Next year is Leap Year, and according to tradition, February 29th is the perfect time for ladies to propose to their men. So should you ask for his hand in marriage or hold out for the romantic proposal from him? Here’s what to consider before going down on bended knee, with real life stories from two women who did just that.
True romantics can spend years dreaming of the moment their true love proposes, but if you don’t want to wait, just make sure you think things through before getting carried away, as you can’t always be sure that ‘I love you’ means ‘I will love you forever and stand by you no matter what’. Have an honest conversation to ensure you both feel the same way, it could help you avoid a lot of heartache if it turns out he feels differently to you or is just not ready. Worried that will spoil the surprise? Don’t be, you can discuss your future and then plan a romantic proposal once you know how he feels. It is both risky and romantic, and that’s why you need to be sure there is a good chance he will say yes before you ask him.
Ellie and Dave’s Story
Ellie proposed to Dave at a football match, at exactly the moment when Chelsea scored a goal in 1988. They married six months later, at the football ground.
“Dave was Chelsea football mad, I wanted him in my life forever and I knew he was a bit iffy about marriage as he was then surrounded by friends going through divorces. The day we went to see Chelsea, we had previously been in Covent Garden, mooching about the shops and stalls and he’d brought me an eternity ring so it was a really lovely day.
I wasn’t into football at all but he used to like me going with him, so it was at the match I proposed to him, at exactly the moment when Chelsea scored a goal in 1988. He jumped up and screamed ‘Yes!’ and then sat back down and said, ‘That’s a yes to you as well!’ After the match he was so euphoric and just 6 months later we got married at Stamford Bridge football ground.”
While there are some men who will love to be presented with a ‘mengagement ring’, there are many others who would not. You know him better than anyone else so you should know whether he is a man who will appreciate a ring or not.
If an engagement ring is really not his style, consider giving him some other keepsake, such as a watch engraved with words of love, initials or even ‘Will you marry me?’ It’s a great way for a confident woman, who believes in sexual equality, to make a memorable gesture as she proposes to her man – Leap Year or otherwise.
There will always be men, and women for that matter, who are very happily living with the love of their life, but still not ready to make that commitment.
Fiona and Simon’s Story
Fiona proposed to Simon, and despite all her planning and the romantic gesture of a ring, it was not quite the wonderful, romantic event she had hoped it would be. They are still together however, so who knows what will happen for the future.
“ It was February 2010. The Christmas before, I was looking at some jewellery I loved and he kept telling me to wait, that he had something really special he’d ordered for me from my favourite jewellery shop. I even told my mum I thought he was going to ask me.
I was so excited opening the box at Christmas, but it was a necklace and my heart fell. I was so disappointed, he knew I was upset and said I could exchange it if I wanted. That was when I decided I had to ask him.
I chose a good moment, when we were in bed, and put a ring I’d ordered specially onto his finger… I said, “I’d love you to marry me”, he went quiet, then he said, “Maybe one day…” He thanked me, and said that he loved the ring which he left on his ring finger! He then made it very clear he would not marry me yet, but saw the ring as a gift, a sign if us being together…. He still wears it today, we are still together, still unmarried.”
Women who propose are true romantics and risk takers. If you’re sure he is ready and is likely to say yes then plan the perfect proposal – on a faraway beach or in your bed, and make it a moment he will never forget, and the start of your wedding planning.
Kate Thompson is Confetti's features editor and wedding expert, and has worked in the wedding industry for 15 years. A widely published lifestyle writer, she has made BBC television and radio appearances discussing wedding trends in the UK.