When it comes to marriage, most women are conditioned to think that you need to wait for a man to choose you and make you a wife.

However as times change, women are realising that when it comes to marriage and choosing your partner, it is the woman who chooses the man and not the other way around.

via GIPHY

READ MORE: Soweto twins who were married to the same man for 9 years now single and praying for one man to love them both

When getting proposed to, women have different preferences, and here are some things that they consider before saying, ‘yes’ — assuming that they've already decided that the relationship is worth taking to the next level.

         Conversation

Before you can be surprised with a ring and beautiful words promising eternity, it is important to first have the discussion with your partner where you communicate that you are ready to get married.

-          Location

Location, location, location! The proposal location is important as it can either make the proposal meaningful or very confusing. The location reflects on your relationship and determine how well you know each other.

-          Creativity

A marriage proposal is not just about popping the question, it is about the creativity. Being creative does not mean being overly dramatic but is more about making the proposal extra special and unique.

READ MORE: We do! Couple’s shock as they accidentally propose to each other at the same time

Before we get to the creative ways to say ‘no’ to a proposal, let’s first explore a woman’s story who was proposed to but declined the offer.

Reddit user shared that she was in a relationship and had broken up with her partner due to infidelity, “I had left my ex due to the fact that he cheated on me with both men and women. And every time he would get too drunk, he would confess to me that he was gay.”

She continued to add how she was willing to make peace and somehow ended up being bombarded with a random proposal, “He was distraught for weeks and asked me to meet him in person to talk, so I agreed. He proposed to me in the McDonald’s parking lot and I straight up said 'no.'”

There are many reasons why women decline marriage proposals, however should you find yourself in a situation where you get an unwanted public proposal and you do not want to embarrass the other party — or yourself? Well, here are some creative ways women recommend you use to decline the proposal in a 'gentle' and witty way.

READ MORE: This 23-year-old woman fell in love with a 46-year-old. Here are the benefits of age-gap love

“As soon as you see him going down on one knee - quickly also go down on your knees next to him, hold his hands so he can’t pull out a ring or present it to you and start ‘praying’. Maybe you could come up with a creative prayer - something along the lines of: please protects us from unwanted surprises this festive season, we enjoy being single and don’t want that to change.”
Anonymous
“This is a tough one. That’s why I would prefer a private proposal with just the two of us so that I can be honest in my response. If the proposal is public I would probably say yes so that he doesn’t feel embarrassed, especially when people whip out their cellphones. Then I would later let him down gently.”
Maria
“Actually my boyfriend once told me that he went to go look for rings to propose to me (we had been dating for 5 years then but I was still an intern in my job), I just told him I wasn’t ready to get married and he should try again when I’m more settled in a job and have my life together. He completely understood. Never rush into anything if you’re not ready the right guy will understand this.”
Azarrah
“I honestly think women shouldn’t have this burden of thinking of creative ways to turn down unwanted advances. But if I would find myself in such a circumstance I would let the person know my preferences when it comes to marriage very early in the relationship, if they persist with an unwanted public proposal I would choose a moment away from public eyes, with people I feel safe around in close proximity, to let them down gently.”
Anonymous
“I would probably say yes at the time just to spare his feelings. I assume he would probably be really nervous and stressed already, so I would not want to make that worse, especially if it’s a public proposal. After the nerves have settled, I would sit him down and explain why I’m turning down his proposal.”
Nikki
“I would hope we have discussed marriage and it is something that we, as a, couple are striving towards. But if we haven’t and the proposal is, hopefully, in a private setting, then I would ask him why he wants to get married? This is with the hope that it would open an honest conversation that could have us both explore whether marriage is a viable option for us and (secretly) be talking him out of the idea. If the proposal were in a public setting, I would hug him and whisper in his ear to get up (if he’s kneeling), pretend I said yes to everyone looking and once we get home ask him the above question, with the hope of talking him out of the idea.”
Bombi

Have you ever had to turn down a proposal? Tell us about it here.

Sign up to W24’s newsletters so you don’t miss out on any of our hot stories and giveaways.