Asking a father's permission to court his daughter?


#1

I am a man in his late 20's. Is it still appropriate for an adult courtship to begin by asking the lady's father's permission to court his daughter? I feel more comfortable talking to men than women, and it would give me more courage to talk to a lady if I knew I had made my intentions clear to her father. Would it seem completely inappropriate though?

On a more profound level, I feel caught between two ways of engaging in the search for a wife. On the one hand, I can see the advantages of the old-fashioned ways, with their strict stages (father's permission, followed by a period of courting (chaperoned) then a period of 'walking out' (unchaperoned), a series of parties at which the man and woman's friends offer their advice, then another permission from the father, then engagement, leading quickly to marriage) which I can see would lead quickly and efficiently to marriage, and is deeply rooted in tradition and community. On the other hand, the one and only serious relationship I have ever had was much more spontaneous and romantic, we didn't make a contract, we were in love with eachother, and, although I'd be more careful not to over-step the line this time, it felt like a relationship I could care about, and we got to know eachother on our own terms, it never felt like a burden or a duty. I also worry that going too 'traditional' is in fact about living in a fantasy world which no longer exists, even in mainstream Catholic parish communities.


#2

[quote="DL82, post:1, topic:181191"]
I am a man in his late 20's. Is it still appropriate for an adult courtship to begin by asking the lady's father's permission to court his daughter? I feel more comfortable talking to men than women, and it would give me more courage to talk to a lady if I knew I had made my intentions clear to her father. Would it seem completely inappropriate though?

On a more profound level, I feel caught between two ways of engaging in the search for a wife. On the one hand, I can see the advantages of the old-fashioned ways, with their strict stages (father's permission, followed by a period of courting (chaperoned) then a period of 'walking out' (unchaperoned), a series of parties at which the man and woman's friends offer their advice, then another permission from the father, then engagement, leading quickly to marriage) which I can see would lead quickly and efficiently to marriage, and is deeply rooted in tradition and community. On the other hand, the one and only serious relationship I have ever had was much more spontaneous and romantic, we didn't make a contract, we were in love with eachother, and, although I'd be more careful not to over-step the line this time, it felt like a relationship I could care about, and we got to know eachother on our own terms, it never felt like a burden or a duty. I also worry that going too 'traditional' is in fact about living in a fantasy world which no longer exists, even in mainstream Catholic parish communities.

[/quote]

Seriously, it depends on the woman. I personally would be very offended and concerned if a man did that, I would worry that he was a sexist guy.

Some women are flattered by it. I would suggest finding out the woman's thoughts on this kind of dating before asking her dad.

But having said that, I don't see where you are going to find people in today's world to do the kind of courtship you are describing. Unless you are from a Middle Eastern or Indian culture of course.


#3

[quote="DL82, post:1, topic:181191"]
I am a man in his late 20's. Is it still appropriate for an adult courtship to begin by asking the lady's father's permission to court his daughter?

[/quote]

It is if you're doing it to respect the traditions of the girl's own family.

[quote="DL82, post:1, topic:181191"]

I feel more comfortable talking to men than women, and it would give me more courage to talk to a lady if I knew I had made my intentions clear to her father.

[/quote]

This is NOT a good reason to talk to the girl's father. Why would you want to date ("court") a woman that you never talk to??


#4

I have maybe exaggerated a little here, but you know what I mean, there are many traditionalists who add to the Church’s teaching on purity and marriage a ‘system’, often based in some loose way around the traditions of a pre-modern agrarian society, with rules to be followed to aid discernment and avoid occasions of sin. While many of these systems have much to commend them on a rational level, they do seem to sap dating of its’ romance and spontaneity. I guess this is a general tendency I have toward cultivating a persona which embraces ultra-traditional expressions of spirituality, but a deeper private revulsion at the joylessness and pharisaism I perceive in this persona of mine.


#5

#6

Honestly, I think a lot of women would be freaked out by this. I mean, “modern” women don’t want their father to be involved in their dating life until they choose. I think it might scare her away, but that is just my :twocents:. Good luck.


