Though it shouldn’t be anyone’s defining feature, one of the biggest decisions a person can make is who they will marry or have a long-term relationship with.
But sometimes, in the process of taking a relationship forever, they might discover their partner does not want the same thing, cringed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITAH) subReddit.
Redditor exiledbyfamily was in love with his long-term girlfriend and wanted to marry her, but he had already been rejected by her once when she said she needed more time before accepting a proposal.
But when she rejected a second proposal, the Original Poster (OP) realized this might not be the right relationship for him after all.
He asked the sub:
“AITA for breaking up with my girlfriend after she rejected my proposal twice?”
The OP was struggling to propose to his girlfriend, or rather, she was struggling to say yes.
“Sierra and I (both 29 years old) have been dating for four years. I absolutely love her and felt like she was my soulmate.”
“I knew I wanted to propose two years into dating but decided to wait one more year so that I could get in a better situation financially.”
“Last year, I proposed. It was a private proposal on the beach where we went on our first date.”
“She looked at me and said, ‘I want to marry you, but not right now.’ She said she wasn’t in the right space personally to get engaged and to give her some time.”
“That stung, but I was okay with it. After all, I put off proposing so I can be in a good position. It’s only fair I give her the chance.”
The OP decided to try again but to the same result.
“It’s been a year since then, and I decided to propose again. This time, I asked our friends to help me set it up because I wanted to do something nicer. It was a private proposal, just her and I, but my friends helped me plan it.”
“We orchestrated a nice dinner and a proposal in front of a nice fountain in the city’s botanical garden.”
“Everything was ready, dinner went great, and we went to the fountain. She saw the roses and everything, and then I got down on one knee and asked her to marry me.”
“She teared up and told me, ‘Not just yet.'”
“This stung really bad. I knew I wanted her in my life forever, but this was the second time she turned me down.”
“I asked her why, and she told me the same thing as last year.”
“I asked her if someone was holding her back, maybe family or friend, and she just said, ‘I just want to make sure that this will work first.'”
“This hurt me more than the two rejections. We had discussed marriage shortly before I proposed the first time. She was into it and even told me that she couldn’t see herself with anyone else. She seemed eager about the idea of marriage, which is why I was shocked the first time and then angry the second time.”
The OP realized it might be time to move on.
“I told her if after four years she isn’t sure, then what the h**l will make her sure.”
“She asked me to give her time, and I told her no. I told her that I was not going to keep wasting my time and love if she’s gonna keep saying no. I told her that I can’t do this anymore.”
“She began begging me not to leave and said, ‘Fine, I’ll marry you, just please don’t go.'”
“That made me mad, but I didn’t say anything. I just left.”
“My phone has been blowing up with some of our friends, her parents, and her telling me that I’m ‘an a**hole for throwing away a four-year relationship because she said no and that I was being a big baby. She just needs some time.'”
“The other half of our friends aren’t on my side, but they’re not on hers, either.”
“I don’t think I’m an a**hole for this. Did I overreact? Am I an a**hole? If so, how much more time am I supposed to give her?”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some said the OP’s ex-girlfriend should have been able to give him a straight answer.
“NTA. Go with your gut. You did the right thing. You are not the one. That 2nd No and then the quick ‘fine, I’ll marry you’ is that she is agreeing to marry without really wanting to. Your marriage would never last.” – Delicious-Jaguar-543
“NTA. You read it right. If someone says no and only when you show a willingness to walk away says, ‘Fine, I’ll do it,’ that is not the one you want to have say yes.”
“Heal up and move on. You were never quite what you wished she saw you as. Oh, and learn the lesson. Do not do a public proposal.”
“Not after getting rejected once. Not even if it’s the first time. Not unless you talked about it in advance and you know she’s going to say yes.” – Agitated_Budgets
“NTA: my first instinct is that she knows she doesn’t want to be married to you but is afraid of being alone. If you had used the threat of a breakup to convince her to agree, I’d say you were wrong, but it sounds like this is a deal breaker for you. If she’s not ready after four years, she’s not likely to be ready in the fifth either.” – Honeyhwhite
“Nah, he made his intentions clear. If she didn’t want to get married to him, she should’ve told him. 4 years together is more than enough to know if your partner is the one.” – daisilyn
“NTA. No reasonable articulable ‘thing’ for her to be able to get over her objection to marrying you, and you don’t want someone who feels like they’re being blackmailed into doing it; that will come back to bite you big-time in a few years.”
“The parting comment that breaking it off with her meant you were a ‘big baby’ just confirms it was the right decision.”
“Sorry, you had to go through this OP. At least you found out she wasn’t The One before it was too late. The four wasted years are a bummer, though. I feel your hurt.” – RevolutionaryCar8240
Others thought it was clear the OP and his ex-girlfriend wanted different things in life.
“She’s not ready to commit.”
“He’s not ready to NOT commit (any longer).”
“NAH. They get to both want what they want. They’re not compatible. The AHs are everyone else butting in.” – OneLetter
“NAH. You want different things in life, apparently, and there’s nothing wrong with that.”
“It is a little suspect that she went from ‘no’ to ‘yes’ when you said you were leaving, but I’ve also experienced the ‘please don’t leave’ feelings, so I get that, too.” – Training-Computer816
“NAH. You want different things. The decision to get married and to whom is among the biggest of your entire life. If you have different visions of what your future holds, it is time to break up.” – cmichael39
“I say NAH. She is entitled to say no, of course, and it’s okay that she feels like she’s not ready for that step in her life. Feelings are feelings, they aren’t wrong.”
“All that being said, he’s entitled to feel like it’s time to move on if he’s ready to be a husband.”
“They are both at different stages in their lives, and that’s okay too! Sometimes, we grow differently, this is all a part of life. Maybe both will move on to each of their soul mates. Or h**l, maybe they will find their way back to each other, who knows?”
“The point is, he is absolutely NTA for telling her he is not willing to wait any longer. She is certainly NTA for not getting into a situation she’s not ready to be in. NAH to both.” – AntiqueAssignment321
“You are ready, she’s not. She feels insecure and needs time. Fair enough. That’s her prerogative. If it was just that, I’d called you TAH but she can’t tell you what she’s waiting for. She can’t tell you what she needs. Maybe she doesn’t even know it. That doesn’t mean she’s an A.H., but it means that you’re also not the A.H. when you say that after four years and talk about marriage, you expect more.”
“My best guess is she likes you a lot, and you’re a great guy, but it doesn’t click exactly as she wants it to. She wants to love you like you do. But even if everything is perfect, love can not be forced or guaranteed. And because that last, involuntary bit doesn’t come, her honesty keeps her from saying yes.”
“That’s not her fault. Sometimes, you can do everything right, and it still doesn’t work. And I can understand that she wants it to work, and that’s most likely why she asks for more time. She wants to feel it, but it just doesn’t happen.”
“But you’re also NTA for saying: hey, I’m 29. I want a stable marriage and kids.”
“Don’t beat yourself up over this. But also don’t blame her. Just accept that it is what it is. Sometimes, it just doesn’t work no matter how hard everyone tries.”
“If you decide that’s it, you want to break up, be gentle and understanding.” – GrayDottedPony
The subReddit understood the confusion and hurt the OP was experiencing from clearly wanting to marry his long-term girlfriend and feeling rejected by her, but they were torn over what to do next.
Some thought this was a sure sign of a woman who didn’t want this marriage ever.
But others argued that if the couple had not talked about their expectations for their relationship, engagement, and marriage, then perhaps the OP should have put a little more effort into communicating with her before deciding to leave behind the woman he “absolutely” wanted to marry.