The long-held tradition that women can propose to their boyfriends on a Leap Year dates back to the fifth century – and research released today shows that one in three women would consider following this custom and ask their boyfriend to marry them on February 29.

Commissioned by Sandals Resorts, the survey showed that the 20% of women who say they are scared of being rejected need not fear as, instead of running for the hills after a proposal from their loved one, 40% of men would be more than happy to accept and two thirds would not find it embarrassing to have the tables turned in this way.

Reassuringly only 5% of men would say no to a proposal because their girlfriend is not ‘The One’.

Women from the East Midlands are the most likely to propose and ladies living in Wales are the least inclined to pop the question. Men from the North East are the country’s most receptive, with almost half saying they would like their lady to do the asking. Men in the South West are the least likely to acquiesce, with 31% saying they would not like to be propositioned. Men from Northern Ireland and Greater London were the most likely to be left red faced by a Leap Year proposal, with a fifth of respondents from each region saying that they would find the gesture embarrassing.

Professor of Psychology and Relationship Expert, Geoffrey Beattie said: “This new research by Sandals Resorts shows that the Leap Year tradition of women taking the initiative in proposals of marriage is now chiming with the underlying attitudes of people in the UK today. More and more women (and men) seem happy with the idea that it is perfectly acceptable for women to pop the question. This seems to reflect a more egalitarian society in terms of relationships and dating, with women no longer prepared to play second fiddle, and taking the initiative whenever it is necessary. Given that marriage is a key milestone in many people's lives it is refreshing to see that things are changing. ”

The survey of 2,000 respondents also revealed that couples are most likely to share news of their engagement with their mothers before anyone else. And three quarters of people (74%) would want to tell their loved ones before broadcasting the news via social media. Although the ring is still the most important part of the perfect engagement, the survey revealed that location of the proposal is also very significant, and the Caribbean is the most desired backdrop.

More than a third of couples are hoping to have a destination wedding and honeymoon in the Caribbean too.

The 14 Luxury Included® Sandals resorts are located in Jamaica, Antigua, Saint Lucia and The Bahamas. Sandals is offering a Caribbean backdrop to the proposal from as £1,065 per person, staying seven nights on a Luxury Included® (all-inclusive) basis at Sandals Carlyle in Jamaica. Return flights and resort transfers are included in the price. (For travel in May/June 2012.) Once affianced, couples who wish to tie the knot in the Caribbean can do so for free with Sandals Resorts. A complimentary ‘Beautiful Beginnings’ WeddingMoon® package is offered with a booking of six nights or longer in any room category.

Sandals wedding packages are fully customisable.

For more information about Sandals Resorts and Sandals WeddingMoons® call the Agency Sales team on 0207 590 0210 or visit

twn Are you sure that you want to switch to desktop version?