December and February are some of the most popular months for proposals thanks to the romance that comes with Christmas, New Year and Valentine's Day, but who will be dropping to one knee to pop the question?
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Traditionally, it is the future groom who proposes to their partner, but there may actually be psychological benefits for the woman to initiate the engagement. Relationship expert Charisse Cooke partnered with metals specialist, metals4U, to discuss why more women should consider proposing to their partner and share her top tips on how to do it. So ignore the cultural norms and get shopping for an engagement ring, ladies!
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Charisse explains: "A woman considering proposing to her partner usually represents a woman who values her independence and autonomy - as well as the ability to have control over her own life. It shows someone unencumbered by societal expectations and norms, and happy to carve out her own path guided by the pursuit of her specific goals and dreams for the future.
"It speaks of a highly secure relationship where both parties are valued, and both people are able to ask for what they want."
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What are the benefits of a woman proposing?
Not only is there no reason why a woman can't decide when to take the next step in the relationship, but she said it actually has potential psychological benefits.
"Nowadays, women are constantly pushing through boundaries to become more empowered in everyday life, but, when it comes to marriage, not all that much has changed: traditionally, it’s usually down to the man to decide when to take the relationship to the next level.
"Not only is that expectation hugely outdated, but it’s also compromising to women, and it would be both socially and psychologically beneficial for these imbalanced norms to shift.
"A change in social stereotypes could be supported if women felt more empowered to propose to their partners when they felt the time was right.
"It could be very fruitful for a couple if the woman was to propose, as it would allow for equal ownership of the future of the relationship. Sometimes it can create a tricky power dynamic when one half of a couple is waiting for the other to propose."
Which celebrity women have proposed to their partners?
Pink proposed to her husband Carey in 2005
For any women thinking about popping the question, look to these celebrities for inspiration. Britney Spears asked Kevin Federline to marry her while on a flight from Ireland to New York, while Joshua Jackson revealed to Jimmy Fallon that Jodie Turner-Smith originally asked the all-important question on New Year's Eve in Nicaragua, before Joshua re-proposed to her after speaking to her father and her stepdad.
Meanwhile, Pink sweetly asked motorcross racer Carey Hart to marry her with a pit board during one of his races in 2005, and he said yes.
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Where can I buy engagement rings for men?
They may not be as easy to get your hands on as a solitaire or halo ring for future brides, but there are still some engagement rings for men out there, and they're likely to get more common in the future.
Charisse said: "Historically, men in westernised cultures have not been known to wear engagement rings. Engagement rings were given to women to wear as a symbol of ownership and a promise to a man, therefore men did not wear an engagement ring of their own." Now, however, it is considered to be a celebration of your upcoming wedding.
Take a look at some beautiful rings to buy in 2022:
Eternity diamond band, £3,315, Brilliant Earth
9ct white gold ring, £650, Beaverbrooks
Platinum diamond cut ring, £1,200, Goldsmiths
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5 things to consider before proposing to your partner
Charisse shared some important points to think about before asking your partner to marry you.
1. Give it some thought
"Think deeply about whether you are happy with never getting proposed to yourself. If it feels like an exciting adventure, one where you’re happy to be in the driving seat, then that’s a good sign. However, if you have some feelings of resentment, due to him not having done it yet, then proposing might not be the right move to make."
2. Make sure you’re on the same page
"Ensure you’re on the same page as your partner. Before proposing, it’s important to take into account your partner and their feelings - think about any reasons they might have to not want to get engaged and try not to minimise any issues that your partner has."
3. Prepare for the reactions
"Once you’ve made your decision, throw yourself into the planning process and make the most of it. Even if you don’t pull out all the stops, try not to be alarmed if your partner is surprised by your proposal - a little shock factor is to be expected when turning tradition on its head," she said, before adding that this applies to friends and family too.
"Prepare yourself for mixed reactions from family and friends. A woman proposing may well be a little out of the ordinary, so it’s probably wise to prepare yourself for unintentional hurtful comments. Whatever you do, know that those comments say more about the person delivering them, than they say about you."
4. Think about what they want
"Try to make the proposal a combination of what you want and what you imagine your partner might want. Whilst the empowering and brave decision to propose has been yours to make, it’s also important to think about how your partner might like the proposal to go, or if your plans will suit them."
5. Get the ring
"Like any other proposal, I’d suggest getting a ring or another piece of symbolic jewellery for your partner. Your partner may feel happy with a simple thin band or, if you know they aren't into rings, perhaps a necklace would be more fitting. It’s all about personal preference!"
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