Social trends appear to be ringing in the changes as women tire of waiting for their partners to propose marriage and are taking things into their own hands.

The tables have turned and there are new rules of engagement in gender equality, with women increasingly putting engagement or commitment rings on the hands of their significant others.

According to a report by Essential Groom ( “man-gagement” rings are becoming popular items.

“Man-gagement” is the latest buzzword stirring the wedding lexicon and it’s a fast-growing trend among betrothed blokes.

Don’t assume a man wearing a ring is married – men choosing to wear an engagement ring is about a sense of equality for new-age couples, Essential Groom editor Matthew Paroz said.

He said it was a way to signal “they are taken and off the market”, for traditional as well as same-sex couples.

In these progressive times it’s not unheard of for a member of the fairer sex to get on bended knee and ask a man to take the plunge.

Traditionally, the only date a woman could pop the question was February 29, but things are changing rapidly even in country towns like Kalgoorlie-Boulder.

Proud’s Jewellers manager Melissa McGrath said there was a whole new generation with different ideas about who should do what in the love and commitment stakes.

“Women come in here tired of waiting for their partners to propose, so they get the ring and propose to the man instead, ” she said.

“One customer said she’d been waiting eight years for the proposal and she’s still waiting.”

She said man-gagement rings were more often likely to take the form of friendship or commitment rings, but the message was still the same.

Smales Jewellers also reported an increased demand for man rings and said they carried a range of His and Her gold bands studded with diamonds for this purpose.

According to Paroz, the “man-gagement” ring was very different to the female engagement ring. It could be matte, polished or brushed and featured few, if any, jewels.

“There is no tradition for the duration of the ring and it can be kept as a keepsake or be doubled up and used for marriage, ” he said.

He believed the rise in “man-gagement” rings could be attributed to an increase in same-sex marriages as well as women proposing to their men.

Far from finding it an emasculating experience, it’s reasonable to imagine men would welcome this reversal of gender roles, he said.

“Many fellows would be rather pleased to find themselves suddenly spared from the whole responsibility of the proposal, ” he said.

The tradition of male engagement rings has a long history, dating back as far as the 15th century.

South American couples have followed the tradition of wearing engagement rings on their right hand and then switching over to their left once married.

© The West Australian

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