Rules of Engagement

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9.  Should he ask my father for my hand before he asks me?  Do people still do that?

Traditionally, asking a father for his daughter’s hand in marriage was viewed as sign of respect and a polite gesture.  These days it is perfectly acceptable to have a conversation with both parents (if the bride-to-be has a healthy relationship with them) about the feelings and intentions you have for their daughter.  It’s a way to make the parents feel included and get an honest opinion about how they feel about the relationship.  Fortunately, the response is usually positive, but if you don’t get the answer you were looking for, it’s up to you and your bride-to-be to determine how to proceed and consider their reasons for withholding their blessing.  Nowadays, this action is seen as a nice gesture, but not necessarily a final say.

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