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Why man goes on his knees when proposing marriage
Why man goes on his knees when proposing marriage

It should (at least in the imagination) be the most romantic moment in life: When your great love gets on its knees and asks you the question of all questions. But why does this tradition exist with the knees? The explanation behind it actually has surprisingly little to do with romance …

Why man goes on his knees when proposing marriage
Why man goes on his knees when proposing marriage

If you look for pictures of "marriage proposal", they all look almost the same: HE is on his knees and holds out the engagement ring expectantly. SHE covers her mouth in surprise and hopefully says yes at some point. And as we know from film and television, in reality most of the applications actually expire. But where does this custom come from, for the one who asks the question to get down on his knees?

Why does the man go on his knees when proposing marriage?

In the Middle Ages and before, knights showed their loyalty to their master by kneeling in front of him. It was also a sign of submission and loyalty. Let us now disregard submission and prefer to interpret it in such a way that tradition also points out that the one who asks swears and promises loyalty and eternal loyalty to the other.

But not only knights kneeled before their liege lords, kneeling has also been a tradition in religion for hundreds of years. By kneeling before God, one paid respect to this and shows humility - as is still the case today, for example, in the Catholic mass. Thus, the squat when applying can also be interpreted as a sign of respect.

The author and historian Stephanie Coontz has another theory: In our still very patriarchal world, kneeling down is almost a counterpoint to the otherwise traditional role model of the "strong man". He makes himself smaller and more vulnerable and no longer stands above her. So he consciously adopts a subordinate posture while eagerly awaiting her response. So this represents - at least for this moment - a break with the usual gender stereotypical thinking and we admit that we find that really romantic!

Apart from the fact that it is about time that we women also ask the question more often!

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