7 Ways To Say NO To An Arranged Marriage Proposal (2023)

7 Ways To Say NO To An Arranged Marriage Proposal (1)

Fending off an arranged marriage proposal

What’s common between an arranged marriage proposal and a tiger in the jungle? They both have a way of sneaking in on you!

It is common knowledge that arranged marriages are primarily driven by the parents, uncles, and aunts. They hold the responsibility of making sure prospective matches are lined up when they believe it’s the right time for you to “settle down”.

This results in awkward arranged marriage first meetings. There are numerous anecdotes and stories of how an arranged marriage proposal turns into surreal experiences for the boy or the girl.

Find out what happened to this woman came face to face with her prospective husband and in-laws. Click here to read the story.

Obviously, the best way to tackle an unwanted arranged marriage proposal would be to just say no and get on with your life!

7 Ways To Say NO To An Arranged Marriage Proposal (2)Don’t have time to read this blog post? Watch this short video on how you can say no to an arranged marriage proposal.

7 Ways To Say NO To An Arranged Marriage Proposal (3)How you say no to an arranged marriage proposal depends on the situation and the context.

When you ignore how others perceive your negative response and the context, you will invariably create a bad name for yourself and arranged marriages in general!

One of the reasons arranged marriages have a bad name or people assume it’s outdated is that people say no to arranged marriage proposals for the weirdest reasons!

Here are some real-life incidents – The father-in-law expected to be served tea and poha instead of samosa and sherbet, the girl did not like a birthmark on the prospective groom’s neck and for having graduated with the “wrong” degree. The list is endless and you can read all the gory details here.

But not everyone says no to arranged marriage proposals for the wrong reasons.

(Video) How to Say No to an Arranged Marriage? Episode 4 - Arranged Marriage Problems - Solved!

7 Ways To Say NO To An Arranged Marriage Proposal (4)

Recently a young girl in Bangalore rejected a prospective match because he did not like her pet dog. That’s not all. Her encounter made her realise who will call the shots after marriage. You will find the details here.

Let’s face it, if you receive arranged marriage proposals, you may not like all of them or most of them! That’s the law of nature!

We have put together 7 practical ways to say no to an arranged marriage proposal.

1. Tell them you are not ready!

Unsolicited arranged marriage proposals usually come in from distant relatives and from the family-friends network. Women are often pressurised by overzealous family members to get married. Overzealous relatives try every trick in the book to set you up. The seemingly random meeting with an eligible bachelor or his mum then quickly becomes obvious going by the line of questions you may have to field.

It is important not to cave into such pressures and here are some elegant ways you can say no to such arranged marriage proposals.

When you are talking directly to a boy or a girl, consider using these responses.

“I believe I need more time to establish myself in my career. Marriage is certainly not in the cards.” or “I think I am still too young to get married and I have not yet thought about settling down.”

When you are dealing with parents or relatives of a prospective match, you could say something like

“I am flattered that you would consider me worthy of your son/daughter. However, I want to focus on my career/passion now. I hope you will find a suitable match soon.”

While we rake our brains to figure out how to reject a guy in arranged marriage, it is important to set the right expectations with your parents and relatives. Tell them exactly what you think about getting married and don’t try to play the role of an “obedient son or daughter”.

If you are not sure about who you are, your are feeling insecure and don’t know what is important to you, you are not ready for marriage.

2. Saying NO to messages from online matrimony sites

While it may be easy to justify why you said no to an unsolicited arranged marriage proposal, saying no to people who express interest via online matrimony sites should also be handled properly.

Most matrimony sites make it easy to say yes or no when someone expresses interest in your profile. You need to make sure you take the trouble of clicking on a button to let them know if you are not interested. Seems very simple, but you will be surprised to find how many people fail to embrace this basic etiquette.

(Video) Best Way To Reject An Arranged Marriage Proposal

7 Ways To Say NO To An Arranged Marriage Proposal (5)

However, things can get tricky when you initiate a chat, email exchange or an offline conversation with someone you found on a matrimony site only to discover that they may not be a suitable person after all.

Online chat

If you are chatting and you figure out that this may not a suitable match for you, just say,

“I think we may have to stop chatting now. I did enjoy chatting with you but I don’t think we are a good match. Best wishes for your search.”

In response, if the other party agrees and signs off, you can close the case. If the other person starts arguing or feels offended, you can always log out or you can report the person to the site for abuse. Remember, don’t get drawn into an angry exchange ever.


