On average the typical single woman is seeing 1.46 men at any one time, according to the research carried out by restaurant chain TGI Friday’s.

The typical single female dates five men over the course of a year, but one in four is seeing three at a time.

And a third of modern women are prepared to ask a man to marry them.

February 29, which comes around just every four years, is the only day women are traditionally supposed to go down on one knee.

Office worker, Tom Holmes, 35, from Birmingham, said: “Last leap year I spent the entire day avoiding my girlfriend because I was terrified she would propose.

“I just wasn’t ready for that commitment so I left the house before she awoke and didn’t come home until really late.

“I guess I’m a bit traditional and would want to do it myself.

“But in other areas, I’m all for modern, confident women.”

But most girls don’t feel like they need to wait for a leap year – the research said 24 per cent of unmarried women would be happy to ask a man to marry them.

But one in seven men said they would be horrified if a woman did the asking. Fifty-four per cent said they’d be fine with their girlfriend proposing, while 16 per cent would be “over the moon”.

A quarter of women admitted they enjoy the feeling of control that comes with asking a man out and 27 per cent say “traditional dating rules no longer apply”.

One third of men say they find it refreshing to be asked out.

And women no longer expect men to foot the bill on dates, with just 18 per cent believing men should pay.

Half of men agree with this, saying women should contribute or go halves.

Karen Forrester, TGI Friday’s managing director said: “The dating landscape has definitely changed.”