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Asking parents and the ring

I have a guy friend who's asking me advice that I'm not sure of. He wants to ask his girlfriend's parents for their daughter's hand, but doesn't have the ring yet. He's not sure whether to go without the ring and just ask for the blessing or wait until he has the ring so he can show it to them. Any clue what I should tell him?

How did your SO (if you're engaged or married) ask your parents? Did he/she ask at all? 
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Re: Asking parents and the ring

  • BF knows that I don't want him to ask my parents. I would think ... less of him. I don't need my parents' permission to live my life, and I don't actively look for their blessing. It's the relationship we have.

    From what I've heard from friends who have asked for a blessing, he doesn't need to have the ring to ask. Being sincere seems to be the best approach. Dinner and/or coffee doesn't go remiss, either.
    mbross3IllusionsDepths
  • CocoBellaFCocoBellaF
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary Name Dropper
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    edited March 19
    my SO asked my dad, but my dad thought that he was actually proposing (WUT) and so he drug me in on it.  so it wasn't a surprise.  and then my dad started telling his friends I was engaged, and I had to explain to him that H hadn't actually asked me yet!  he is still to this day confused about all of this.  apparently he never "asked" my mom, they just started planning their wedding and got married, so all this is foreign to him.

    my ring was an heirloom ring, so my H called my parents one day and asked for them to get it to him.  so while we were out running errands, my mom slipped the ring in his gym bag that was sitting at their house.  he was going to wait to propose at Christmas or New Year's but once he had the ring, he got antsy and proposed the next evening...  which is how I got engaged around Halloween instead of the holidays! 

    ETA:  it really wasn't "romantic"...  we were taking his little cousins trick-or-treating at the Haunt the Zoo and he proposed there...  he ended up proposing in the butterfly garden, which was decorated like a fairy garden, and was beautiful... but only because it was the last exhibit and he was running out of time!  poor guy.  :)

    I think for your friend, it depends on how close he is to the parents.  if they don't have a close-ish relationship, I'd wait until he has the ring.  if they are pretty tight, however, then I don't see why he couldn't go ahead and ask for the blessing and maybe even show them some of the options for rings, and get their input as well, if only to make them feel included (even if he doesn't go with the one they like best).  of course, that's totally optional and up to the personality of the people involved, but it could definitely get him some points with the parents!  :)
    CLoGreenEyesIllusionsDepths
  • My FI didn't officially ask my parents. He did show them a picture of the ring he had purchased so they knew it was coming.

    My sister's H did ask our parents for permission about a week before he asked my sister to marry him. He also had the ring at that point but I don't know if he had it with him when he asked our parents.

    You know better than anyone that it is OK to be engaged without a ring. Having a ring in hand shouldn't make or break whether or not your friend's potential future in-laws should accept him as a future son-in-law. I think it's 100% ok for him to ask for his gf's parent's blessing without a ring in hand. They don't have to approve the ring, they only need to approve him (since he seems to want their approval/blessing).

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    Blackbird230
  • Does he want the proposal to be a complete surprise, or will she know that it's coming soon? If they've been talking for a while about their timeline for engagement and she has some idea of when it will happen, then I think it's fine to go ahead and ask her parents' blessing before he gets the ring. If he wants it to be a complete surprise, he may want to wait until he's got the ring and he's ready to go so that they don't have to keep the secret for long.

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  • severmilli12severmilli12
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    edited March 19
    FI asked my dad at Thanksgiving while me, mom, and my sister were making dinner.  He already had the ring for about a month at that point. I had no idea he had asked my dad until after he proposed.  He proposed December 1st.

    I don't think he needs the ring to ask the dad. FI had my ring but didn't bring it to show my dad.  My parents didn't see it until after FI proposed.
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  • @Imhollister, I think I like what you said best about how they're not approving the ring, they're approving him. I may actually add that into what I'll tell him.

    She knows it's probably coming soon, but doesn't know when. 

    Thanks ladies for all the advice. He is pretty chill with her parents so I think he'll be fine. Having a picture of the ring on hand is a good idea too.
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  • FI did go ask my dad for his blessing, not necessarily permission.  He also knew that my family loved him.  So there were no worries there.  I don't think he brought the ring with him in fact I doubt, because he went to visit my dad at work in the city.  May be he showed him a picture I don't know.  I don't know if not having the ring yet matters
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  • My FI called my dad, haha.  My dad works in upstate NY and FI and I lived in VA at the time and we didn't have plans to go home anytime soon except for my sister's wedding, haha.

