Not Engaged Yet

Asking for parents' permission/blessing

Hi ladies,

What are your thoughts on asking for the parents' permission or blessing before a proposal? For those who are engaged/married, did your FI/DH ask? For those who are NEY, would you want him to?

My BF mentioned this the other day, and I actually thought it was bizarre. We're both 30 and live together. I told him he needs no one's permission but my own. He said it's showing respect to receive my parents' blessing. I do think that's sweet, and it's great that he's comfortable enough with my parents to consider it, but it still seems odd to me. Then again, I also don't want to be "given away." I'm just that independent/stubborn/feminist.

Obviously he's gonna do whatever he's gonna do, and that's fine. I'm just wondering how common/wanted this particular tradition is.

Re: Asking for parents' permission/blessing

  • edited December 2011
    Well, I just got engaged on Friday. My boyfriend didn't ask either of my parents because I am not very close to my dad. Also he said that I;m "not property." When we saw my mom later the same day, she was ecstatic about the engagement, but I think a little bit sad that she wasn't asked first.

    Personally, I think that if it is something your boyfriend would like to do, then that's very sweet and he should. Unless you are completely against it...

    As for being walked down the aisle, that's not something I am into. My dad did ask me if he could walk me down while we were on the phone on Monday, though, when I told him the news. I was so surprised I told him that I hadn't even begun to think about the wedding and I would let him know what I decided! I really do not want to hurt his feelings.

    To answer the common/wanted part of your post: I think it's popularity may be declining, but I know a lot of girls who want it, and I think a lot of parents want to be asked/told before a proposal too.
  • edited December 2011
    That is a BIG no no for me. Big enough that I would reconsider the relationship if he did it, and he knows it (and thankfully agrees). I don't care if other people like it/want it (I don't get it, but in the end I don't truly care), but for my relationship I am the only person I feel he needs to be asking because the connotations behind it are just too much for me. I also have issues with my father, so that plays into it.

    That said, I am not as bothered by it if the dude asks both parents. It's when the father is specifically asked I feel uncomfortable.

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  • tafft1tafft1 member
    1000 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I'm really weird about this so forgive me if this sounds totally backwards. In theory if I did have any relationship or even communication with my dad I would have ideally liked FI to ask his permission. Now this is just me , because I am very traditional in the ways my mind works - as in I feel my place is at home taking care of the home/kids , etc. ( granted that is not possible so I do work)  and that FI is basically the last word on things and runs the home.

    I would have liked to be "given away" , but have come to terms with things the way they are. I will be walking myself , and though it makes me feel uneasy for various personal reasons it is what it is. I think it's something that is definitely unique for each relationship as much as the reasons behind it. There is no right or wrong , just whatever you both decide together.
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  • desertsundesertsun member
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    edited December 2011
    I don't think asking for a blessing ahead of time is necessary, and frankly, I'm glad my FI didn't talk to my parents first. 

    I felt that we didn't need permission or a blessing from anyone else -- his proposal and my acceptance were about US and what we wanted for our future.

    We did however call my parents right away and asked for their blessing on our decision to marry AFTER we'd made that decision together.

    My parents did not act at all disappointed or disapproving that my FI didn't talk to them first. They just seem really happy for us.

    It's a personal choice, but I do feel strongly that your BF should respect YOUR feelings before your parents. Just my 2 cents.
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  • nickchicknickchick member
    1000 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I think i'm a little more traditional in this area. It's very important to me for BF to ask my dad for his blessing first. And since my parents aren't together i would love if he talked to my mom first also. But i didn't tell him he has to. i'm just hoping he does. And the "giving away" thing is big for me too. One of the main reasons i wouldn't want to elope. I really look forward to my dad walking me down the isle and i would never want to take that away from him. 
    But as i said, maybe i'm just more traditional in this area. And i'm also very close with my dad. <3 
  • bethsmilesbethsmiles Denver, CO member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2011
    I am very close to my dad. I was always a daddy's girl so it is important to me that my boyfriend ask my dad for his blessing. Not permission because I make my own choices in life. I think it will mean a lot to my dad and that is important to me.


  • edited December 2011
    My dad has always told me (jokingly) that I'm the one kid he's ever met that doesn't need parents.  I always make my decisions, and I really haven't screwed up TOO badly yet.  He knows that when I ask permission to do something, I'm really just telling them I'm probably going to do it.

