Hint: skip the flash mob.
By Emma Prenn
We’ve all heard those elaborate proposal stories that make you stop in your tracks—it was in a helicopter, somebody hired a skywriter, the entire cast of Glee sang it—but what do people actually want? And do they get it?
A popular relationships website, Science of Relationships, recently conducted a survey to find out just that. They surveyed around 400 newlyweds about their ideal proposals, the real thing, and what was most important.
It turns out, these public displays of affection actually aren’t the ideal scenario and 69% of people would prefer a private, two-person proposal.
Less surprisingly, more people found that their actual proposal wasn’t as romantic as they’d hoped (probably because we’ve all been watching too many romantic comedies). Another finding that isn’t too shocking: The most popular time to propose was the evening, around sunset, and the most ideal location was the beach.
It also turns out that chivalry isn’t quite as dead as we thought; 37.5% of proposers asked for parental approval before popping the question.
A similar 2014 study in the UK found that there’s even a specific day of the year that proposals peak: Christmas Eve!
About one-third of respondents said Christmas Eve is the best time to propose, which put it ahead of Valentine’s Day and New Years Eve as the most romantic day of the year. Maybe it has something to do with chestnuts roasting on an open fire…who knows?
Either way, it seems that the best way to get the proposal you want is to communicate with your partner or orchestrate it yourself.
This article was originally published at Self. Reprinted with permission from the author.