A recent survey has revealed that one in five engaged, married or divorced women were left disappointed by their marriage proposal, but they didn’t say anything to their spouses and now wish they had. The real story here, of course, is that four in five women are perfectly happy with the way things turned out proposal-wise, so that should have been the end of the matter. But no. You know how surveys love statistics.

And so, according to a British newspaper where this survey appeared – OK, OK, it was The Daily Mail – 13 per cent of the women proposed to wanted to cry in disappointment, 38 per cent believed that nothing proclaimed love as much as a large diamond ring, and 52 per cent would have been happy to contribute financially towards a ring (7 per cent had actually done so).

The survey, sadly, did not extend to the percentage of men who ended up crying at this evidence of what materialistic, calculating shrews they were about to marry.

What women really want to say when a man proposes is, “That’s a tiny diamond; also, why are you not down on one knee; and by the way where is the orchestra or at least a flash mob?” What they usually say, of course, is “Yes,” in the hope of taking the man to the altar and then altering him.

The top five disappointments are: 1) a ring too small to be seen by the naked eye 2) no ring at all 3) not proposing on at least one bended knee 4) a proposal that was too casual and not special enough and 5) not asking her parents’ permission (with or without the bended knee in tow) for her hand in marriage.

Something tells me there is a sixth, but since that usually comes a few hours after the wedding, it does not qualify as a prenuptial regret.

My proposal (if a breezy, “Hey, how about it?” qualifies as one) years ago – and my wife will bear this out – involved no ring (except the one provided by the telephone setting up a meeting), no bended knee, anything special or a conversation with parents of any description.

Our top five disappointments were:

1) uninvited relatives who forced themselves upon us 2) the vehicle taking the bride to the venue breaking down 3) the absence of an uncle to surprise us with a gift of a million dollars 4) the newspaper report of the wedding, which managed to misspell both our names 5) the need to shake hands with a bus load of guests who arrived by mistake when their nephew or grandson or uncle was getting married somewhere else.

See, no diamonds anywhere.