5 Historical Courtship Rituals for Lovers

Words Actually


The dating game is tough. What do they want? Are you in a relationship or just fooling around? It’s a merry-go-round of insanity that never seems to stop. Yet despite all the craziness I think we can all agree that our dating practices pale in comparison some courtships rituals from history.

Love is sweet, armpit apples not so much


Many of us have heard that the quickest way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Yet what if you really pushed that concept? How can you tell he’s ready to stomach you for life?

Austrian ladies in the 19th century had an idea for just how to do that. At the beginning of a night, prior to dancing, they would conceal an apple slice on their person. Once that apple had adsorbed all their sweat and other juices they’d present it to the man of their dreams. If he ate the apple the lady knew he was interested in something serious.

Up your spooning game


There is no concrete evidence that the term “spooning” came from the old Welsh tradition of gifting intricately carved spoons to a potential lover. It’s fun to imagine though. Indeed, the men of Wales were known to spend months carving designs into an otherwise mundane utensil in the hopes of gaining a woman’s affections.

The man eventually gave the woman in question the gorgeous spoon and waited anxiously to see if she’d accept. Returned spoons were the modern equivalent of leaving a message unread. Oh well. At least the spoon is already carved which makes asking the next girl out less time-intensive.

Bundle and Banter


Forget Netflix and Chill. Early American colonists and some Europeans were known to Bundle and banter. Bundling was when a man would come over to a woman’s home and spend the night with her in bed. A board would be placed between them. This way they could talk and get to know each other all night without fear that body parts would touch while under the attentive ears of parents.

Of course parents do go to sleep. And it’s not so hard to hop over a board to do a little more than banter if you’re young, in love, and so inclined.

Thimbles equal wedding bells


Puritans were famous for never having any fun. OK, while this is not completely true, they didn’t look kindly on waste or frivolousness. There is no time to spend writing poetry to a woman! You should be doing the Lord’s work.

Men would bow down to practicality and give their intended a thimble. She would show her desire for their union by using it when she sewed. All work and no play makes couples fall in love it seems.

When wedding bells rung she’d cut off the small end of the thimble and voila! A quick, easy, not-showy wedding ring.

Stick a knife in it, it's married


In northern Europe, fathers would announce their daughter’s availability to the world in a unique way. They’d give their blossoming girls empty puukko knife sheaths, waiting to be filled with the right knife.

Yep, no subtext here. Move along.

Men who desired the girl would buy a knife which matched or fit the empty sheath and place it inside. If the young woman decided she liked them, she’d keep the knife. If not she’d return the weapon to the man who hopefully didn’t take getting rejected too badly. Especially since he now had a knife.

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