According to ancient legend, St. Patrick struck a deal with St. Bridget, ensuring women could propose once every four years on a leap year. While this is the case of a tradition that has survived through the ages, the question comes, should women propose at all?
The case is a sensitive one; a lot of women might feel self-conscious of creating a dramatic role reversal, and most men might feel insulted at the idea of being treated as if they were women. It might not be for everyone, but how do you know if it’s for you and your partner’s relationship?
The alternative way
A lot of the traditions around proposing and marriage are based on traditional gender roles. Men are the ones who do the chasing, and women are the ones who wish to be found. This is simple enough, and many of us have experienced this in our lifetimes, particularly in popular entertainment and perhaps the way we were raised.
However, attitudes are beginning to change; certainly for us we’ve noticed that its becoming increasingly common for men to be more transparent in getting engaged, and a lot of women might feel more comfortable being involved in the process rather than being surprised.
Do you and your partner do things differently? Identifying with different gender roles and ways of celebrating and expressing your relationship might mean that proposing on a leap year will fit you.
How to pop the question
You might argue that the same rules apply for women as for men. Find somewhere quiet, maybe the location of your first date, or a place that your partner likes to escape to and spend some time privately. Start slowly, talking about the time you’ve spent together and then when you’re ready, go for it. You may or may not want to get down on one knee, but if you want to play it safe you can simply pull the ring out whilst keeping level.
Why a leap year?
If you’re not proposing today, then you might want to consider proposing later. The biggest advantage of proposing to your male partner is that it is completely unexpected. Challenging the traditional conventions also shows your own bravery to go against the current. You are placing a lot of risk onto trying something daring and edgy, but it’s about taking a leap of faith.