• 1 in 4 women say their man has waited too long to pop the question

  • A third of unmarried women planning on making a leap year proposal

  • 55% of women will give their fiancé a 'men-gagement' ring when they propose

  • More than half of men aged 16-24 would wear a 'men-gagement' ring

  • Ideal engagement should last no longer than 2 years

That's the Leap Year question facing thousands of women this month, as new research by financial comparison experts money.co.uk reveals that 1 in 4 of women in relationships are fed up of waiting for their partner to get down on one knee.

A third of women in relationships are planning a leap year proposal on February 29, according to the study.

Single ladies in Scotland and the south-west of England are the most likely to propose to their men on February 29, with women in the north-east and Northern Ireland the least likely.

The most common reason for female leap year proposals is that women feel they've had to wait too long for their men to propose, according to the data. However, 30% of ladies say they also like the Irish tradition of women proposing on February 29.

Women in London and the East Midlands are the most frustrated at having to wait for their men to propose - with almost 4 in 10 saying they've waited too long.

The rise in women buying engagement rings for their men, and men choosing to wear them, has led to many in the industry now calling the jewellery gifts 'men-gagement' rings.

Anne Rowson, a jewellery design expert, said: "We have seen a rapid rise in the amount of women buying engagement rings for their male partner in the last year or two. These rings for men are now very much a trend and we predict that this will continue to rise over the coming years. Many jewellers are even preparing their own range of men-gagement rings."

Salman Haqqi, money.co.uk personal finance expert, said: "A significant number of women are planning to take the plunge this leap year and propose to their partner. According to our study as many as a third of unmarried women in relationships will propose on February 29.

"Our statistics show that 55% of those women proposing to their lover, say they will do so with a ring.

"It definitely seems that men-gagement rings are now gaining popularity and that, most importantly, the majority of men have indicated they'd be happy to wear one."

Generation Z and Millennial males are the most likely to be happily sporting a ring on February 29.

More than half of 18 - 24 year old men say they'd wear an engagement ring, and while 45% of 25 - 34 year olds would do the same. Older men are less likely to agree - just 27% of men aged 55 and over saying they'd wear a ring to celebrate their engagement.

Men living in London and the East Midlands are the most likely to wear a ring, the survey reveals. But men living in Wales and Scotland are the least likely to don the jewellery.

Gay men are also more likely to celebrating their engagement with a ring than straight males, according to the survey. Almost 6 in 10 gay men say they'd wear a men-gagement ring, compared to 4 in 10 straight men.

And what men do for a living can also have an impact on the likelihood of them wearing an engagement ring. Workers in the sports and leisure industry, advertising or the media are the most likely to be seen sporting a ring when they get engaged, according to the poll. Taxi drivers, lorry drivers and property developers are the least likely.

Salman Haqqi added: "Our survey shows that more than half of the nation believes the ideal engagement period should be between one and two years in length.

"Our research also shows that those living in Wales or the East Midlands are likely to be engaged the longest, while people living in London or the South-west spend the shortest period engaged - usually a year at most.

"With the average cost of an engagement ring in the UK now reaching around £6,000, ahead of February 29 will see a spike in spending.

"We have created a special engagement ring cost calculator so that people - both men and women - can work out how much they should be spending on the perfect engagement ring for their lover.

"It takes just a couple of minutes and after they've input a few details about their lifestyle, we'll help decide the budget for their perfect engagement ring."

Use the money.co.uk engagement ring cost calculator and find out how much you could be spending on an engagement ring plus how best to finance it.

ENDS

Notes to editors

*money.co.uk polled 2,006 UK adults via Censuswide on 3-7 February 2020.