    The best part? FI and my bro bought engagement rings within a month of each other - they definitely had a pow wow at my sister's wedding to make sure we were both okay with being engaged simultaneously (we are!) They talked about getting engaged on the same day because they're nerds, but that didn't happen lol.

    FI mainly just didn't tell my sisters because he thought they would tell me.

    I knew the proposal was coming eventually, but had no idea it was coming like..then.  In fact, I was freezing cold the day he proposed and didn't want to walk down by the water.  And I also busted his plans like 8 times before the real plan happened lol.  I was awesome.
    I guess, to tell you the truth, I've never had much of a desire to grow facial hair. I think I've managed to play quarterback just fine without a mustache. - Peyton
  • I agree with the other ladies that it doesn't really matter whether he has bought the ring yet or not. 

    I do remember my BIL saying that he made sure to ask my parents first before he bought the ring because he was afraid (paranoid) that someone would see him buying the ring, and then it would get back to my parents and they'd be angry that he hadn't asked. My parents are not like that AT ALL which makes the whole thing sort of hilarious. Also, BIL asked for their blessing like 3 months before he actually proposed... and my mom is TERRIBLE at keeping secrets. I think by the time he asked, everyone knew but my sister, lol.
  • @TwoDimes, that's what pretty much happened with my sister. BIL came to our house one summer when I was home from college and really ended up asking my dad, mom and me at the same time. We all got to see the ring and knew exactly when it would be because he invited them to come up there with him and my sister. 
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  • H asked my parents for their blessing.  It meant a lot to me as a sign of respect and my Dad, especially, was very touched by it.  It is also pretty traditional in Indian culture (H is Indian) to have the families agree in advance to an engagement before one happens.
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  • My FI did NOT ask my parents.  We actually talked to my parents about our intentions together and then somehow my parents got involved in picking out my ring for a bit because I didn't like the pricetag on the ring I wanted (and received - I'm finding out I'm the cheapskate in this relationship; FI was totally on board with the price of my ring and it was within his ring budget).
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  • bethsmilesbethsmiles
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary Combo Breaker
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    edited March 19
    I really don't think it matters either way. The ring isn't the important part of the conversation.

    ETA: I don't think BF is going to ask my parents. I wouldn't be offended if he did but it would seem really  pointless I guess. My parents love him and have made it very clear they can't wait for us to get engaged/married. We already know we have their blessing.
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  • DH did not ask my parents' permission or blessing, which is pretty much the relationship my parents and I have.

    He did, however, tell my brother before he proposed that he was going to. It was apparently a fairly casual conversation and DH just said to Brother, 'So, you know I love your sister. And I plan to ask her to marry me. I hope you're cool with that.' Brother said, 'Yeah, I kind of figured. I think that's great.'

    DH didn't have the ring then, or even when he proposed. He proposed in December and gave me a ring in March.

    He did, later, talk to my dad about not having talked to him about it, and my dad (to whom I am VERY close) said, 'No, I get why you didn't, and that's OK. I would have been skeptical if you did ask for my permission -- HisGirl is a grown woman, and her mother and I raised her to be fiercely independent, so it's right that you'd ask her, then tell us.'

    But then on our wedding day, Dad did whisper to DH, 'Take good care of my little girl,' after he had walked me down the aisle.
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  • mbross3mbross3
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    I would just have him make sure that his GF wants him to ask her dad. I would extremely offended if BF asked my dad for permission and my dad would be offended too (BF knows this). I am a grown woman and I do not need anyone's permission to make the decision to get married. My father would view my BF's asking him for permission as disrespectful to me. If she wants him to ask her dad, that's one thing, but not everyone wants that!
    KeptInStitches
  • To butt in, I think wording is important too. Like everyone else, I'd probably be offended if my BF asked for "permission" or my hand or something like that. I'm pretty sure my mom would scoff at him.

    But I also know my dad, and I think he would feel honored, and really like it if he was asked for his blessing. It wouldn't matter as far as whether or not the engagement would happen (or even if it happened before/after the proposal), but it's a little thing that would make him happy.

