Why Do We Propose Down on One Knee?

Whether you’re married or not, if you’ve watched a sappy rom-com, or seen a friend propose, chances are you know the tradition of getting down on one knee. It’s a universal gesture but have you ever wondered how it originated?

Though the history behind proposing on a bended knee is unclear, there are a few ideas that people think it came from:

Religion: In certain religions, kneeling during prayers is common. This could signify that the act of bending a knee while proposing has a spiritual connotation as a sign of reverent respect.

Royalty: When someone gets knighted, they kneel to receive their honors from the king and queen. Similarly in a proposal, it could be the act of honoring the partner.

Surrender: In battle, bowing before the conquering side is a sign of surrender. In a wedding, the couple commit to one another and this could be a gesture of surrendering themselves to their partner.

Vikings: Vikings paralleled true love to being shot by an arrow in the knee. Therefore, in a proposal, a Viking would “take the hit” and collapse in surrender to the “wounded knee.” This signified that the only person who could defeat him was his lover.

Practical: The bent knee proposal elevates the ring’s position between the two people which allows light to hit it clearly. This brings out the shine of the ring which is a sign of commitment between couples.

Whether or not these ideas of origin are true, any kind of proposal — bended knee or flash mob — is a gesture of love and commitment.

Did you get down on one knee when you proposed? Let us know down below!

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