Leap Year Engagements
On this one extra day in the year which happens once every four years it has become customary in some cultures that roles may become reversed and the girl may ask the boy for his hand in marriage; and why not?
Relationships in the main are very different these days in the contemporary word in which we live. It used to be that there were many formal rules within which our relationships were structured. You courted in a certain way, for a set time frame and asked the father for the girls hand in marriage, and so on. In fact, it was the parents who made the decisions over the marriage contract and the youngsters had little choice in the matter. But that was years ago.
Now times have changed. Girls no longer come with a dowry and boys are no longer the main bread winners. There are neither clear roles nor clear rules to abide by. And yet, despite these major changes, it is still (in the main) expected that the boy is the one who asks for the hand in marriage. It is he who puts himself in that vulnerable position of declaring his love first and asking her to bind her life to his forever.
So what does the young lady do in a situation where she and her beau have been more than just courting for more than enough time to get to know one another and he still has not popped that question? They live together, are planning a life together, and yet she is aware that something is missing?
The movie Leap Year is based upon this scenario. Here is the modern woman, in a modern relationship and yet there is something old fashioned which niggles away at her; she wants to get married, but he just hasn't gotten around to asking her. And so, somehow, the realization that it is leap year, and the knowledge that it is OK to reverse the roles (according to this folk-lore) prompts her to decide to ask him instead.
But if she really was that modern a woman, she would not have needed folk-lore to dictate to her when or how she could or could not ask him to get married. She would have popped the question whenever it pleased her to do so.
And so when someone baldly states the fact that he thinks her daft, and comments that it was obvious that if her beloved had wanted to get married he would already have asked her to do so, this inevitably hits a raw nerve. Despite their modern way of living, they were both basically old-fashioned in some ways too. The little girl in her wanted that Cinderella dream which every little girl fantasizes about; for her man to get down on one knee and declare undying love for her and ask for her hand in marriage.
No matter how modern, cosmopolitan and independent we may be, I doubt that there are many women who do not either openly or secretly hold this dream. I suspect that this is a result of evolution and it is hard wired into our genes; we cannot help but seek a person who is going to be good at looking after us (even though women in the modern world are in the main more than capable of looking after themselves), and this is confirmed to us by an open commitment of intent to the world at large. If he is not willing to make that commitment, then will he really look after us?
Thus it is perhaps due to the way in which our genes have evolved that we instinctively want the male to be the one to bring up the question of marriage, as opposed to broaching the subject ourselves. It's not a lack of confidence, or lack of equality, but more a matter of pure instinct.
Roseanna Leaton, specialist in hypnosis mp3 downloads for relationship issues.
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