#7

[quote="DL82, post:1, topic:181191"]
I am a man in his late 20's. Is it still appropriate for an adult courtship to begin by asking the lady's father's permission to court his daughter? I feel more comfortable talking to men than women, and it would give me more courage to talk to a lady if I knew I had made my intentions clear to her father. Would it seem completely inappropriate though?

On a more profound level, I feel caught between two ways of engaging in the search for a wife. On the one hand, I can see the advantages of the old-fashioned ways, with their strict stages (father's permission, followed by a period of courting (chaperoned) then a period of 'walking out' (unchaperoned), a series of parties at which the man and woman's friends offer their advice, then another permission from the father, then engagement, leading quickly to marriage) which I can see would lead quickly and efficiently to marriage, and is deeply rooted in tradition and community. On the other hand, the one and only serious relationship I have ever had was much more spontaneous and romantic, we didn't make a contract, we were in love with eachother, and, although I'd be more careful not to over-step the line this time, it felt like a relationship I could care about, and we got to know eachother on our own terms, it never felt like a burden or a duty. I also worry that going too 'traditional' is in fact about living in a fantasy world which no longer exists, even in mainstream Catholic parish communities.

[/quote]

Honestly, why would you even want to talk to the father for permission when the lady is a grown woman? As an adult, she is perfectly capable of making her own decisions. If you asked her father without talking to her first, she would feel like you're going over and above her to her "superior" first. I don't think many women would take too kindly to that. Whether she decides to tell her family about you is entirely up to her. I am sorry, but it seems like a coward's way out of asking a woman directly, and women can smell lack of self-confidence a mile away. Come on, be a man and ask her out already!


#8

When I was in high school, my family’s rules for dating were similar to the courtship model. The guy ALWAYS had to ask my father’s permission to date me. We of course spoke before that, and probably hung out with friends, but that was always a first. After that he’d usually come over to the house and we’d hang out with the family, watching movies, playing games, etc. . .sometimes we’d go outside and talk, sometimes we’d sit on the couch and talk, you get the idea. After that, once my parents felt comfortable with him, we could go out to dinner, do more “date” type things. They liked for us to be in groups or double dates as much as possible, though.

After I graduated, during my gap year and once I started college, they pretty much had no rules in place for dating. I personally chose, however, to have ANY guy that wanted to take me out for more than just a casual lunch, dinner, or coffee date, call my dad and ask his permission - or at least chat with him. My parents didn’t enforce this rule, but I chose to do this out of respect for my father, and out of a desire to keep myself accountable to my parents.

I think the flaw with this system is when people believe following a “courtship” model will result in NEVER dating a bad guy (or gal), and will ALWAYS end in marriage. People can take it too seriously too soon.

All that to say, I personally pretty much REQUIRE men to speak to my father before we enter a semi-serious relationship - and I consider myself to be a relatively contemporary woman! Every woman is different, though. It depends on her relationship with her father.


#9

*I’m a pretty modern woman, I’d say…BUT, there is something awfully romantic about this, DL82. :love: If of course this is something that would be appropriate to do, per the woman you are interested in. If you and she discuss this, and she feels it would be a good idea, then by all means, do so. My dh would be rather taken aback in a most delighted way, if a young man comes to him asking permission to court our daughter. :slight_smile:

It’s romantically retro. :o*


#10

While it’s true that it would be wonderful for the father - saves big on shotgun shells - the guy is not looking to date the father, but his daughter.


#11

Some people may say the courtship system is sexist and old-fashioned. However, I think the modern way of dating involves a lot of broken hearts and wasted time. I did not participate in the courtship system, but my husband did ask my mother’s permission to date me and for her blessing in proposing marriage. (My father isn’t in the picture.) I think it takes a lot of courage to do that, and shows respect and honor. But I suppose all this depends on the girl in question. Just my opinion! :slight_smile:


#12

*Again, it is romantic in a way.

