9 Love Superstitions To Laugh At (Or Stress Over)

Illustrated by Alex Citrin.
As bizarre as superstitions in general may be, the ones that address our love lives manage to be even stranger. Knocking on wood is one thing, but doing things like fighting over wedding bouquets and ripping flowers apart is another story.

Sure, it's not likely that many people out there take love superstitions like the "he loves me, he loves me not" game as gospel. But that doesn't stop us from turning to the comfort (or stress) of these old wives' tales. So why do we keep imbuing romantic meaning in random acts and objects? And why do these superstitions, more often than not, put the onus on women to worry about love prospects?

To explore those questions, we've rounded up some of the most well-known (and perplexing) superstitions about love, marriage, and romance. As we mentioned, many of these assume that all women are on the hunt for a partner — and many of them presuppose that all women are looking for a male partner — which, of course, is far from the truth. Read on to learn more about the superstitions that have commanded people's love lives. And make sure to take them with the appropriate amount of (pink) salt.
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Illustrated by Alex Citrin.
Listen for the cock.

An old German superstition held that, should a virgin wish to know if she'll be married in the year, she should go out to the chicken coop on Christmas Eve and knock on the door. If she hears a rooster crow, she will. If she hears a hen instead, she won't.

Call us cynical, but we'd rather not leave the fate of our love lives up to poultry. Besides, even if you wanted to believe this old wives' tale, you'd need to have a chicken coop handy, which seems unrealistic for most people.
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Illustrated by Alex Citrin.
Beware of yellow flowers.

In Russia, a bouquet of yellow flowers means anything but love. Supposedly, this color symbolizes infidelity, and even if no one has been unfaithful yet, exchanging yellow flowers is believed to curse the relationship anyway.

For the record, if you think your partner may be cheating, it probably won't be a bunch of flowers that tips you off. And beyond that, don't be afraid to give your S.O. a yellow bouquet if you think that's what they really want — though there are plenty of other fantastic bouquet options out there.
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Illustrated by Alex Citrin.
Break out the doves.

In the surprisingly vast world of bird superstitions, doves symbolize holiness, peace, and love. They're said to mate for life, and they are even released during weddings to celebrate the couple's commitment and add an extra dose of luck, naturally.

By that same token, it's considered very, very bad luck to kill a dove. We can't speak to how helpful it'll be to have doves at your wedding, but it's always nice if you can avoid not killing a harmless bird.
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Illustrated by Alex Citrin.
Catch the bouquet.

This wedding tradition (that's still practiced widely) dates as far back as the 14th century in England. Single female wedding guests would literally tear away pieces of the bride's dress and bouquet in the hopes that some of her luck in love would transfer to them (sounds like harmless fun). Usually, the bride would just throw her entire bouquet to the guests so that she could get away.

With time, this became the bouquet-toss that we know today, and it's now believed that the woman who catches it will be the next one to marry. We can take or leave this tradition as it is today, but we sure are glad brides don't end their special day in a ripped dress anymore.
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Illustrated by Alex Citrin.
Count your horses.

This very specific superstition comes from Nebraskan folklore, which says that if you encounter 99 horses and one white mule, then shake a man's hand, that man will be your future husband. Whether that means that you fill your stable with horses (and one mule) or you just happen to see them passing by one day, we suppose that's up to the gods of fate.

Like the chicken coop superstition from Germany, it's unlikely you'll be even remotely near this many equine creatures anytime soon, so this belief is probably unrealistic to hang on to at the moment.
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Illustrated by Alex Citrin.
Consult flower petals.

This game, sometimes called the daisy oracle, goes all the way back to medieval times, and it's about as simple as love superstitions get: Pluck a petal and say, "he (or she) loves me"; pluck another and say, "he loves me not." Repeat. Whichever one you end on when you run out of petals should be taken as the absolute truth about that person's feelings for you.

The oracle became so prominent that it even got a shout out in Goethe's Faust in the 1800s. Some say it's specifically French in its origins, but it's hard to say if that's true or just yet another old wives' tale.
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Illustrated by Alex Citrin.
Sleep on a piece of wedding cake.

Sneak a piece of wedding cake home, sleep with it under your pillow or under your bed, and you're sure to dream of your future spouse. So goes yet another wedding-related superstition for single people.

Honestly, we're not sure how this is done without causing a major mess or a pest problem. If you get to take a piece of wedding cake home with you, we suggest you eat it instead.
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Illustrated by Alex Citrin.
Watch out for brooms.

This Italian superstition is bizarrely literal in its meaning: If you're single, never let a broom sweep across your feet, because then you'll never have the chance to swept off your feet by a long-term partner. We can't make this stuff up.

But hey, it's probably pretty easy to dodge brooms. And if there's anything we like, it's totally avoidable bad luck.
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Illustrated by Alex Citrin.
*~*Forward By Midnight*~*

Okay, so this isn't nearly as old as some superstitions, but that doesn't make those chain letters you received on your first Hotmail account any less serious.

"This chain started in 1887. It is a love chain letter. In 5 days,
you are suppose to send it to 27 teens," they'd begin, before asking you to recite a poem or chant your crush's name out loud. No matter how light and fun they seemed, they always ended with a threat: "If you break the chain letter, you will have bad luck in future relationships. If you don’t break the chain, then you will be a very happy camper!!!!!!"

As much as we wish we could debunk these pesky (and horrendously formatted) emails, we have to admit that we always forwarded them along when they landed in our mailbox.