The Legal Advice subreddit is full of fascinating stories, interesting conundrums, and wild situations — and this is no exception. Jenny86-75-309 wrote, "My ex proposed. I said no. He is now talking about suing me. Advice?" then went on to share this bonkers story. You might want to grab the popcorn for this one because it's crazy.
First of all, this is a young couple. She explains that she and this guy had been together for three years, and that they are 19 years old now. (For the math experts out there, that means they got together when they were 16. Children. Babies.) They didn't really talk about the future until a year into their relationship because — I reiterate — they were children, and there was no reason for them to do so.
But it's also worth noting that, at first, he was the one who avoided conversations about the future. That will all reverse in just a few moments.
When they did start to talk about the future, they found that they disagreed on a few huge subjects. She wanted kids, and he didn't. They were also super young and didn't need to be making decisions like these! But I digress. She wanted to stay in Ireland, and he didn't. She wanted to get married. He didn't. Basically, they had such different priorities that it seemed like maybe they weren't as compatible as they first thought.
So she did the responsible thing and broke it off. But he thought they were too young to worry about the future and wanted to get back together, and so they did. They broke up and got back together several times over the next 18 months. This "on again, off again" type of relationship is cute in the movies, but it's exhausting in real life. And it rarely works out in the end, especially if the two people involved have such fundamental differences.
However, they had decided to just have fun and not worry about their different views when it came to marriage and kids because they were too young to think about that stuff. And I agree! But it also seems weird to spend most of your time with someone you know you're going to have to break it off with eventually.
This last time she went to see him, she was already considering ending things again.
"Aside from the long term issues," she wrote, "he is also inconsiderate and has a mean streak that I really don't like." DUMP. HIM. Wow, lost my cool for a second there. Sorry about that. Carry on.
So she got to his house, where she was weighing whether or not she would break up with him, when he told her he'd like to take her to dinner. Uh oh. She assumed he wanted to break up, too, in a public place so they wouldn't yell and cause a scene.
But reader, that was not his plan, as I'm sure you have ascertained by now. It was quite the opposite, in fact. The first thing he did when they got to dinner was propose.
Looking back, she said there were two signs indicating this might happen. He asked her about what kind of jewelry she liked. She thought it was because her birthday was coming up, so she told him she liked delicate, silver, and plain items, "nothing flashy or expensive." He also asked her how she felt about public proposals. She told him, "I, personally, disliked them as I felt I wouldn't be able to say no, even if I wanted to."
But it turned out she was wrong. When her boyfriend proposed at dinner with "a huge, gold, gaudy" ring with "red gems around a diamond...the whole thing was the size and shape of a Super Bowl ring," she said no. "Well," she wrote, "I didn't so much as say 'no.' I ran out of the restaurant."
It sure seems like he was hoping to trap her in a proposal, and that is like fifty different types of wrong!
She was shocked and didn't know what to do, and frankly, I don't blame her for running out of there. Not to mention, she never cared about a ring. She wouldn't even need one if it's the right person at the right time. But she has to tell us about the ring this guy bought and the public proposal because of what he decided to do next.
After the proposal that went completely sideways, she didn't hear from him for several weeks. When he finally reached out, he said that he was "out of pocket for the rings. He'd bought us both the same one and gotten them engraved." The ring cost €1,450 (about $1,650). She asked him why he was telling her all this, and he told her that he wanted her to cover the cost of hers. Can you believe?!
This dude wanted his ex to cover the cost of the ring she never asked for and didn't want. "He'd hoped that I would say yes to the proposal, in which case he wouldn't have asked me to pay," she wrote, "but I said no. He'd also said I'd embarrassed him by saying no in public, and should have said yes, and if I was really against it waited to say no when we were alone." This guy is a real piece of work!
But it actually gets worse. He has now messaged this poor woman saying he's debating calling a lawyer to sue her for the cost of her ring and for the "emotional distress" of her public rejection. I guess the emotional distress he caused her by trying to trap her in a public proposal she clearly didn't want doesn't count here? I guess he's not at fault for this situation at all?
Masculinity is so fragile. Basically, this woman is being threatened with a lawsuit and wants to know if she needs to prepare, if he'd have a case at all.
The consensus was that this guy is just trying to threaten her with legal action and that if he did actually sue her, there's no way he would win. One commenter wrote that you cannot successfully sue someone for the cost of an engagement ring they didn't accept. That seems right because otherwise, there would probably be tons of lawsuits started by whiny men who didn't get the answer they wanted from a proposal.
It might be a different story, they said, if she had initially said yes and then privately said no. So it was actually for the best that she ran out of the restaurant and left him there with that big dumb look on his face. For the lawsuit, and for the incredible story she will have to tell at parties for years to come.