Don’t leap into proposing: guru

THE founder of an Ulster dating agency has warned women against making a hasty Leap Year marriage proposal today.

Liz Doyle, managing director of The Fine Dining Club, said there are still plenty of eligible men across Northern Ireland who understand that chivalry isn’t dead.

She said: “From an early age most girls dream of their wedding day and the 29th February provides the perfect opportunity to make that dream a reality, especially if your partner is showing no signs of asking you to join him on the journey down the aisle.

“You might be tempted to pop the question to your husband-to-be but my strong advice is to stay silent and wait for your man to take the traditional route to engagement and marriage.

“The fact is that if your partner is seriously interested in becoming your husband, he’ll ask you sooner or later.”

The dating guru said that while “gender equality has become the norm rather than the exception to the rule, it’s important to remember that chivalry isn’t dead”.

“Every day in my job I meet legions of attractive eligible men from across Northern Ireland who would have no qualms about asking the woman of their dreams for her hand in marriage,” she said.

“Marriage is the start of a journey together, but when it comes to wedding proposals, it should never be ladies first.”

According to Ms Doyle, since it was founded in 2009, the Fine Dining Club has enjoyed incredible success with engagements, weddings and babies.

“I am delighted that I’ve managed to bring so many couples together – the transformation from corporate banker to Cupid has been a lot of fun,” she added.

Meanwhile, it has emerged that anyone hoping to go ahead with a Leap Year proposal may be disappointed to learn that their chance of success falls dramatically if they smoke.

A survey has found that 79 per cent of people in Northern Ireland would like a smokefree partner. More than half [51 per cent] explicitly said they’d think twice about getting married if their partner smoked, and 55 per cent would think twice about having children with a smoker.

Vishnee Sauntoo, from the No Smoking Day campaign, said all Ulster smokers are guaranteed a proposal today – as they’re being asked to “take the leap” and get ready to quit on March 14.

“Smoking is a real turn-off when it comes to love and romance so we’re hoping our more unusual Leap Year proposal will increase Northern Ireland’s chance of saying ‘I do’ as well as improving people’s health,” she said.

Smokers who want to find out more can visit or call 0800 434 6677.