One in Thirty Women to Propose on Leap Year


Some say that the tradition of women proposing to their partners originated in 5th century Ireland, but in 2016 it’s clearly going strong as nearly one in 30 UK women in relationships are predicted to take charge and make the most of this leap year on February 29th.

According to our study, a substantial number of female leap year proposals will occur in 2016, with three per cent of women who are currently dating or in a relationship stating that they plan on popping the question to their partner on the 29th February – the equivalent of 148,000 women nationwide.

This Leap Year Day one eHarmony success couple are taking the leap of faith – live on TV!

Watch Caroline pop the question to partner Neal online now!

Varying opinions exist on how this custom originated, however many attribute the tradition to 5th century Ireland, when St. Brigid complained to St. Patrick that women had to wait too long for men to propose. She suggested that women should be able to pop the question too and in exchange, St. Patrick suggested that proposals should be permitted on ‘leap days’.

Despite this, when looking beyond leap day, the amount of married or engaged women who proposed to their partner remains relatively low, with men taking sole responsibility for nearly three quarters of all marriage proposals overall.

However, opinions on the matter are slowly changing – more than a third of Brits agree that women have as much right as men to pop the question. Interestingly, more men than woman agree on this point. Not all stereotypes have been fully eroded though, as among women, almost a third still feel that it’s a man’s job to propose.

But the fact that some women would never consider getting down on one knee could also lead to negative repercussions as nearly 2.5 million men think women put too much pressure on their other halves to propose. Despite this, only 4% of women admit to asking or hinting for their partner to pop the question.

With the pressure involved with proposing to a partner, one in five (22%) couples decided to do away with the process altogether, making a mutual decision to get married instead. A tenth (11%) of people also think proposing is an outdated concept – with this opinion as likely to be held by over-55s as it is younger people.


This February 29th, featured its first ever live broadcast proposal celebrating leap year, which saw Caroline propose to her partner on live TV with a little help from eHarmony. Watch online now!


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