But if you reread my post, I do say it is only appropriate if the girl is in agreement. I think it would be completely wrong if the girl he is interested in, would not appreciate it. :o*


#13

I have maybe exaggerated a little here, but you know what I mean, there are many traditionalists who add to the Church's teaching on purity and marriage a 'system', often based in some loose way around the traditions of a pre-modern agrarian society, with rules to be followed to aid discernment and avoid occasions of sin. While many of these systems have much to commend them on a rational level, they do seem to sap dating of its' romance and spontaneity. I guess this is a general tendency I have toward cultivating a persona which embraces ultra-traditional expressions of spirituality, but a deeper private revulsion at the joylessness and pharisaism I perceive in this persona of mine.


Ummm....

:confused:

What century are you living in? You're 28? The women who are your age have been out and living and taking care of themselves for half a decade at least. I find alarm bells ringing when I find men in this day and age who insist on adhering to "traditions of a pre-modern agrarian society."

Live in this century. If you are a man of honor, you don't need chaperones to protect the purity of the woman you love or avoid near occasions of sin.

Be a man and do that on your own. By the time a woman is in her 20s, she should also know her values and her value and be able to kick a guy to the curb who doesn't respect that. She shouldn't need her father or her brother and an archaic and pretentious system of dating from the past to defend her virtue.

What you DO need to do, if you meet someone you like and want to get to know, is to pick her up at her family's home and insist on meeting her father and mother and look them in the eye, make small talk, shake their hands and let them get to know who you are. You don't need to beg them to court your daughter. They'll think you're barmy. Be respectful and honorable. But it's the 2000s now.


#14

I have to agree with Liberanosamalo here…I’m 20, I have my own lease, pay all my bills (ON TIME) and am finishing up my BA. I live five hours away from my parents. I made my own decision to be part of the Church. If a guy wanted to ask my dad’s permission instead of, well, mine…I’d be very skeptical about how he views women.

You see, the Church teaches it’s the consent of both spouses, MAN AND WOMAN, that makes a marriage, not MAN AND WOMAN’S FATHER.

I’m not a child. No one makes these types of decisions for me. If a guy wants to date me, he can talk to ME about that.


#15

I agree that if the girl is in agreement it would be a fine thing to do. From the OP’s post, I took it to mean that he would be asking the father’s permission before asking the girl, in which case I think it’s a big no-no. And even so, I wouldn’t want to talk to the father until/unless there is something to tell him about. Talking to the father implies a certain level of seriousness that does not exist in initial stages of dating.


#16

I think he would be asking of course the girl out first...but then being polite and asking ''permission'' (again polite gesture) of the father. I don't think he would ask the dad's permission, but the girl is not interested or doesn't know about it. lol That wouldn't make much sense. :p


#17

[quote="whatevergirl, post:16, topic:181191"]
I think he would be asking of course the girl out first...but then being polite and asking ''permission'' (again polite gesture) of the father. I don't think he would ask the dad's permission, but the girl is not interested or doesn't know about it. lol That wouldn't make much sense. :p

[/quote]

This is what the OP said:

[quote="DL82, post:1, topic:181191"]
I feel more comfortable talking to men than women, and it would give me more courage to talk to a lady if I knew I had made my intentions clear to her father.

[/quote]

To me, this clearly implies that he's talking to the father before talking to the girl.


#18

*Oh, I guess I need a thread interpretor. lol
That is a little different then, BadTurkey. Guess I skimmed that.

I think if he does it the way I (thought) he was ....that would be a polite gesture. *


#19

If you did ask, I'm sure everyone would be taken aback. Many women wouldn't date you, mostly out of feminism. Personally, I would like to see this come back. Pipe dream, I know.


#20

*
I have a Muslim gf back in PA--she is in her late 30's, a doctor...very independent woman...but if she is dating, the men have to ask her dad (who lives in Turkey) for permission. Of course, after they ask her. They think nothing of it. I'm not suggesting we take on a cultural shift, much of this she said, happens because of her upbringing in the middle east. She moved here about 10 years ago. And much is due to her religion. Not saying we adopt these ways, I only bring it up to illustrate that her family thinks nothing of it, but it's largely due to a very different cultural view.

Granted, I don't believe any of this is necessary at all. I am saying though, if both parties agree, it can be a most humbling and charming gesture. Honoring another's parents in matters like this, are definitely not something we see much of anymore. :o*


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