The best way to decline an arranged marriage proposal in an email would be to write something like this:

“Hi <name>, Thank you for sharing your son / daughter’s marriage biodata. After careful consideration, we have decided that this match may not be suitable for us. Our best wishes to your son / daughter and we hope you will find a suitable match soon.”

You can modify this template if you are directly sending a message to the prospective match.

Phone call

If you ever moved from expressing interest online all the way to a phone call with the prospective matches or his / her family, you will have to tactfully end the conversation if they are not suitable for you.

The best strategy to pull this off is to move the conversation from the phone call to an email! It’s better to avoid expressing no in a phone call as you may end up feeling guilty or worry too much about hurt feelings. If you are forced to tell no over a phone call, always tell the truth and end the call quickly.

“I don’t think this is going to work for us. Good luck.” is all you need to say.

If they ask for an explanation, you can use these examples.

“I don’t think there is a personality match”, “We have different expectations”, “Horoscope match is important for us and our astrologer doesn’t think there is a match.”

(Video) 11 questions EVERY BRIDE MUST ASK A POTENTIAL GROOM in an arranged marriage | By Raina

Always remember that if you come across an abusive individual in an online matrimony site, report the abuse immediately. Take screenshots for evidence.

3. Saying no after arranged marriage first meetings

7 Ways To Say NO To An Arranged Marriage Proposal (6)

Rejection hurts more when you know the person and his or her family and have had a chance to interact with them. Saying no after arranged marriage meetings should be done with elegance and due consideration for the other party.

If you would like to find out how not to say no to an arranged marriage proposal, you should read these personal incidents. Click here to read the stories.

Here are some guidelines that will help you politely say no to a marriage proposal after the first meeting:

  • Ask all the right questions during arranged marriage first question. Don’t ask frivolous questions.
  • Don’t let your parents hijack the conversation. Set the ground rules before the meeting with your parents.
  • Understand what the red lines are for you.
  • Don’t communicate your decision at the meeting. Always say, “we will get back to you.”
  • Make sure you communicate the decision with a follow-up call or email. Don’t leave it to your matchmaker or any other third party to explain.

We put together 50 important questions that will tell you how to judge a boy or girl or what to ask a boy or girl in an arranged marriage first meeting. Click here to read this article.

4. How to say no after a one-on-one meeting?

Let’s assume you have had an arranged marriage first meeting and you have now moved on to a one-on-one date with the prospective match. You may meet him or her a couple of times and then decide that this may not be the right person for you.

The key strategy is here is to figure out if the other person is emotionally invested or not. If you have had several meetings and you know each other fairly well, you got to lay him or her down gently. If it was just a meeting and you are still “strangers”, rely on your family to communicate the bad news.

As always, the best strategy would be to switch your conversation channel to chat or email so that you can keep the communication objective and not let it become emotional.

An email could be sent by your parents to end the contact or if you have some personal rapport with the other party, you can send out a polite email.

“I enjoyed meeting you. However, I think we may not be compatible. I hope you will find the right person.” should do the trick.

There is no need to respond to any follow-up questions from the other party after you send the email. Stay silent and they should get the message.

5. How to say no after the engagement?

Most engaged couples go on to get married, but there are chances that you may want to break off after getting engaged.

(Video) OMG!!! MARRIAGE PROPOSAL on the Feud!

While this may not be a pleasant experience, cutting off a potentially bad life-long relationship before marriage is a wise decision. In the Indian context, because marriages are associated with family honour, breaking off the engagement means a loss of face for the family.

Parents fear that their son or daughter will be always tainted by the failed engagement and that they may never find any suitable match. In the unlikely event that you are forced to end an engagement because you discovered a nasty truth about your fiance or his / her family, it’s important to do it swiftly and decisively.

If you have discovered malicious intent, you can follow these guidelines.

  • Break off contact with your fiance and get your parents / close relatives to handle the communication.
  • Make sure all photographs are deleted. If you have already shared your engagement photos via social networks, make sure you delete them.
  • If the other party continues to stalk you, delete your social media accounts and change your phone number.
  • If you have exchanged expensive gifts, it’s better to return them.
  • If things get nasty (your fiance or family threatens you), do not hesitate to report them to the police for harassment.