    That being said.  It is very important to me that BF talks to my dad.  Not ask permission, not even his blessing.. just tell him before he asks me.  Normally, it wouldn't be important to me, but I know it means a lot to my dad.  My sister, when she got engaged to now BIL, they didn't tell my dad and they kept it a secret (I still don't understand their motives behind that).  It's caused a strain on their relationship and my dad was really upset. It really hasn't been the same since then.  So yes, I would like BF to fill my daddy in before he proposes.
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  • edited December 2011
    I did not want FI to ask my dad and FI didn't see the need to. My parents were the first ones we told and my dad shook FI's hand and told him that we have his blessing. I asked my dad after if he wanted to be asked before FI proposed and dad said that I'm not his property and it is my decision so I should know first.
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  • Hazel_BHazel_B member
    2500 Comments
    edited December 2011
    My dad is very traditional and I can see him being upset if my BF didn't talk to him ahead of time.  That being said, I'm not property and I am firmly against the idea of my BF asking "permission" from my dad. Even though the actual proposal would be a surprise, the whole getting marriage decision would be completely mutual. I think speaking to parents is a nice way of involving them (but not necessary), so I would prefer my BF ask my parents' blessing and ask his parents' blessing as well.
  • katanne9katanne9 member
    2500 Comments
    edited December 2011
    It was very important to both of us for him to get my parents blessing. He wasn't really going for their approval, we just felt it was respectful.
  • edited December 2011
    I know that my mom would be happy if BF asks them before (ironically, I don't think my dad cares that much). BF had mentioned that he would do it, but I don't know if he actually will when the time comes. It doesn't really matter to me.
  • edited December 2011
    I am a complete Daddy's girl and it would mean the world to my father if BF asked for his blessing (not permission, I can make my own decisions). My dad actually asked for my step-mom's father's blessing a few years ago when they decided to get married even though it would be his & her 2nd marriage and he had two full grown children, I thought that was kind of sweet.
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  • edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_not-engaged-yet_asking-parents-permissionblessing?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special%20Topic%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:136Discussion:83442289-4d81-4455-be90-38a0a1e87c99Post:06b511dd-94ca-4120-b925-b629035043c3">Re: Asking for parents' permission/blessing</a>:
    [QUOTE]*cares
    Posted by Buggalo[/QUOTE]

    You know you can edit your post, right?
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  • edited December 2011
    Duly noted, Button! Duh.
  • edited December 2011
    I am very much against the "from one man to another" mentality in asking your father's permission.  However, I'm not against the idea of a man asking the blessing of BOTH parents.  I also intend to have both of my parents walk me down the aisle - I would do neither, but it would hurt my father too much.  I want my parents to walk me to the end of the aisle where they'll sit down, and then I'll walk the last few steps on my own.  Something to that extent, so that it isn't one man handing me to another.  I don't like that.

    In my case, BF has to talk to my parents because they've got the diamond.  However, this is all rather a done deal as my parents have offered to just give us the diamond in preparation (I would assume that counts as blessing?).  Also, I told BF that since we're 1500 miles apart from my parents, they wouldn't mind if he called to ask a blessing.  He insists that he will fly up there when I least expect it - either he'll claim he's going to visit his family or when I'm out of the country for business.  He wants to ask my parents in person, which I think is kind of cute.

    Cliff notes: in 2010, permission from your father to pass his daughter to a new man just seems archaic.  Asking blessing from both your parents to become part of your family seems somewhat sweet if this doesn't totally offend you.
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  • edited December 2011

    When we first started talking about marriage and getting engaged, I specifically asked if he would ask my parents for their blessing. He did, and it meant a great deal to me that he did. Even though he didn't need to, it still meant a lot to me and my parents that he respected them enough to ask for their blessing.

    It also provided for a very entertaining family story, as my father looked at him straight in the eye and said, "No." Completely deadpan. It was kinda awesome.

    As for permission, I'm not so keen on that. It kind of asserts that you're a possession. Like a lamp. That's not right.

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  • edited December 2011
    Asking for permission really irks me but I wouldn't have been bothered if DH had asked for my parents blessing. He didn't do either and that's okay with me - we both felt we didn't need their permission or blessing to get married so when the time came around when we would have asked he decided not to.
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  • katanne9katanne9 member
    2500 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Cate - my FI took my Dad AND my Mom out to dinner, and for the way we work, and my parents work, it was never really an option to leave my mom out of it. I think it's funny that so many mothers are.

