Although asking for your girlfriend's hand is not a normal part of the modern marriage process, some old-fashioned people keep this tradition alive. Certain families expect you to ask for your girlfriend's hand. Make sure your girlfriend is interested in getting married before you ask for her hand and so she doesn't offend you when you do.
Method 1 of 3: Talk to your girlfriend
Step 1. Find out what their parents value
Before deciding to ask for your girlfriend's hand, consider what you know about them and whether it is something they expect or value. It is an ancient tradition that some parents may consider essential, while others do not expect it at all.
- If you're not sure your girlfriend's parents value this detail, then ask your girlfriend what she thinks. You can ask something like, "Are your parents very traditional about marriage?" or "How did your parents get engaged?"
- Research their parents' values if necessary. For example, if your bride's parents are from India, you may need to research Indian marriage traditions to find out whether or not asking the parents for the bride's hand in marriage is a standard part of the marriage process.. Use internet search engines and your local library to learn more about the specific cultural norms of your girlfriend's parents.
Step 2. Talk to your girlfriend
Ask your girlfriend if she would like to get married. This is not the same as asking for your hand. Ask him in general what he imagines in his future together with you. For example, ask "Where do you see us in three to five years?" If he mentions marriage, you can continue with the process of asking for his hand.
If she doesn't mention marriage right away, ask her specifically if she'd like to marry you. If they say yes, go through the process of asking for their hand. If she is not interested in marriage or if she is not sure she wants to marry you, then do not force her to do so
Step 3. Evaluate when is the best time for them to get married
Is now a good time for you to get married? Is there a reason why they shouldn't get married now? Think about it from the perspective of your girlfriend's parents: would they like their daughter to marry you? If you've only known each other for a week, you may want to wait a little longer to ask for her hand.
- It's wise to date someone for at least two to three years before deciding to get married.
- Think about your financial situation and that of your girlfriend. The wedding will not be the only thing that is expensive (an average wedding costs more than $ 26,000), but other things like wedding rings and the honeymoon can decrease your finances. Although you probably won't get married right away, after you ask for your bride's hand, you should have enough money to cover everything when your wedding day arrives (usually six to 12 months after you ask for her hand).
Step 4. You must know the answer beforehand
When you're ready to ask for her hand, you need to understand a little about what her parents think of this relationship. Are they in favor of the relationship or do they have doubts about it? Ask your girlfriend from time to time what they think of you. Ask him to be specific.
- For example, does your father-in-law only have certain reservations that any suitor could reach? In this case, you can feel confident in getting the go-ahead. On the other hand, is he specifically and concretely concerned about your ability to provide or remain committed to your girlfriend? In this case, wait until you have gained the trust of your girlfriend's parents before asking for her hand.
- If you've never met your girlfriend's parents, it can be difficult for them to know who you are. Let your actions speak for you. For example, if you treat her with kindness and respect, she will likely let her parents know. You can also earn their favor by respecting their cultural traditions and taking the time to get to know them. These things will win over their affection and help them feel comfortable with the idea of marriage.
- Although it may seem like a hoax, stepping into the situation with the answer to a foregone conclusion is indeed the best way to make sure you don't waste your girlfriend's or your parents' time.
Method 2 of 3: Plan the Proposal
Step 1. You must know why you are going to ask for your girlfriend's hand
Before proceeding with the process (which can be complicated under some circumstances), you should know the consequences of a "Yes" or "No" response from their parents. There are two conditions under which you would ask for your girlfriend's hand:
- You could ask their permission to marry her. In other words, if your girlfriend's parents say "No," she will obey your wishes and reject any marriage proposal that comes from you.
- You could ask for the approval of your girlfriend's parents. This is different from asking their permission. Asking for marriage approval means that they support the marriage between you and your girlfriend. If they deny it, your girlfriend may or may not accept the marriage proposal. Even if you remain open to the possibility of marriage, you may not want to go through with the process. If you end up getting married, at least be prepared for some awkward family reunions.
