Tuesday, January 15, 2013

An engagement question

No. Stop it. Pat and I are not getting engaged.

But it is engagement season, so I had a question for you all....

Do you expect/want your future someone to ask your parents' (or uncle's, or grandfather's, or brother's) permission before proposing? Or, alternately, did your someone ask? Or, even more alternately, does this custom baffle you like it does me?
My dad does seem rather intimidating, no?

I'm not against it. But I do think it's an odd custom, nowadays. I've talked to my parents because the whole thing confuses me so. Independent, feminist me says "No one owns me and has permission to give me away or take me or own me, dang it!" Neither my parents, nor I, have any expectations of my future husband asking their permission.

But I wouldn't be offended.

It all just confuses me.

The weird thing is, I have seen a split -- either people never even thought about it, think it's a crazy old custom, or they absolutely expect it. And these categories cross region and religion. I've heard of people on both coasts (and in between) and of all religions asking for permission.

So it doesn't seem to be a Christian thing or a Southern thing -- although those two groups might be more apt to ask for permission.

Anyone have any thoughts on the matter? Do you want your someone to ask permission to ask for your hand?







Edited to add: I realized I can't respond to comments in the comment section? Don't know how to fix that. But I think a big difference I was missing is permission vs blessing. Hope this post wasn't offensive to any -- seriously just wanted to hear everyone's thoughts about it! xoxo

25 comments:

Dara said...

I wished my husband had at least told my parents ahead of time. they were surprised when it happened and a little cold and unexcited. If they'd known ahead of time maybe it would have gone better when I told them.

Kate said...

I don't think it's necessarily a MUST, but I've let it be known that I would PREFER it.
I don't even care if he ASKS if it's ok, I just kinda like the idea of him telling my parents that he plans to. I'm not even really sure why except that it seems to be a tradition.

My thoughts: I don't think my parents really have the right to say who I can/can't marry at this point, but I like the idea that my significant other cares enough about their opinions to at least TELL them what he wants to do. Plus, I think that it will make my parents respect him more. It almost seems like a rite of passage.

Sara said...

I agree with Katie above; not necessarily required or a must, but more importantly, I think it just depends on how you feel and how your family and significant other feels. My hubby did ask my parent's permission, but, I think my dad expected it. That's how he is, so Darren knew to ask.

Nowadays, it does seem to be such an outdated custom, but, it still comes up and is sometimes expected. I can see how it would be confusing!!

Katie said...

My husband asked my dad for his blessing, not his permission. And I was glad he did. I think it's nice that he took the extra step to talk to my parents and let them know that he intended to marry their daughter and wanted to make sure they were on board and knew ahead of time what was coming.

Amy said...

TRICKERY! I was so excited...then saw the "no. stop it. pat and i are NOT getting engaged"...hahah.
I personally would want that person to ask for their blessing. Where i'm from you're raised knowing to go to the parents before making that big decision, so maybe in this part of the south it's still relevant haha. {because every single one of my guy friends/girl friends would say 'i would want them to ask'} ....definitely an interesting tradition.

Kristen said...

It wasn't a must for me, but when Ryan told me that he asked my Dad before he proposed, I have to admit it made me happier than I thought it would. I feel like it's the respectful thing to do, whether you agree to it or not.

Breenah said...

Do you watch HIMYM because this is totally what happened last night. I feel like if you're close to your dad and it's a tradition in your family, go for it, but it's not necessary. I'm not close to my dad at all and probably would have been offended if Jarrod had asked him.

Jordan said...

I don't think it's a must but I would appreciate if he took the time to at least let them know he was about to ask! For me, it's not so much about getting permission rather than getting a blessing and the act of including my parents in such a huge life changing event. In the past, I would have never wanted or expected it because I wasn't close with my dad. As an adult, I am closer with him and my boyfriend is well known and well liked in my family so it'd be a nice gesture on his part to include them. You are about to mesh into one family after all!

Melissa (Freeing Imperfections) said...

Really interest topic, Abbey. My husband actually did ask both my parents, which surprised me. Our engagement was a completely surprise, so I had no idea that he even had until after. I was so taken aback. He didn't really ask them though, but took them out to dinner and told them he was going to propose. It's kind of the same concept, but there was no "may I have your daughter's hand?" kind of question from what I know.

I think it's weird that people think you absolutely must. I mean, don't elope or anything, and I think you're fine.

Suze said...

My husband asked. And my first fiance (yes- engaged twice in my life!) asked as well. I'm not offended by it. And I didn't think it was a must, but I really appreciated the gesture. I think the difference between permission and blessing is important. And I think my dad and mom appreciated it too.

Kaitlin Sheran Benoit said...

Ryan asked my dad out of respect for my dad. It was important to him so he did it. We would have gotten married no matter what but it was the right way to get off on the right foot with him. I'm with you.....I think it's old fashioned and that no one has the right to make that decision for me.

