Asking father's permission to marry
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If You Don't Ask My Father's Permission To Marry Me, I'll Say No

Just because I respect his opinion does not make me backwards

Meagan Shapiro

When I was 4-years-old, my father and I accidentally wandered into the part of city hall where you file for marriage licenses. Nothing happened, we didn't even talk to one of the ladies in the window, yet to this day he jokes about how that was the day him and I got married.

Now a lot of girls do not consider their dad to be their first husband, but a lot of them do consider him to be their first best friend.

If you plan on proposing, you absolutely need his permission for me to say yes.

And no, I don't see it as asking to "own me" at all.

In 2018, the long tradition of men asking their girlfriend's father permission before popping the question has come under fire. Some people dwell on how dated the tradition is, and how the act of a man "asking permission to own you" sets a standard for the marriage.

I don't consider it him asking my father for my ownership, I see it as him asking formal permission to join our family. That is, after all, essentially what a marriage is. A wedding celebrates the unity of two becoming on and families merging into each other, why are we trying to make it difficult by smacking some labels on it in an attempt to be politically correct.

Surely not all forms of chivalry should be dead

I am a notorious romantic, but I tend to look at things like this. I do think it is polite for a prospective husband to ask a father's permission to marry his daughter. I think it is only natural for him to need to ask before he takes the hand of the daughter this father raised from birth, asks her to take his last name, and enters this new chapter in her adult life.

It doesn't mean he has more respect in another man than his future partner, it just mean he knows his place. In my mind, it is the ultimate act of love to ask for the acceptance of her family.

How could you ask for anything less?

In this day in age, we tend to only focus on how this act must surely affect women's perspective and position, but I think the act itself has little to do with the marriage or even the couple. It's all about the father.

Think of it this way, this father has devoted a lifetime's worth of love and affection to this little girl. For years he has been the one to coach her soccer games, taught her to drive, was the first person she called when she couldn't figure out a tax form, her go to when her car was making a funny noise, and was the one to pick up the pieces of every guy she was with before this one turned into something special.

Then suddenly, this boyfriend became that person in her life. Him asking her father to marry her is just formally and respectfully asking the father to step down from the role.

I want my father's approval of who I marry

It's still my decision to accept the proposal but I still want him involved. My father is one of my best friends, he is on of the few people that know me inside and out. Anyone who has dated me knows just how much he means to me and how much his approval and blessing impacts me.

In the end, he is the person who shaped me into the person I am today, and while it is my choice in the end, it means the world knowing that the person I marry went out of their way to make sure they had my family's blessing and acceptance.

Just ask!

It's not very hard and will get you bonus points when you do. Ask her father, her mother, or anyone who has had the pleasure of raising your future bride. If you have any doubt that they would say no, then shoudl you even be asking the question to begin with?

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