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  • FI didn't ask my parents, and I didn't want or expect him to. We told everyone on Christmas day (he proposed on Xmas Eve), and my grandpa did make a (lighthearted) comment about not being asked for permission. I'm not close to my dad at all, so I guess Grandpa thought he'd be "asked for my hand", but I would have been a little upset if FI had asked anyone at all, even for a blessing. I was SO excited to get to tell everyone in my family that we were engaged, and knowing that they already had a heads up would have taken some of that excitement away from me.
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  • mbross3 said:
    I would just have him make sure that his GF wants him to ask her dad. I would extremely offended if BF asked my dad for permission and my dad would be offended too (BF knows this). I am a grown woman and I do not need anyone's permission to make the decision to get married. My father would view my BF's asking him for permission as disrespectful to me. If she wants him to ask her dad, that's one thing, but not everyone wants that!
    Ditto. I even talked to my parents about this. It was a kind of "you're not expecting him to ask you, right? For permission or blessing or anything like that?" conversation. Their response was "You are an adult. Why would he do that? If we didn't like him, we would have told you two years ago." They were a little disgusted by the very notion. So, maybe tell your friend to make sure that both the girlfriend and the parents want/ expect to have this type of conversation. If my boyfriend had tried to engage my parents in this, their opinion of him would have lowered. 
    mbross3
  • cu97tigercu97tiger
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary Combo Breaker
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    edited March 21
    DH talked to my dad (less asking for permission, more 'we hope we have your blessing') in March 2011, he didn't get the ring until July 2011.
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  • GB520GB520
    Third Anniversary 100 Comments Name Dropper 5 Love Its
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    edited March 29
    I think its best for the man to ask the woman's father prior to buying a ring, just so he has the blessing. 

    ETA: my fiance asked my dad way before we actually got the ring.... the first time we were looking at rings. lol. 

  • You aren't suppose to bring the ring. The girl is suppose to be the first to see the ring that way she can show it off to her parents etc for the first time.
  • larrygagalarrygaga
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    edited March 30
    My FI never asked my parents and when he proposed we walked down the street to a jewelry store and picked out a ring. I narrowed it down to a few rings and he picked it out from there and put it on my finger. 

    It was very romantic and sweet! You don't have to have the parents blessing or the ring to get engaged. I never wanted him to ask my parents because it's my choice and I don't need anyone's blessing to get married.
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  • There is no one size fits all formula in terms of an engagement (basically, the only things required are the words, will you marry me, and a yes. No approval needed by anyone else). If I were him, I would have a discussion with her, asking hypothetical questions such as if we were to get married would you prefer me to speak with your family about  proposing to you? He should also find out if there is a family heirloom ring, and if her family expects any future husband to propose to her with that ring. 

    Personally, I agree with PPs that people aren't required to ask permission from their parents in order to get married. @cu97tiger hit the nail on the head. If a couple wants they can approach their SO's family member's and say "we hope we have your blessing", thats fine, its a personal choice. My FI spoke to my father prior to the proposal, saying that he intended to marry me, and that he hoped he had my father's blessing. I don't think that a ring needs to be purchased prior to having a conversation with her family (should he have a conversation with them) because he might not propose immediately. 

    I wish him the best of luck, keep us updated as to what went down.


    Blackbird230
  • It actually went quite well. He did pretty much what @bride2b71614 suggested. He said too it was good he didn't bring the ring because her parents told him they didn't want to see it even when he suggested he could bring it a different day. They wanted the surprise of when they got engaged. I'm very excited for them. :)
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  • I think it's different for every couple and how her relationship is with her parents.

    My first marriage He proposed and after the fact asked if he should ask my parents as well and I told him he didn't have to. My parents were UBER pissed. He never told them I told them that and they eventually grew to like him.

    This second time around he's not asking, but I'm also much older (37) than I was then.
  • katkillikatkilli
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    my fiancée bought the ring, then called and told my parents she bought me a ring.  and she didn't really ask "permission."  it was more like asking for their blessing.  and it went well!
  • SRoyce2015SRoyce2015
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    edited April 2
    My FI asked my dad after buying a ring, but he didn't bring it with him, which meant my parents got to share my excitement in seeing it after I received it.

    I think it's considerate to one's GF to not show her family the ring because she'll be excited and want to show it off, which will be pretty anticlimactic if everyone else has already seen it.

    That being said, I see no reason why your friend couldn't ask for a blessing without the ring. He may even be able to get some new ideas while he's there.
  • I know that my parents would have wanted my fiance to ask them before me, mind you we didn't know this really until after we told them we were engaged. And they wanted him to get me a new ring cause the one I have isn't a diamond, but I picked it out myself and I really like it. We decided to ignore them because its our lives, we love each other and that would have been nice to know earlier on! lol. Anyway if the parents are traditional I would say have the ring and ask the parents. If not, maybe you should still ask for the blessing just to let them know your intensions and how much you love this person and you want to spend the rest of you lives with them.

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