He said yes! 73% of British men to say yes if partner proposes: Survey

LONDON (Reuters) - A new survey by Brighton-based group activity trip experts, Red7, has revealed that 73 per cent of British men would say yes if their partner popped the question.

With 2016 being a leap year, Red7 commissioned the survey to see if British women are planning on taking the lead and asking the age old question to their significant other.

The survey also revealed that 47 per cent of British women would consider reversing the traditional proposal roles and popping the question themselves.

It seems the folklore belief of waiting until a leap year to propose is on the decline, as the survey highlighted that 62 per cent of women would not wait until a leap year if they did decide to take the plunge and propose.

Traditionally, Leap Day, which falls on Feb 29, is the one day that comes along every four years when women can turn the tables and ask their partner to marry them.

The tradition began in Ireland back in the 12th century, where it was believed that a balance could be achieved between the traditional roles of men and women by allowing women to propose to men every four years.

Relationship expert and life coach Keren Smedley comments: "We learn most of our beliefs, habits and traditions from our parents when we're very young. We absorb this information and it becomes our internal benchmark for decision-making.

"A leap year proposal is a traditional story that most learn as children. It's based on the premise that men were in charge and decided who and when they wanted to marry. But, one day every four years, tradition is set aside and women can propose with men told to respond honorably to the request.

"Of course, equality in relationships and male and female roles have changed since the 12th century, when leap years began, and women are perfectly capable of asking a man to marry them on any day of the year.

"What has not changed are our emotions and feelings, and desire for romance. Marriage has remained a symbol of commitment and love and the proposal is a significant and important part of that ritual.

"Today, it's more common for couples to have discussed their life plans together with the proposal becoming a romantic formality to confirm this joint decision.

"Until the leap year tradition disappears altogether, it will continue to appeal to some and give women the confidence to propose marriage."

Women asking men to marry them, or couples coming to a mutual agreement on getting married, could become more popular, with the survey results showing that over half of women and more surprisingly, 65 per cent of men, think the tradition of men proposing to women is old-fashioned and outdated.

Ms Teresa Nicholson, managing director at Red7, said: "As we suspected, the survey results show that traditional roles concerning marriage proposals are changing. The results signify a shift in attitudes about the roles men and women play in relationships and shows we no longer live in a society where we are bound by cultural constraints.

"Getting married is a big decision and taking a relationship to the next stage is something a couple work towards together."