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Woman tells friend; 'Your proposal was disrespectful; I'm not surprised she said no.' AITA? UPDATED

Woman tells friend; 'Your proposal was disrespectful; I'm not surprised she said no.' AITA? UPDATED


When this friend is disturbed by their friend's proposal, they ask the internet:

"AITA for calling my friend's proposal disrespectful?"

Alright, so here's the deal. My (F) friend (m27) decided to propose to his girlfriend of 3 years, Dina. (F26). The two met at a bar pre-COVID, and were just chatting at first but it quickly led to more and eventually the two of them moved in together and discussed marriage.

Personally, I think they're a great match, and my friend, Stephen, has never been happier. He told me that he was planning to propose to Dina, and I was ecstatic.

Well, the day of the proposal hits, and I called Stephen the next day, which was last night, to congratulate him. But he wasn't happy. He told me that Dina had said no. I was shocked, and asked if he knew why. He said that she didn't like how he proposed.

Now here's the thing. I knew he was going to pop the question, but I didn't know how he was going to do it. He thought it would be romantic to propose at the place they met...yes. A bar.

Already I could kind of see why she might not like that, but I decided to ask her privately because she and I have gotten to be close.

She confided in me that it's because she told Stephen multiple times that she didn't want to have a public proposal, and that she was horrified he would do it at a bar of all places and that she felt disrespected that he didn't accommodate that.

I told Stephen that his proposal was honestly really disrespectful and seriously kind of messed up, to which he told me I was being an insensitive AH and should be supportive as his friend rather that talking down on him, but I don't know if I'm wrong here.

AITA for calling my friend's proposal disrespectful? I am actually female, for those saying "him".

Before we give you OP's updates, lets take a look at some of the top responses:

gateer writes:

YTA - Telling him his proposal was "disrespectful" and "kind of messed up" was not the kind of thing a friend would do. It's extremely judgmental especially since you're playing both sides here.

Is he aware that you're talking to his girlfriend and that your criticism of him is based on her conversation with you? Whose friend are you? Hers? His? Nobody's? Why are you so far up in their business?

evensuper writes:

NTA. I would have said YTA had they not discussed the proposal before. But she told him MULTIPLE TIMES to not make it a public proposal and he did the opposite of that. I would be pretty pissed too. She had one request, and he couldn't even deliver that.

ligrabe writes:

ESH (except Dina) should he have listened to his gf? Of course. But I do get his reason for proposing at the place the met and why he’d think it was romantic. You sound a little condescending about proposing at a bar.

How was it “seriously messed up” or disrespectful? Inconsiderate I can see, but instead of showing the tiniest bit of empathy and kindness towards someone you’ve been friends with for years it seems you berated and belittled his feelings.

Also you sound like a busy body. Stay out of their relationship, you’re obviously not helping.

Edit: actually I’m leaning towards YTA it was not a disrespectful proposal and you took the chance away for them to talk about first. It was frankly none of your business, weren’t you his friend first?

jdog writes:

YTA. It’s honestly not your place to comment. Yeah it was wrong of him but you’re not the one who has to tell him that. You’re his friend, and his proposal already got turned down. He doesn’t need you telling him he was wrong even if he was. Later on you Can but not when the wound is so fresh. Let them hash it out themselves.

corpuscular writes:

Honestly, this proposal was just so low effort that I feel like calling it a Grand Gesture gives it too much credit. A grand gesture is sometimes thoughtless and/or emotionally manipulative, but it at least takes some effort.

The guy proposed in a bar during regular hours in front of a bunch of strangers. Dude didn't even have to put in the effort to make an on-line reservation. I suspect he didn't even line up a good bottle of champagne beforehand and was hopping the bar would just comp them something.

Most private proposals have more effort put into them, let alone public proposals. I don't know what I'd call that, maybe Mediocre Gesture? Puny Gesture? Not that it matters much what we call it b/c it was completely thoughtless.

This isn't a slam on low effort proposals. Public/private, Grand Gesture/No Grand Gesture, High Effort/Low Effort - whatever works for the couple is the perfect proposal.

This is a slam on the guy for being dismissive of his GF and trying to pass something extremely thoughtless and low effort as something thoughtful and high effort.

meanparsnip writes:

NTA but I don't think the proposal being in the place where they met is a total sign that he is disrespectful. He maybe thought that a public proposal is something like a flash mob or a big to do out in the world.

He might have thought a low key proposal in a bar was low key enough for her. His interpretation of public might be different from hers. Did he make a big show of proposing at the bar or was it quite proposal that just happened to be in a public place?

