Marriage has a long-standing tradition of men asking fathers for permission to marry their daughters. However, there is a debate about whether this practice is still relevant in today’s society. In a series of conversations with young adults about marriage, it became clear that many still consider asking for their partner’s hand in marriage a sign of respect. Kyle Pender, a resident of New Jersey, recently proposed to his girlfriend and emphasized the importance of respecting her upbringing, regardless of tradition. He believes that asking for permission is a way to ensure everyone is on board with the next steps in the relationship. Pender credits his parents for teaching him respect and observing their successful marriage as a guiding factor in his decision.
Alivia Grace Talley, the vice president of the Network of Enlightened Women at Clemson University, provides the female perspective on the matter. As a 21-year-old woman who recently got married, she believes that asking a father for permission is a display of integrity and maturity. Talley highlights the importance of a man being vulnerable and honest in front of his partner’s father, showcasing his desire to marry her. Additionally, it shows appreciation for the father’s role in taking care of the bride-to-be. Talley acknowledges the impact her parents had on shaping her into the person she is today and her husband’s gratitude towards them for that.
One young man matter-of-factly stated that if a woman wasn’t raised by a father who would demand permission, she might not be the right match for him. Another friend of his expressed preferring to ask for the parent’s “blessing” rather than permission, although he acknowledges the blurred line between the two. He sees it as a form of respect since marriage signifies entering their family.
Kim Forrest, senior editor at The Knot, reveals that their recent studies show that asking fathers for permission remains a popular and relevant tradition. The Knot’s 2022 Real Weddings Study found that 71% of surveyed individuals sought permission or blessing before proposing. Forrest suggests that if a partner comes from a traditional family, discussing proposal plans with the parents might be important to avoid any hurt feelings.
Overall, while opinions may vary, asking for a father’s permission or blessing before proposing is still seen as an act of respect and honor in many relationships. It serves as a way to acknowledge the significance of the partner’s family and ensure everyone is on the same page moving forward.