Ladies, it's never too early to start planning for a Leap Day role-reversal marriage proposal. Yes, if you've been waiting far too long for your significant other to pop the question, Thursday, February 29, 2024, is your day.
The concept of women proposing to men on Leap Day is rooted in 5th century Ireland, where St. Brigid of Kildare forged a deal with St. Patrick to permit women to propose to men on a single day once every four years. In Ireland, Leap Day is also called Bachelor’s Day.
This scenario was the basis for the 2010 romantic comedy, Leap Year. Amy Adams plays the part of Anna, who is frustrated when another anniversary passes without a marriage proposal from her boyfriend. When she learns about the Irish tradition that allows women to pop the question on Leap Day, she rushes to Dublin to track down the boyfriend at a convention just in time to deliver a marriage proposal on February 29.
Although the tradition started in Ireland, it has slowly migrated throughout that region and around the world. Irish monks introduced the concept to Scotland, which passed a law in 1288 that allowed women to propose on Leap Day. If the man refused the proposal, he would have to pay a fine, ranging from a kiss, to a silk dress or a pair of gloves. In upper-class circles, the fine for a proposal denial was 12 pairs of gloves. Presumably, the gloves would hide the shame of not wearing an engagement ring.
In England, the day February 29 held no legal status, so people believed that traditional customs held no status on that day either. Hence, women were free to reverse the unfair custom that permitted only men to propose marriage.
Surveys have shown that both men and women are increasing open to the idea of role reversal when it comes to popping the question.
In 2015, a survey of 500 men by Glamour found that 70% of men would be “psyched” if their female partner popped the question.
Pinterest revealed in December 2018 that searches on its site for the phrase “women proposing to men” had skyrocketed 336% compared to 2017.
As reported by Yahoo Life, the UK-based website "Guides for Brides" found that 27% of women responding to a recent survey would like to, or have already, proposed to their male partner.
Their reasons for initiating the proposal included the following:
-- 39% Not believing the notion that only men can pop the question
-- 17% Finding it empowering
-- 14% Being "fed up" of waiting for a proposal from their other half
The same survey noted that 73% of the male partners said they would accept the proposal, while 15% said they would refuse.
The reasons for turning down a proposal included the following:
-- 28% Wanting to stick to tradition
-- 26% Believing it’s the man’s responsibility to propose
-- 14% Not being ready to get married
Credit: Image by BigStockPhoto.com.