Shauna said...

I used to think that it would be sweet, but Tim didn't, and then I realized it probably would have been pretty weird for him to! I guess it really just depends on each couple

Genna said...

Dangggg it! I saw this post title and was like OMG! But Cam did ask my dad, but only because Cam is really traditional. I would not have been offended if he didn't. It sounds weird, but my dad and I aren't close. Yes we live together and yes I love him, but we don't share secrets or anything like that. Cam did it out of respect for my parents (and because we're young and I still live with my parents, I think).
I am split, believe it or not. Yes, I'm a Christian. Yes, I'm pretty traditional. But no, I don't think this custom is really all that necessary anymore. Maybe back in the day when daughters were seen as a part of the family to be given away.

Meg said...

My hubs asked my dad for permission before. i think it should be done as a respect thing. Of course, there may be a situation where it isn't possible or the father is absent and in those cases, maybe it doesn't matter. My parents expected it but it was as a sign of respect. They spent 18+ years raising me and even though I was out of the house and on my own when we got engaged, they still expected it. And it didn't bother me. It had nothing to do with "them owning me"; it was a mutual respect for them having been the authority in my life for all those years and they're passing that on to the husband. Of course, that gets in to the whole idea of how you think a relationship between a husband and wife should be. Which it is equal all over the place, to me, but when the final say comes the husband is head of house. A good husband will listen to his wife though and hopefully work to come to agreement before any decisions.

Amanda Schroeder said...

I think it all depends on the relationship. I wanted my husband to ask my father before marriage. He did. And I would never regret that.

amanda @ we and serendipity

Tamara said...

I've never been terribly close to my father, so I wasn't bothered (and my dad wasn't either) when Alfred just asked me to marry him. Now he did tell his family before he proposed and I guess they were expecting me to call them the second it happened and when I didn't (it was like at midnight) I had some nice snarky comments to reply too.
But I think it was just because they were excited and wanted to see my reaction.

I think it's a really nice gesture to ask for a hand in marriage but I don't think it's a requirement now-a-days.

Danavee said...

That title had me EXCITED!

The mister did not ask my parents, but we were both in our late 20's, early 30's.......had long been outta the house...........so it really didn't make sense for us.

A totally sweet gesture, but depends on the people and situation, I guess?

Katie said...

My husband asked my dad's permission/blessing whatever. So did my first fiance (yeeeeahh....). I like it, just because I think getting married isn't just getting married to one person, but in a way you are kind of entering eachother's families. I think it's important that there is a kind of respect there.

It also was successful in the first engagement in stopping some mistakes from happening (my dad said yes because he knew I loved the dude, but with a condition..I'm thankful for that, otherwise I would be in a horrible position today!).

Melissa said...

My husband asked my dad for his blessing. Or permission... i mean, i guess it's kind of the same thing? If my dad had said no, my husband would have respected that. But...my dad would NOT have said no! LOL. Our parents met when i was a baby! :)

Still, he asked. And i think it's good. It's not as necessary as it was back when it started (when families often chose for their daughter), but it is respectful.

If the bride's family doesn't really care about that, then he should probably just let them know. :)

Kaitlyn's Life and Blogs said...

I have always been brought up to ask for the dad's blessing and/or more like both permission.

My mom said to me the other day tho. Even if dad says no or whatever and we don't approve of the guy there's isn't anything my dad or mom could do to stop it from happening.

Bryan/JBK even asked my dad if he could date me. I'm so old fashioned. I swear I'm not supposed to be born in this era. Haha

If Bryan eventually ask my dad I hope he does. I know my dad would honor that and respect him even more.

You had me freaked out for a second I was omg!! Then I was like ahh drats. Haha

Katie said...

Also,

"No. Stop it."

Bahahahaha.

lil desiqua said...

I love this- and the topic is so relevant to me right now! Honestly, I think it would be nice if a guy asked my mom for her blessing, but definitely not necessary, and I don't think she would see it as a sign of disrespect if he didn't (my dad is out of the picture). But C and I had a "talk" over break, and he said he wants to ask my mom and my grandfather "for my hand." I didn't realize he was super traditional, wanting to ask a male figure, even though I'm not very close to my grandfather. I think it's a bit weird, and unexpected in today's world, but I guess if it makes him feel more comfortable getting the "ok" from them, that works for me!

Ech and Will said...

I told my husband not to ask my parents' permission; but if it was something he really wanted to do he should ask my mom since she's the one that raised me. Of course he didn't listen and he asked my dad. It was really awkward for both of them...mostly because he chose to ask as I was sitting in the car waiting to leave.

Meghan said...

I would like if my future fiance would ask for my Dad's blessing.

I definitely agree with Kaitlyn on what she said too!

Katrin said...

I think it can be a nice custom but it is not really necessary. I mean, my Dad and David like each other so it was clear that my Dad would not say no. I respect it when people do it though but I agree it can be a little weird.

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