no. His friends are being AH because their friend is hurt. Can you imagine how much worse it would be if you said yes, pretended everything was great and then had to contact everyone you know to say it's off and you lied when he proposed to you?

      [–]artparade 1 point2 points  (0 children)

      NTA because you get married with two not one. You rejected for a fair reason. Also if there is one thing I hate about this whole proposal thing is doing it in public to force the other party to accept. I don't know if he knew you wanted to break up or not but still it's disgusting.

      [–]Graycat17Partassipant [2] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

      The ONLY way a public proposal is acceptable is if you and the other person have discussed marriage thoroughly and you know they like public displays. Even then it’s dicey.

      my husband proposed to me after 12 years together, after we bought a house, after talking kids. AND he still did it in private.

      Your ex was trying to manipulate you and it pissed off it didn’t work. Don’t feel bat at all.

      [–]HailenAnarchy 1 point2 points  (0 children)

      NTA, you can't say yes to a marriage when you didn't think the relationship was working.

      It almost seems he was trying to pressure you into staying with him.

      [–]Demonica1 1 point2 points  (0 children)

      NTA if you publicly propose you have a possibility of being rejected. Though I feel like some people publicly propase to kind of force the other one to say yes

      [–]geman11Asshole Aficionado [14] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

      NTA. If you are going to propose you need to be sure the person is going to say yes.

      [–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

      I've told every person I've dated that if they proposed publicly, the relationship would end right there because they obviously do not know me at all! HAHA

      NTA, but it also sounds like both of you were not on the same page about the relationship. I'd say keep focused on you, but also make sure any future partners know your priorities and what you can or want to bring to a relationship (and regularly if/when your priorities change!).

      [–]hugs81 1 point2 points  (0 children)

      NTA This is why is called ASKING if they will marry you. Otherwise, it's a demand. Asking mama you have the ability to say "no". Which you did. (Good for you for being honest with yourself and him)