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Why Do Women Cover Face During a Marriage Proposal?

Proposals Prove: Your Face Is a Window to Your Soul

Marriage proposals can get pretty creative, but often the reactions are the same. Women typically cover their faces once they realize what is happening. Psychologist David Rose says our faces tell people what we're feeling, and at the moment of a proposal, the emotions are so intense that not covering the face would feel like being naked in public.

Rose told NPR that it might be cause for concern if a woman doesn't engage in this form of "shielding." He said:

"It's as though the woman is thinking, 'Oh, my god, this is going deep into my soul, what am I showing here?' When I see the very few who don't do it, I wonder, what does this mean? Are they unusually non-emotional? Does it mean they don't care about this guy? I don't know."

I went back and looked at some of the YouTube marriage proposals we've covered, and it's true: the woman usually covers her face! The woman who was asked "will you marry me?" after a long game of telephone did, as did the women in these Flickr images below. Do you buy that covering the face signals overwhelming feelings, or do you think it's just a result of embarrassment or surprise?

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Source: Flickr User billaday

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Source: Flickr User ctaloi

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Source: Flickr User mancake<br />

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Source: Flickr User billaday

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Source: Flickr User  Big C Harvey

Source: Flickr User mancake

Join The Conversation
Miss-Senorita Miss-Senorita 7 years
I just got engaged Saturday and they snapped a picture and have videos of me doing the same thing. My fiance and family keeps teasing me.
Pistil Pistil 7 years
Hmm, I guess I assumed it was to cover a gaping mouth (like when yawning). I think I just touch my face a lot. Maybe I'm hiding something.
chloe-bella chloe-bella 7 years
I think he's over-analyzing. When my best friend got engaged, her husband surprised her at the finish line of a marathon. She didn't cover up her face, but I know she was excited and she's actually a very emotional person! So I think it's wrong to say that it's a bad sign when women don't cover their face upon being proposed to.
French-Kiss French-Kiss 7 years
That's interesting yeah ! I think i cover when i have too much emotions yeah, when i don't want the other to see i'm blushing for example... And i also cover when i'm frightened in the cinema and when i find myself doing an ugly face hehehe :P
chequettex chequettex 7 years
Never thought about it before, but I think surprise, embarrassment, and being overwhelmed in general can all cause someone to cover their face. I do it when I see or sense something truly shocking, like violence, or my brother-in-law doing something nice for a change. Funny, I didn't do it when my husband proposed, but, uh, I kinda knew it was coming. I mean, he had a tie on, and took me out for a steak dinner, and then took me on a romantic walk... The moment it happened, the only real shock to me was that the ring box had both the rings in it and I was pretty confused about that. He'd been given an heirloom set for me by his grandparents, and no one had told him that you're only supposed to give the girl the engagement ring when you propose, not both. I thought it was pretty crazy at the moment, but I don't think I covered my face.
pia pia 7 years
I think for the most part, it's due to surprise. I agree that covering your face is how most people react during engagements. Me, on the other hand, my fiance said I was like a deer in the headlights. =) Which is I how normally act when I'm really really surprised. It's the no-reaction reaction.
weffie weffie 7 years
Me too, Chrstne, from scary movies to good concerts... I've never really thought anything of it, but maybe I am subconsciously hiding from the world!
Chrstne Chrstne 7 years
I cover my face when anything emotional happens...I really don't know why I do this. Probably because I am so overwhelmed, and I feel maybe a bit protected if people "couldn't see" how happy, or sad I was.
vap vap 7 years
Wow - that is so interesting!
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