Also I think men get very nervous to propose, he had the idea and that was all he could come up with. He might have needed a bit of grace in this situation.

chemspain writes:

NTA. When I proposed to my Fiancée I knew she would hate a public proposal and would have said no. When we got to the place I was going to propose, there was a small family party. Instead of proposing in front of 30 strangers, we went on a walk to somewhere more private, and I asked her there.

Unfortunately, she saw her sister, who was going to take pictures of us, so it ruined the surprise. I didn't care, though, because she was more comfortable.

Your friend is a complete AH for doing exactly what she asked him not to do, and you have every right to call him out. Tell him to pull his head out of his ass and apologize to his girlfriend if she didn't already dump him.

faagry writes:

YTA I don't know if you're a guy but you basically have no listening skills. Listening is different from hearing. You and your friend both!

The problem is not that it was in a bar. That's not the point his GF made. The point she made was that she does not want a public proposal!

It does not matter that it was in a bar. It could have been in a beach full of people or in the restaurant of a nice cruise, in the middle of a concert, etc and the result wkd have bee the same: A resounding NO! because it was in public.

Then you went and told him the wrong thing, that it was disrespectful but the proposal wasn't disrespectful. The fact that he does listen to her is extremely inconsiderate and a massive red flag and that is what you should have told him!

Evereyone, listen carefully! If you SO does not actively listen to you, they are not worth it.

impossibletrac writes:

YTA for injecting yourself into the situation. You wanted to know why she said no, you asked and she told you, that’s fine, but YTA for then turning around and talking to him about it! Your opinion was insensitive and unsolicited. Gossip and injecting yourself into other people’s relationships is immature.

adinard writes:

You’re NTA, he is. If he would’ve taken her to the bar for drinks then left, went somewhere private and proposed after, the would’ve been romantic AND respected his gfs boundaries and wishes.

I would also have a panic/anxiety attack if everyone was suddenly staring at me waiting for an answer. It wasn’t cool of him to disrespect her wishes like that and especially on something that would set the tone for their engagement and future.

You’re a good friend to the gf/your friend for basically giving Stephen a slap upside the head and a “wtf dude”. If he couldn’t respect this simple wish/boundary of hers, he probably wouldn’t have respected other wishes/boundaries once married.

oldwetchip writes:

Oooh yeah NTA. First of all, she already expressed for him to never do that, and he did it anyways, so that’s bad.

I swear there’s two types of people- people who love surprise parties, public proposals, going to a restaurant and having the staff sing happy bday to you, etc…and then there’s people who don’t.

And the people who don’t like that stuff usually REALLY hate it, and feel super anxious/upset when that stuff happens.

The people who like surprise parties etc never quite seem to understand people who don’t like them-they think “eh, maybe it’s not their favorite but it’s not thaaaaat big of a deal.

I’m gonna do it anyways and maybe they’ll be mad at first but they’ll get over it once they see how fun it is!” when for a lot of them, it is a huge deal, super upsetting and anxiety inducing etc.

njbelle writes:

NTA he can’t see it now but it’s was for his own good you were honest with him. If he doesn’t listen to her now what does that say about their future.

Calling out our friends for the poor decisions they make is what a good friendship is all about. Keeps us in check- like asking strangers on Reddit if we are assholes. Hopefully after his bruised ego rebounds from being wrong he can accept the truth and make amends with everyone and get they proposal right.

And now, OP's update:

This whole situation played out far differently than I expected. I didn't know that Stephen had a Reddit, and he saw everything. All of this.

He confronted me about it, and while he was pissed that I "aired their dirty laundry", he did end up thanking me for posting it because it "gave him a different perspective", so thank you commenters!

As for their relationship: Dina and Stephen are still living together...sort of. Dina was upset over the whole event and has spent the past couple days mostly at her parent's house and then working it out with Stephen at night.

Dina said she is working on forgiving him, but mostly has been bothered that her wishes weren't met. At this time, they are not engaged and Dina has no plans for that anytime soon.

I did tell Stephen that if they stay together, I would help him plan a proposal in the future. The three of us live in Florida, and we're all relatively close to a beach. So I suggested to Stephen that next time he proposed, he do it in the evening at a beach or somewhere private without a lot of people or noise.

Stephen also told Dina he is planning on returning the ring he bought, and will be giving her some of the money to use for whatever she wants. I think he ordered flowers to be sent to her work, too, if I'm not mistaken. So I guess it all worked out in the end.

What do YOU make of OP's story? Any advice for her?

Sources: Reddit
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