“Will you be my…husband?” is something few men ever hear coming from the mouths of the women they love. And yet, a survey conducted in 2003 by Korbel Champagne found that one in three Americans know a woman who has proposed marriage to a man. They also found that 70% of Americans agree that it’s socially acceptable for women to propose marriage to men, almost 50% of all women would propose to their significant other, and a whopping 80% of men would accept a proposal from their significant other.
According to columnist Dennie Hughes of USA Weekend Magazine, the good news is that no diamond is required. But there are still some important factors to consider.
The most important thing is that it shouldn’t come as a total shock to your intended. Be sure marriage is something you’ve both discussed and agreed on. Then, consider his comfort level (how does he feel about private vs. public proposals?), write out a speech from the heart, plan, rehearse (especially if family or friends are involved) and deliver.
That’s all well and good. Sure, I could pop the question, but doing so would just make The Beard stutter like he does when I toss out such give-him-hell gems as, “You’re never going to be ready to get married, are you?”
I guess there is always Leap Year.
Leap Year was the traditional time that women could propose marriage…When the rules of courtship were stricter, women were only allowed to pop the question on one day every four years. That day was February 29th.
It is believed this tradition was started in 5th century Ireland when St. Bridget complained to St. Patrick about women having to wait for so long for a man to propose. So, according to legend, St. Patrick said the yearning females could propose on this one day in February during the Leap Year.
The first documentation of this practice dates back to 1288, when Scotland passed a law that allowed women to propose marriage to the man of their choice in that year. They also made it law that any man who declined a proposal in a Leap Year must pay a fine. The fine could range from a kiss to payment for a silk dress or a pair of gloves.