How to Ask the Parents' Permission to Date Their Daughter

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As parents watch their daughter blossom from a curious toddler to an attractive and sought-after young woman, the thought of allowing her to date boys is often difficult. Parents want their daughter to be safe and to protect her emotionally and physically. If you meet a young woman you wish to date, you may decide to ask her parents' permission before pursuing the relationship. Many parents appreciate this courtesy and regard it as a sign of honor and respect.

  • Arrange a time to meet with her parents. You can do this alone or with the young lady you want to date. While you may prefer a neutral location, such as a restaurant or coffee shop, consider the sensitive nature of your request when you select a venue. If you don't want to risk someone overhearing your discussion about dating and your intentions, you may prefer to meet at the family's home or at your own parents' residence. Likewise, avoid choosing an event, such as a family reunion or a soccer game, to ask the parents for permission. Your girl's parents should be relaxed, comfortable and at ease, and setting a time for just the three of you shows your respect.

  • Introduce yourself when you meet with the parents. Even if you have already met, offer some background information about yourself, such as your job, academic history and future goals. Be sure to maintain good eye-to-eye contact to establish trust.

  • Explain that you want the parents' permission to date their daughter, stating your intentions quickly. Don't delay when it comes to making your point. The parents will appreciate you being direct. If you hope to eventually get married, tell them. If you want to date for awhile to see if it leads to marriage, explain that. Be honest and up front with them so they can make an informed decision.

  • Give the parents time to think about your request, rather than demanding an immediate answer. Ask the parents to consider allowing you to date their daughter and arrange a second meeting to discuss their decision. Give them a few days or even a week to think about it. If you are the first person their daughter has dated, consider sharing several "family dates" with the parents so they can get to know you in a casual context. For example, visit their home for a board game or movie night, go miniature golfing with the parents and their daughter or just spend an afternoon chatting.

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