"If it's not worth asking for then it's not worth having"
I'm paraphrasing words my mother use to say when I was child. At the end of the day if you are in a loving committed relationship it should not matter who said, "I love you" first or who proposed.
However despite all of the advancements women have made in our society with regard to careers, income, and various other milestones to acquire equality, when it comes to dating etiquette and marriage proposals most prefer to be passive.
Some women worry about emasculating men but most simply want the "fairytale" or time honored tradition of being pursued by a man and having him drop down on one knee and ask for her hand in marriage.
Today we live in an era where over 52% of the weddings that take place are of couples who already live together. The more long-term the relationship is the less likely there will be a "formal" marriage proposal. It may happen upon waking up one morning, during breakfast or dinner, or while on vacation. How something comes about is not as important as the results.
According to U.S. Census Bureau 85% of men get married at least once by the time they have reached age 44. Of the 15% who don't there is a chance (some) of them are gay. However with many "marriage equality" laws passing there is likely to be more men getting married.
Therefore there are two reasons why a man does not propose.
1. Timing (He's happy being single or doesn't feel ready/prepared to marry anyone.)
2. She's not "the one". (This is the hardest one for a woman to accept) However if there is almost a 90% chance that he (will) get married at some point in his life then these are only two viable reasons why he has not proposed to her.
Life is short and I believe a fast "no" beats a long "no" any day. If a woman for instance has been in a relationship for 2-3 years, wants to get married, and her man has not proposed then she should in my opinion propose to him. This will let her know where she stands. It's beats sitting around hoping and dropping "hints" for another 2-3 years! It's not his fault if you chose to wait around. If he says "no" in any manner then it confirms "you're not the one". If someone believes you're "the one" they're not going to risk leaving you on the "open market".
Even George Clooney the "king of serial monogamy" got engaged after dating "the one" for only six months!
"Never love anyone who treats you like you're ordinary."
- Oscar Wilde
Awhile back I wrote a hub on this topic. http://hubpages.com/relationships/womenproposingma...