Pitts, the proposal planner, said her clients usually have discussed marriage with their girlfriends and sometimes they shop for rings together before the man formally "pops the question."
The Rev. Joel Stafford of Patton, Missouri, sees nothing wrong with women taking the lead, the way his future wife did more than 40 years ago.
"It just got to the point where she said, 'Why don't we get married?' and I said, 'Of course," Stafford recalled. "I would have eventually built up the courage to do it myself. But she didn't wait."
They did wait a little longer for the ceremony, so she could graduate high school. Stafford and his wife, Sherry, married in June 1973, raised four children and have 13 grandchildren.
"Whether you are the boy or the girl, if you feel you are at the point you want to make a lifetime commitment, express that," Stafford advises. "Don't be shy like I was."
The poll was conducted in conjunction with WE tv from Jan. 17-21 using KnowledgePanel, GfK's probability-based online panel designed to be representative of the U.S. population. It involved online interviews with 1,060 adults and has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.9 percentage points for the full sample.
Respondents were first selected randomly using phone or mail survey methods and were later interviewed online. People selected for KnowledgePanel who didn't otherwise have access to the Internet were provided with the ability to access the Internet at no cost to them.