For Richer or For Poorer

Tiffany Solitaire

Today is Leap Day. To pop or not to pop? In case you're on the fence, gals, read the below from new HITCitizen SMartinPants, who will help you figure out when and why your man will finally get down on one knee.

Your first summer wedding invites may have arrived by now, and even if not, one of your friends might have announced their intention to get married. You might even have seen some of your friends getting divorced again.

And if you are yourself in a 'committed' relationship, you might be wondering when you should tie the knot. Obviously, tradition demands that a lady wait for her beau to get down on one knee and present the ring, even if in this day and age, a modern, professional couple might have had the conversation before that.

Yet it remains the case that the subtle timing of the proposal is determined by the man. And when I say man, I mean the man alone, for a straw poll of my male friends suggests that an overwhelming majority do not consult anybody else when it comes to the timing of the proposal. So below is a top five breakdown of when and why he will propose:

1. It's about time.

This is about elapsed time: not just how long you have been going out, but also about how old you are. And don't forget that men have a clock they can hear ticking too. If you are both well into your thirties, this will be a major reason for him suddenly taking an interest in digit jewellery.

2. It's about you.

This happens when he is not secure in the relationship, and is perpetually afraid you might leave him. In turn, he might sense that you are indeed the best he's going to do, and if he doesn't do it soon, you might get tired of waiting, especially if he thinks your clock is ticking a bit louder these days.

3. It's about him.

This is all about him: he is settled and content, and might like to focus on something other than his demanding career for a while. In fact, he might enjoy the prospect of spending the rest (or at least a large proportion) of his life with you, and look forward to having children with you. This is particularly relevant if he is a fair bit older than you, i.e. can hear is own clock ticking.

4. It's about them.

Even if you are both happy to go on living in sin (or less likely, sinning regularly at separate addresses), there is a certain social pressure for you to 'do the deed' at some stage. Less tied to time and age per se, this will be triggered by family (especially siblings) or friends getting married. For a bloke, if he was asked to be a best man for a good friend, he will soon after feel an obligation to return the favour and ask his buddy to be best man. Not the best reason, but hey, it might just be the trigger.

5. It's about turns.

This is largely applies to the socially conservative, or at least, family backgrounds that expect you to be married before you have children. The idea is that when an influential senior family member has passed away, we are susceptible to wanting to 'move on' to the next stage in Life. This will often be a grandparent, but even the passing of your only grandmother/grandparent (especially if he has already lost his) can trigger this human response. It's nature's way of saying: "It's your turn, son, to produce the next generation."

Whether you say yes, is, of course, entirely down to you, his bonus forecast and how much you like (or like avoiding becoming) the big fat solitaire.

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