Proposal of Marriage to an already engaged woman?


I am wondering how the Church/Bible may view this situation…

Is there anything prohibiting a man from proposing to an already engaged woman? Naturally, I would assume she could never be engaged to two people at the same time.

But if one were to break-off the prior commitment in favor of another is there anything wrong with this in the eyes of the Church?


No, an engagement is not binding. Marriage is binding.

That said, if I were the priest I would be highly suspect of the couple and would require them to go through a lot of counseling and hold a lengthy engagement before consenting to marry them.

If a woman is already in the proximate preparation for marriage with a man, and suddenly breaks of the engagement and accepts another proposal-- I question her understanding of marriage and her ability to form intent and give consent and the maturity level of both.


I would have to wonder why a woman who has accepted a marriage proposal would be open to another? And what is the moral responsibility of the challenger to the engaged man? Besides, it smacks of obsession rather than love for a man to be pursuing an engaged woman when there are plenty of women in the world for him to seek a wife among.


I’d say the man would first have to approach her as a friend, expressing his dismay at making a huge mistake. For the reasons 1ke and Della mention, he would need to wait quite some time before approaching her again as a suitor, assuming she voluntarily calls off the engagement.

If he has no objection to the marriage other than his own feelings for the woman, he should not get involved.


Thanks for the input.

In this case, this is a person whom I dated for years previously and (despite dating many other women since) I feel is my soulmate.

Fact of the matter, is she waited almost 6 months to tell me she got engaged, despite her having many opportunities over that time to have told me.

When I told her how I truly felt she asked me “Why didn’t you tell me this before?”. So I am wondering if there is perhaps hesitation on her part… or if perhaps she has doubts as to her present situation.


“Feelings” are not always the best gauge of reality. Reality is that there were reasons you broke up. There were reasons it didn’t work. There were reasons you dated “for years” and yet did not move to marriage.

Go back and think about them.

And, you are reading something in to that-- some hesistation on her part regarding her future spouse. You are basically making up a story in your head to explain this fact. You could have the wrong story-- maybe she is perfectly fine with her intended and thought you would be devestated or something.

You are putting some big meaning into this that likely isn’t there.

Again, you are creating a story in your head.

This ship has sailed. I would let it go and cease contact with her.

Focus on YOU and how to be the best person you can be. Examine why you are still clinging to this old relationship, and now-- only after she has declared her engagement to another-- do you feel moved to pursue her.

Get some counseling.


Well, when I approached her quite some time ago about giving things another try… she stated she still had “wild oats to sow” so I would have to wait.

Then out of nowhere she goes from “wild” to “serious”… so since it’s really now or never, I’m prepared to make my move and let her decide which way she wants to go with her future.

But this is starting to go off-topic… I am just wondering if there is any prohibition of asking for her hand, albeit not right away?


Okay this is a HUGE red flag here. “Wild oats?” What? If there is something that she was not happy with while being with you this was her “out.” Oh but now she has gone out and lived her wild life and now, now she wants to settle down. Something does not sit right here. If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, chances are it is a duck!

I am going to have to agree with 1ke that you may want to consider letting this one go. I am sure that there are feelings, but how do you feel is her “sowing” was sleeping around? Would that change anything? Or are your “feelings” for her clouding that? I would just have a hard time taking her back.

At this point, she has lived a life seperate from you for years and you still want to marry her no questions asked? Just seems strange to me. Again, it is your life and you can do as you wish, but I would be very cautious if I were you.


Sow wild oats? Sorry to be harsh, but you are ignoring HUGE red flags.

And then…From wild to serious with someone else. When she was ready to “get serious” she did not come running to YOU.

She already did make that decision, when she did not rekindle a romance with you and instead got engaged to another man.

No, not off topic. Context is everything.


to be completely honest, not trying to be rude at all, it sounds to me like you are jealous that she is ready for a serious relationship and didnt want one with you. if you really have love for her you will respect her relationship with the other man and offer nothing but your congratulations and best wishes for her marriage.


If someone is engaged to another what on earth are you doing asking her to marry you? Former fiance or not, she is off limits to you.


Great minds :thumbsup:

Very good points made here and on your other posts. It is hard for me to see this as more than someone that is desperate to hold onto something from the past.


I think its bad form


And I would question her common sense.


I agree with the poster above me…I would question her decision making skills…and perhaps, if she tires of you, too…she might move on…be wary of girls who are willing to date two men at one time.:o


Don’t bother with her. Speaking from a possible perspective on her part… that hesitation you’ve supposedly picked up on was an attempt on her part to think clearly through what she was about to tell you so you could be let down softly. Not because there was something there on her part. If there was ANY true hesitation because she was deep down waiting for you, she never would have accepted a proposal of a life altering event to another man.

There are many fish in the sea… so ask the saints to help you wait patiently for the right spouse. She’ll come along. But this one… step away now while things are still amicable between the two of you and if you even had an inkling of respect for the other man… you’d leave his fiance alone and not even think of trying to woo her away from him. I’m sure you wouldn’t be happy if you were in his shoes and you learned that a prior suitor to your fiance is now thinking of proposing to her whilst totally disregarding and disrespecting the fact that she’s already said yes to you… I’m sure it doesn’t feel to great.

Peace to you as I’m sure this won’t feel good. Humility stinks sometimes but it’s for the best! :thumbsup:


Even if you convinced her to break an engagement to her fiance and she came to you, would you ever really trust that her promise to YOU meant anything? Or would you worry that she might go back to him after a while? You don’t want a yo-yo.

This site might be helpful for its explanation of that phenomenon of sentimental attraction and being in love with the idea of being in love, rather than the reality of the “beloved.”

Read it carefully and pray about it.


That was a great link. Thanks for posting it.


I too would be extremely cautious in that you may be reading into things. Is she your best friend? That is what your soulmate should be. Also the issue of trust would be huge for me.


Thanks for the tips everybody. I’m just going to play this one by ear, I will tell her all that I feel and leave the ball in her court.

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