Once upon a time, a man would get down on one knee to ask his girlfriend the most important question he will ever ask: the proposal of marriage. It was tradition, but these days “untraditional” has become the new tradition. Today, it has become completely acceptable for a woman to propose marriage to a man and to help split the cost of the engagement ring.
A few years ago, I Do Now I Don't conducted a study and found that 47% of Americans believe it is completely acceptable for a woman to ask a man for his hand in marriage, 34% think it's fine but only under certain circumstances, and a mere 18% felt it was wrong. When asked about engagement rings, 63% of respondents thought that it was OKAY for the bride to be to split the cost of the engagement ring with her fiancé.
In the past, women were only allowed one day to propose marriage to a man: the 29th of February, which only happens every four years. Some legends say that this tradition began in Ireland during the 5th century when St. Patrick pronounced that a woman can propose to a man during a leap year. We know for sure that in 1288, Scotland made it legal for women to do the proposing during a Leap Year.
Today, men traditionally pay for the engagement ring. This tradition originated when the man had a family heirloom to give to his bride. Nowadays, the ring is usually purchased prior to the proposal. With so many couples are already sharing a home and expenses, there is no reason why they shouldn’t be sharing the expense of the engagement ring as well. In fact, the I Do Now I Don’t survey found that 2 out 3 people believe it’s okay for a woman to split the cost of the ring, especially if the groom-to-be can’t afford it.
Whenever and however these traditions started one thing remains true, we’ve sure come a long, long way! In this generation, not only are men not getting down on one knee to propose marriage, they may not even have to do the asking. Future brides are taking matters into their own hands. Whether it's setting the date, asking for his hand in marriage or picking on the ring, women are taking charge.