Marriage proposal gets a ‘maybe’

A reader is worried that an uncertain response to a marriage proposal may have spoiled the relationship. If it did, the couple should thank their stars it happened now and saved themselves years of pain, Carolyn Hax replies.



July 8, 2022 - 3:04 PM

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Hi, Carolyn: Two nights ago, my incredible partner of three years asked me if I want to get married. I had been anticipating the question and answered honestly that I would like to have a little while (a few weeks? Maybe longer?) to think/talk it all the way through, which would ideally include some work with a premarital counselor. This is not out of any particular concern or unhappiness with our relationship, but because of the hugeness of the decision. Marriage is (hopefully) for life!

My partner is disappointed and saddened that my answer wasn’t, “Of course I would love to!” And now we are having a hard time getting back to normal. I think there is this romanticized idea that when it comes to marriage, one is supposed to “just know” and have no doubts or anything.

Have I screwed up our whole relationship? If I want to take a beat to think about marriage does that truly mean the answer is no? — Thinking

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