Step 2. You should meet with your girlfriend's parents before asking for her hand
You should feel comfortable with your girlfriend's parents before asking for their permission to marry. In the same way, they will feel more comfortable approving the marriage if you do not see them for the first time when you ask their permission to marry their daughter.
If you haven't had a chance to meet your girlfriend's parents before deciding to ask for their hand, wait until you have to ask their permission to marry
Step 3. Arrange a meeting with her parents
When you break the news that their daughter is getting married, it's important to do it face to face. This shows that you are serious about the notion of marriage and the process of asking for the hand. Ask them to meet one afternoon.
- If they ask why you want them to meet, then you can say something like, "There is something important that I want to talk to you about."
- Don't call your girlfriend's parents on the phone to express your marriage intentions or ask for their permission over the phone, unless you don't have a choice. Ordering it in person is the best option.
- Don't send an email or letter asking for permission to get married.
Step 4. Choose the place where you will meet his parents
They can meet at your girlfriend's parents' house or you can go out to eat with them. Think about what their parents are like. Would you like to go to a simple restaurant? To an elegant restaurant? Would you like to talk on the bolero or green?
- If your girlfriend's parents live far away, it can be difficult to find the right place to meet. However, in fact, the challenge that distance apparently represents is actually an opportunity. Traveling a long distance with the specific intention of getting your proposal approved tells them that you are fully committed to marrying their child and that you will travel long distances to do so.
- For parents who live far away, you can also consider scheduling the family visit together with your girlfriend. In this case, talk to your girlfriend's parents separately, in private, before saying goodbye to them.
Method 3 of 3: Talk to Your Girlfriend's Parents
Step 1. Plan what you are going to say
It can make you nervous to ask for your girlfriend's hand. If you are very nervous or afraid of forgetting what you want to say to them, it may help to memorize and practice the speech beforehand. If you want a more natural conversation or if you feel more comfortable asking your girlfriend's hand, don't prepare a speech. Whatever you do, don't overthink it.
If you're preparing a speech, practice reading it to a close friend. Ask him to comment on something to help you figure out how to best express what you want to say
Step 2. Consult with your girlfriend's main father
If your girlfriend grew up with both parents, you should sit down and talk to both of them. However, if your parents are divorced, check with your main parent. For example, if your girlfriend grew up with her mother and rarely or never saw her father, don't feel compelled to ask her father for his hand. After his mother has accepted him, inform his father that you have asked for your girlfriend's hand.
Step 3. Begin by expressing how you feel for your daughter
You must be honest and sincere when you express your feelings to them. For example, you can say, “She is a wonderful woman who inspires me to be a better person. He makes me laugh and he always understands what I think”.
- Think about the reasons why you love your girlfriend when you elaborate your explanation.
- Don't exaggerate or say something vague like "It's perfect" or "We never have problems." It ends by informing them that they have raised a wonderful woman.
Step 4. Explain why you want to marry their daughter
In part, you've already done it by describing all the good qualities you see in your daughter. But to justify the marriage, you have to express your eternal commitment to your child. Tell them you want to spend your life with her.
- Tell them "I give my whole heart to your daughter and I will do everything I can to give her the best life I can." Then take a deep breath and ask them directly "I would like to receive your approval to marry (your girlfriend's name)."
- Don't say "I would like to marry her daughter." A funny father can spoil the solemnity of the moment by asking you "With which of my daughters?" in case you have several daughters.
Step 5. Prepare to answer questions
After they have given their permission for you to marry, your future in-laws will ask you a few questions. They probably want to know when you will ask your bride for her hand and when you plan to organize the wedding. They may also have more practical concerns, like where you want them to live together or what your job will be (if you hope to change it). Listen carefully to what they have to say and feel free to say that you don't have those answers yet. Don't make up answers to pretend you have everything planned when in reality you don't.