February 29: Tips for women thinking of proposing this leap year

Ladies, think it’s about time you made an honest man of him? Jump on board an age-old tradition and pop the question yourself on February 29.

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Every four years, there comes a day when women can take the bull by the horns and ask their man to marry them.

February 29 is traditionally the one day when women can propose marriage and, according to a survey in British Heart Foundation shops, more than a third of British women are thinking about popping the question this year. It seems London ladies are the most in control of their relationships, with almost half of them thinking about proposing.

Today’s society doesn’t frown on women who propose but this wasn’t always the case. There are several theories surrounding the advent of leap year proposals but, back in the days when the rules of courtship were a lot stricter, women were  simply not allowed to pop the question.

At that time, February 29 wasn’€™t a recognised date, so the day itself was simply leapt over an€™  hence the name. Since it had no legal standing, legend has it that people  assumed tradition had no official status on this day, either. Therefore, women had an opportunity to change the custom that only men could propose. What’€™s more, if a man rejected a women€™s proposal, he had to buy her 12 pairs of gloves, to hide the embarrassment of the lady in question not having an engagement ring.

 The leap year tradition is cultural, says relationship expert and agony aunt Susan Quilliam. €˜While it’s fun, it’€™s not really relevant to the 21st century. Now either partner can take the initiative and suggest that they move to the next stage. But the decision to marry is almost always something a couple work towards together.

So, if you think your man€™s dragging his feet, use February 29 as an excuse to ask him to make an honest woman out of you.If all else fails, you might at least get some gloves€.

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