February 29 is officially leap day, when women are traditionally supposed to propose to men.

However, research by Argos suggests that only 7 per cent of women take the custom seriously. Instead, women are 'self-partnering' rather than coupling up with a man and getting ready to propose. 

In fact, 40 per cent of women in the UK say they could be happily single for the rest of their lives, while more than half (51 per cent) believe the single life is a happier life.

When women are content being single, believing the societal pressure to get married and settle down is outdated. 

Actor Emma Watson, and musicians Lizzo and Selena Gomez, are just some celebrities who embrace a 'self-partnered' life.

Instead of buying engagement rings, Argos believes more women are purchasing rings for themselves in order to 'self-partner'.

Figures suggest that 67 per cent of ring buyers at Argos this month were women. With such a low number of women claiming to be preparing for a leap year proposal, the ring purchases could instead be a sign they are cementing their solitary bond by buying something for themselves.

The Argos poll also revealed that 65 per cent of Brits prefer to socialise with someone who isn't their romantic partner and 45 per cent think attitudes towards being in a relationship have changed over the past five years.

However, those who do advocate married life  think people should settle down at the surprisingly young age of 27. Just 3 per cent think you should wait until you’re over 40. 

Argos jewellery buyer Claire Fountain said: “Men who are waiting patiently for a proposal on Saturday could be disappointed: most women believe it’s just a bit of fun, and almost a quarter told us they didn’t think the tradition that women should propose on February 29 is relevant in today’s world.

“Instead, we’re seeing plenty of women treating themselves to a ring this leap year. Celebrities such as Selena Gomez and Lizzo have come out to celebrate being happily single, and their confidence could be spurring on the trend of buying a ring as a symbol of being self-partnered.”

Which rings shall I buy?

If you're planning to hop on the 'self-partnering' trend and treat yourself to a beautiful ring, then Argos have some beautiful options available: 

Sterling Silver Cubic Zirconia Halo Ring - £24.99 

Make your self-proposal moment even more special with this beautiful Sterling Silver Halo Ring. The Cubic Zirconia band perfectly adds that extra bit of sparkle

Are you planning to propose on leap day?

9ct Gold Heart Cut Cubic Zirconia Solitaire Ring - £79.99 

Simple but beautiful, the heart-shaped jewel is dazzling, but subtle enough for everyday wear.

9ct White Gold Round Cubic Zirconia Ring - £99.99 

This trilogy ring in 9ct white gold, with a Cubic Zirconia Centre, is the ideal option for those who want to self-partner but retain a slightly bridal vibe.

9ct White Gold Pear Cut Ring - £129.99 

Dazzle yourself with this 9ct white gold Pear Halo beauty of a ring. The pear drop shape offers a classic and timeless design.