    I also think it lessens the "permission/giving away" factor. We both love my parents and want their blessing, plus it would mean the world to them - so why not?
  • edited December 2011
    I think that it's important for the guy to know what is important to the girl and the family. If it's important to you to have your bf talk to your dad or both parents, then he should do it. I think it goes back to good communication.
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  • edited December 2011
    Kat, totally agree!  My Mom was just as big a part of raising me as my Dad was, so if you want to talk about permission/blessing, she better be included, too!
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  • edited December 2011
    To me, it would be nice but I didn't have an opinion on if he did or not but I think my dad would want him to so its what my dad would want over what I want in regards to him asking. 

    After everything, FI did ask my dad and I'm quite relieved he did. It was nothing fancy, my dad was mowing the grass across the street (at his "man cave") and FI went over there to have my dad look at his truck and asked him there. 
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  • edited December 2011
    My mom stayed home with my sister and I, taught us, raised us.  My dad was a good dad and provided for the family.  My mom went back to school, got a masters certificate, and 5 short years later is a director of a department and is totally kick-@ss.  They are really cool and I don't think they would be hurt if they weren't asked.  That said, the first time I was engaged (to ex-loser) they were really taken aback.  I didn't really include them in the dating relationship and was a total beebee about everything.

    This time, I've made sure to include BF and family together a lot.  Being LDR means he spent quite a few weekends at my family's house.  They have a close relationship, and everyone knows that we're planning on being together forever and is happy about it.  I don't want him to "ask permission" but I did tell him I wanted him to talk to both my parents.

    Speaking of which, we were having a discussion last night about what we should tell people when they ask "how serious" and somehow talking to my parents pre-engagement came up, and he kinda grinned and said "Yeah, I need to get on that really soon."

    But I'm chill, I'm chill.  He could just be teasing to throw me off the scent!
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  • KatyRoseMKatyRoseM member
    1000 Comments Third Anniversary
    edited December 2011
    Fi asked my dad, and I like that.  Getting married is about families too, and I'm traditional and all.  My dad was actually confused and had an odd answer basically saying it was up to me, which was also nice.
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  • loopy82loopy82 member
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    edited December 2011
    FI talked to my dad before hand. I figured out that is what he was doing when he told me that him and my dad were at the bar together. (If you've read any of my rant post, you probably figured this out) I didn't at all think it was necessary for FI to ask my dad first. I actually don't think he asked my dad so much as he gave him the heads up as to what his plan was. I am also in the club of I'm my own person and don't need someone else's permission to do something.
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  • MeShell1313MeShell1313 member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I've told my BF that he should ask for my dad's blessing before he asks me. It's a respect thing not a premission thing.
     Part of the reason it's so important to me is b/c I remeber that my dad was really hurt & slightly offended when my little sister got engaged and her (now-ex) FI didn't say anything to them, before or after.
     That being said, I have a pretty good relationship with my parents and BF & I have gone on a few vacations with my parents over the past few years.If I wasn't close to them, getting their blessing would not be an important thing to me.
  • leia1979leia1979 member
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    edited December 2011
    Thanks so much ladies for your input.

    Just to clarify, my BF was adamant that he would just seek their blessing, not permission (kind of like a heads-up) and he would speak to both parents, not just my dad. While I wouldn't be pissed if he did this, I still don't think I'm comfortable with it, so I think I'll have a little chat with him on the subject.

    I like the idea of my parents just being the first people we tell (and if he wants to tell his own parents beforehand, that's cool). We live 5 minutes away from my parents, so it wouldn't be difficult.

    I do find it odd that while he's usually very modern about most things, he is being a stubborn traditionalist on a few select items.
  • edited December 2011
    Hi - I'm a newbie here, 1st time posting, too.  It's funny that this is what I started reading today - just this week my BF & I were doing some of our usual "when we get married/after we're married" talk and I mentioned that my brother had called his future FIL just to talk before he proposed to my SIL and I thought it was really sweet.  I won't be heart broken if my BF doesn't talk to my dad (or mom & dad), but something tells me he's already talked to my dad - they spent quite a bit of time alone together last week doing some repairs around my house and my dad has been really quiet ever since...hmm, maybe my proposal will be coming sooner than I thought
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