If your partner pops the question to you in a private setting, you can have a frank conversation about your feelings then and there. Be straightforward but also kind and gracious in your rejection, Anne Chertoff, wedding trend expert at WeddingWire, told HuffPost.
“Be honest about why you are saying ‘no.’ Is it that you don’t ever want to marry? Have the two of you not yet had important conversations about finances, having children, etc., that are making you pause in that very moment?” Chertoff said. “Not feeling ready to accept a marriage proposal right then and there is quite different than knowing you don’t want to spend your life with him or her.”
These conversations should happen face to face and not over email, text or the phone unless you feel that saying “no” could put your safety in jeopardy.
If you’re not currently ready to get married to this person but think you will be down the road, there may still be hope for the relationship. But it depends on the reasons for declining the proposal, Harrison said.
“If you truly believe you want to marry this person but it feels too soon or there are other factors that need to be addressed before you can accept the proposal, then yes, there is absolutely hope for the relationship,” she told HuffPost. “If you want the relationship to continue, be sure to communicate that clearly. You will also want to take the time to discuss those things getting in the way of your acceptance.”
But do know that the relationship may sour due to the pain of the rejection.
“There is a decent chance that the rejection can be so hurtful to your partner that the hard feelings may never really disappear and it will ultimately be the downfall of the relationship,” Harrison added. “Similarly, if you reject a proposal because you really can’t see yourself marrying this person, then the relationship will very likely come to an end.”Source