How to propose to your man
While women's proposals have in the past been limited to a leap year tradition, more and more women are choosing to pop the question, leap year or not. Think you might like to bite the bullet? Jenny Colgan shares her proposal tips...
We're all aware that men can be slow on the uptake and, occasionally, just need a shove in the right direction. So, here are some proposal tips:
Firstly, don't think you're all alone - 9 per cent of proposals are from women to men, and 80 per cent of men would accept a proposal from a woman. Monica proposed to Chandler in Friends, and so did Miranda to Steve in Sex and the City.
If you really do want to, make sure the answer is going to be yes. I have never met a couple who have survived the answer to a proposal being no. And remember, proposals aren't the answer to dodgy relationships.
Do NOT do it if you've known the fellow for less than six months, exactly the point at which your rose-tinted specs will convince you both to say yes, before you discover his four previous convictions and his credit card bill.
Don't get down on one knee, especially if you're in stilettos. Women rarely look good in this position and you may find his head tilting down your breasts. Plus, if you're already doing the asking, you don't want to look particularly craven.
My favourite idea is lovely dinner, candles and mind-blowing sex - then mention marriage in the wonderful afterglow. If he's not asleep already, he could be pretty receptive.
Don't stress him out. A gentle query over the washing up ('wanna share these suds... forever') will probably be less heart attack-inspiring than the full-on string quartet airport dash. Remember, it's women who go to see romantic movies and read romantic books.
Wait till his team wins a big game. The euphoria should carry you both through.
Hold up a piece of card that says 'Will you marry me?' on it, and ask him to read it out loud. Then say, 'Why, I'd be delighted.'
And for a sneaky final tip. In the Middle Ages, when the law was passed (by Queen Margaret of Scotland- yes, it was a real law!), if a woman proposed in leap year and was turned down, the man had to give her a kiss and a silk gown. So, perhaps just propose to the nearest rich person you know and go shopping...
Of course, if you lose your nerve, you could drop back to the more traditional methods, like mooching very slowly past jewellery shops (remember: men are stupid), asking him whether he likes gold or platinum ('just wondered') or, in the last ditch attempt, come off the Pill without telling him. Oh, come on, I'm kidding!