If you are both reasonable, having a conversation in person is the best way to communicate your decision. When you talk in person, remember to:

  • Be respectful and not use derogatory language.
  • Focus on the big reasons why you think this relationship may not work. Don’t bring up trivial reasons.
  • Give your fiance the opportunity to ask questions.
  • Don’t give your fiance any hope of changing your mind. Let it be known that your decision is final.

We put together 9 simple and effective ways to identify red flags in arranged marriages. Read these tips to find out if your prospective match is a fraud!

6. Saying no to forced marriages

7 Ways To Say NO To An Arranged Marriage Proposal (7)

Most westerners assume all arranged marriages are forced marriages. While this is not true, forced marriages do happen in India.

In the event, you believe you are being forced into a marriage or know anyone who is in this situation you should act and not watch from the sidelines. You can act by filing a complaint at the police station or reach out to support groups or social service agencies.

Read the story of Rekha Kalindi, an 11-year old girl who fought against her own mother and the society when she took a stance against her forced marriage. This should serve as an inspiration.

For more resources including legal provisions against forced marriages, check out this page from Chayn India.

7. Giving the silent treatment!

Finally, there is one proven approach to say no to an arranged marriage proposal and this is by not responding to the proposal! While staying silent may be considered rude, it is effective in communicating your lack of interest.

Here are some scenarios where giving the silent treatment might work well.

(Video) 12 Arranged Marriage Mistakes to Avoid

  • Don’t respond to relatives who pressurise you to get married in a social gathering such as a wedding.
  • If you have persistent suitors (either online or offline) who don’t seem to take your no for an answer.
  • If you are asked awkward questions in arranged marriage first meeting, staying silent should get your message across.

Silent treatment works well when you believe engaging the other party in a conversation will not end well. When you have the option to say no easily without any emotional attachment, say no and move on.

In summary, saying no to an arranged marriage proposal is your right and you should always have the final say. Choosing the right approach to turn down arranged marriage proposals should help you handle the situation without creating problems for yourself or conveying the wrong impression. Considering the fact that arranged marriages involve your family members as well, being open and honest with them will help avoid situations where you are pressurised into a marriage.7 Ways To Say NO To An Arranged Marriage Proposal (8)


How do you politely reject an arranged marriage proposal? ›

Here are some few tips on how to politely turn down proposals.
  1. Keep it simple. Remember, you do not owe anyone an explanation, just tell them you are not interested and move on. ...
  2. Be as clear as possible. ...
  3. Go with the golden rule. ...
  4. Offer friendship. ...
  5. Don't take back your rejection.
Jul 23, 2019

How do you politely reject a proposal? ›

  1. Dec 23, 2022. Polite ways to decline a romantic proposal! ...
  2. Quick rejection. Don't wait for days to reject a proposal. ...
  3. Bad traits. Don't mention the bad traits of the person as a reason for rejecting them. ...
  4. Clear communication. Always be clear with your words. ...
  5. Idea of rejection. ...
  6. Compliments. ...
  7. Apologising. ...
  8. Specifics.
Dec 23, 2022

How Can arranged marriage be avoided? ›

Contact the Women Cell of the local police department of the city you are in, lodging a written complaint against your own parents for forcing you into a marriage for which you did not give your free consent without undue influence or force.

How do you say yes or no in arranged marriage? ›

While talking to your to-be spouse, be open and communicate what you want from the relationship. Clarify whatever you feel doubtful about and let them know your limitations if any. Tell them what you expect from the marriage and share your aims and aspirations that you wish to pursue after marriage.

How do you reject a proposal without hurting him on text? ›

I know it's not easy to share your feelings and I admire the courage it took to let me know how you're feeling. I don't want to hurt you, but unfortunately, I don't feel the same way. I understand if you feel disappointed and that this may make our relationship awkward for a bit.

How do you reject someone nicely without hurting them? ›

7 ways to reject someone nicely
  1. Be honest.
  2. Prepare yourself.
  3. Do it face to face.
  4. Stick with "I" statements.
  5. Know that what you're feeling is normal.
  6. Avoid putting it off.
  7. Don't give false hope.

How do you reject formally? ›

How to politely decline
  1. Apologize first. This might seem like an odd piece of advice, especially if you objectively haven't done anything wrong. ...
  2. Don't beat around the bush. ...
  3. Use the actual word. ...
  4. Say NO twice, if you have to. ...
  5. Forward them to someone else. ...
  6. Mirror their request. ...
  7. Offer an alternative. ...
  8. Get back to them.

