Tag Archives: love

ask for her hand in marriage.

9 Jul

It’s wedding season in America.  We’re in the three-month period where every airport is filled with young, doe-eyed couples who can’t wait to get to Sandals for, let’s just say, a lot of “mommy & daddy” time.  However, it’s also a time of year where many young men start realizing that if they want to be booking their own flights to Fiji next summer,  they better pop the question – soon.  Breath deep fella, it’ll be okay.

Grooms-to-be,  getting married is a great thing (assuming it’s to the right person).  And in the course of an engagement, you will take part in a million rituals, some of them formal (the engagement dinner) and some of them informal (pretending like you care about flowers).  But one of them, in my mind, is the most important ritual of all and it’s the first one you’ll encounter – asking for permission to marry your lady-friend.

Here’s why this practice can’t be lost.  Men are, by default, predatory.  It’s in our nature and it’s a good thing.  We use this instinct to push ourselves to do well in our jobs, to ask women out, and to refine ourselves to be better men.  The downside is that women, who are every bit as smart as men (actually much smarter) can get duped by us.  Now, I’m not being disparaging of women – it’s quite the opposite.  Men just have a way of presenting an amazing image for a long time in order to win the girl.  We know it’s true, don’t we?  When we’re trying to date a women, we’ll buy flowers and make mix tapes (I’m keepin’ it real) every freakin’ day.  But very often, once we realize we’ve hooked them, the flowers stop and the Memorex goes mute.

The reason we ask for her hand is marriage is because you can’t kid a kidder.  When you’re sitting across the table from a woman’s father, he knows you, he knows your tricks, and he’s been you.  Asking for a hand in marriage is the ultimate litmus test of predator vs. good man,  worthy of my daughter vs. worthy of my Remington, husband vs. con-man.

Thus far, the reasoning for asking for her hand has been focused on the negative.  In all reality though, this lost form of etiquette is usually an incredibly positive move.  For the most part, by the time you get around to asking, everyone knows you’re going to do it.  Typically, everyone likes you and this conversation usually is just you being classy and them feeling valued.  Truly, 99% of the time, this is going to be a great memory for you and her family.

Before we finish and go about our weekend, let’s address one more point.  Dads aren’t as prevalent as they used to be. Sadly, a lot of the wonderful women we’ll get to marry don’t have a dad to ask.  Here’s my advice:  Over the course of getting to know your bride-to-be, you’ll get a sense for the most influential person(s) in her life.  When it’s time to ask, ask those people.  It doesn’t have to be a dad, in fact, if she does have an awesome dad, I’d consider including her mom and/or most treasured friends in on this conversation.  Why?  Why not.  While you don’t want to ruin all the fun of her making the “I’m engaged” calls, you do want to make sure that you have all your bases covered and that the people who she treasures most are on-board with you.  Again, it’s just what a classy, Grown Man does.

And fellas, when you do get up the courage to ask for her hand in marriage, don’t be a turd about it.  Make eye-contact, tell them how much you care for her, don’t be afraid to show emotion, and say, “With your permission, I’d like to propose to [girl who’s about to book tickets to Fiji].”

Go forth and multiply.

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