How do you politely say no? ›

10 different ways to say no
  1. Sadly, I have something else going on.
  2. I have another commitment.
  3. I wish I were able to.
  4. I'm afraid I can't.
  5. I don't have the bandwidth for that right now.
  6. I'm honored you asked me, but I simply can't.
  7. Thanks for thinking of me. ...
  8. I'm sorry, I'm not able to fit this in.
Jan 7, 2022

How do most arranged marriages end? ›

In the U.S., while the divorce rate hovers around 40 or 50 percent, the divorce rate for arranged marriages is 4 percent. In India, where some estimate that 90 percent of marriages are arranged, the divorce rate is only 1 percent. Are low divorce rates a sign that arranged marriages work?

Do most arranged marriages fail? ›

Those who enter an arranged marriage also have a much lower divorce rate than those who enter a marriage without their parent's involvement. The divorce rate for arranged marriages is 4 percent, while the divorce rate in the United States is around 40 to 50 percent.

Can you be forced into an arranged marriage? ›

In an arranged marriage, families may play a role in choosing the marriage partner, but both individuals are free to choose whether or not to marry and when to get married.

Why do you disagree with arranged marriage? ›

An arranged marriage removes the right of a woman to choose her future living conditions for life in many cases, and can subject a woman to unimaginable abuse through their parents selection. In the case of arranged marriages, women are basically being "sold" off like slaves to men they often haven't even seen or met.

Do you have to agree to an arranged marriage? ›

Forced marriage and arranged marriage are very different. While an arranged marriage involves the spouse being introduced by a third party or family member, it requires the consent of both parties, who can agree or refuse to marry.

Are people happier in arranged marriages? ›

The data were compared with existing data on individuals in the United States living in marriages of choice. Differences were found in importance of marital characteristics, but no differences in satisfaction were found. Differences were also found in 9 of 19 wellness scales between the 2 groups.

How do you respond to not interested in a proposal? ›

Thanks for your latest sales proposal. I appreciate the time you've taken to personalize it for our business. Still, it's not something we're interested in taking forward at this stage. If our plans change, I'll be in touch.

How do you let down a guy nicely? ›

It's a cliché, but actually works.
  1. "I am glad and amazed that you showed interest in me but the problem is I love someone else." ...
  2. "I am already with someone. ...
  3. "I never ever saw you like that, you know. ...
  4. "Thank you, I'm really flattered, but I'm not looking for a relationship right now."
Apr 18, 2021

How do you reject someone without breaking their heart? ›

You don't want to hurt someone's feelings, but you also don't want to put yourself in an uncomfortable situation. There are several steps you can take to reject someone while keeping their heart intact.
Make a clean break.
  1. Set clear boundaries. ...
  2. Consider blocking the other person on social media. ...
  3. Don't lead anyone on.

How do you reject someone without hating you? ›

  1. Be Direct And Clear. “Just tell them you're not interested. ...
  2. Don't Make It Too Personal. ...
  3. State Your Position Firmly. ...
  4. Remember That Their Reaction Doesn't Reflect On You. ...
  5. Accept The Fact That You Might Hurt Them. ...
  6. Simply Say "No" ...
  7. Treat Them The Way You'd Like To Be Treated. ...
  8. Tell Them You Just Don't Feel Chemistry.
Sep 18, 2018

What is a good sentence for reject? ›

Example Sentences

Verb My teacher rejected my excuse for being late. The committee rejected my proposal. The produce inspector rejected several crates of berries that had begun to grow mold.

What can I say instead of reject? ›

Synonyms of reject
  • refuse.
  • deny.
  • decline.
  • disapprove.
  • disallow.
  • withhold.
  • spurn.
  • forbid.

What are the six ways to say no? ›

The psychologist Trevor Powell describes six ways of saying no - you choose which one to use depending on the situation:
  • The direct "no" ...
  • The reflecting "no" ...
  • The raincheck "no" ...
  • The enquiring "no" ...
  • The broken record "no"
Mar 4, 2021

How can I say no without offending? ›

The art of politely decline engagements you don't wish to attend without offending people.
  1. Practice saying no. ...
  2. Keep it simple. ...
  3. Delay if you're unsure. ...
  4. Be gracious. ...
  5. Offer an alternative (if you want) ...
  6. Stay firm. ...
  7. Remember: It's OK to say no.
Dec 16, 2022

How do you say no in arranged marriage? ›

Marriage is certainly not in the cards.” or “I think I am still too young to get married and I have not yet thought about settling down.” “I am flattered that you would consider me worthy of your son/daughter. However, I want to focus on my career/passion now. I hope you will find a suitable match soon.”

Which marriage last longer arranged or love? ›

A large percentage of people prefer an arranged marriage without any coercion, only because they could live in peace and harmony.In many cases, love marriages bring a lot of difficulties and disputes and according to many researchers, the divorce rate is higher in love marriages.

Is arranged marriage common in USA? ›

Until the first half of the 20th century, arranged marriages were common in migrant families in the United States.

How do you judge a girl in arranged marriage? ›

Ask about her lifestyle

Find out about her social life, her favourite pastime and her other interests. This way you can get to know whether she is an extrovert or an introvert. Such small details can actually help you in deciphering whether she is 'your kind of a girl or not'!

What problems do arranged marriages have? ›

People in arranged marriages face many of the same issues as people who marry for love—communication, infidelity, the death of romance, fights about money, and different parenting philosophies—and sometimes seek counseling to resolve these issues.

Is there more abuse in arranged marriages? ›

There is no significant diff in % of abuse in all marriages (arranged/within relatives/love marriage). However the moral support in case of arranged marriage will be bit higher and elders in family will have a say and hence less extremities.

What happens if you disobey an arranged marriage? ›

In many cultures, disobeying the arrangement can lead to disownment and exile from the family.

How to tell your parents you don t want an arranged marriage? ›

You could also try explaining the issues you have with arranged marriages. Just make sure that you stay calm and respectful. You might say, “I really want to make sure I have a connection with someone before I commit to them. I don't feel like I'd really have that chance with an arranged marriage.”

Where do most forced marriages happen? ›

Forced and early marriage are most common in impoverished states in Africa, South Asia as well as the former Soviet republics. However, there are still cases of forced and early marriage in more affluent North American and European countries. Forced marriage can be coupled with other forms of slavery.

What is the main reason for arranged marriages? ›

Poverty is one of the main causes of forced marriage. For some poor families, the marriage of a daughter to a man who is better off is both a way of giving her access to a higher standard of living than they can offer and a way of securing a nest egg in return for a dowry.

Does looks matter in arranged marriage? ›

In the case of arranged marriages, many women choose a partner on the basis of their looks. Yes, looks do matter but they aren't the only factor that you should be keeping in mind. It is important to check if your would-be partner holds a strong personality.

Why arranged marriages are better than love? ›

The most convincing reason that proves arranged marriages is better than Love marriages would be Statistics! In most cases, couples who had an arranged marriage are more understanding towards each other. In an arranged marriage, first few years of the marriage are spent in knowing and understanding the person.

What are the most important factors in most arranged marriages? ›

Customarily in arranged marriages, spouses are chosen by family members on the basis of caste, economic status of the spouse's family, and, for brides, their virginity and reputation.

How do you say no to a girl in arranged marriage? ›

Marriage is certainly not in the cards.” or “I think I am still too young to get married and I have not yet thought about settling down.” “I am flattered that you would consider me worthy of your son/daughter. However, I want to focus on my career/passion now. I hope you will find a suitable match soon.”

How do you say no to your parents for arranged marriage? ›

If you too find such situation complicated and tensed, it is better to tackle it diplomatically and say No to proposal smartly. When you are meeting a girl/boy for arranged marriage, you can use these responses: “I am flattered with your personality and positive attitude. But I am not yet ready for this big thing.”

Do arranged marriages last longer? ›

Those who enter an arranged marriage also have a much lower divorce rate than those who enter a marriage without their parent's involvement. The divorce rate for arranged marriages is 4 percent, while the divorce rate in the United States is around 40 to 50 percent.

Are most arranged marriages forced? ›

Arranged marriages often mean forced marriages; in many cases, the brides are under 15 years old, with countries like Niger and India having particularly disturbing rates of child brides.

Does love exist in arranged marriages? ›

The bottom line is this: Experts agree that couples who get hitched via an arrangement can indeed fall just as deeply in love as those who meet by chance. Ultimately, the success of the marriage depends not on how the individuals met, but on the work they put in after saying “I do.”

How do I tell my family I don't want a wedding? ›

For those people, it's best to avoid engaging. Simply say, “We don't feel a big wedding is for us” and leave it at that. The most important thing to stress when explaining your decision is that you're not eloping because you don't love your family and don't want them to be in your life.


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