"Oh sure, I'd love to talk about you and my daughter's relationship."
Getting the father’s blessing is a surprisingly contentious issue. Back when I was going through the proposal process, I put out a post on reddit asking for some advice. You see – my fiance’s biological father is deceased. Her step-father was around, as was her mom. So I turned to reddit, this massive community, seeking opinions on whose blessing I should ask first.
Woah. I never realized I was a chauvinist until that day. Turns out, culture plays a rather large role in whether this particular section of GtB will matter at all to you. Where I was raised, in Texas, getting the father’s blessing is a fairly common practice. In fact, I think most dads would appreciate it. They might not expect it, but they appreciate it. My fiancé, being from Florida, actually remarked to me early in our relationship that if I ever intended to marry her that I better get her dad’s blessing (in jest, of course).
It’s just one of those cultural things in certain areas of the world where you give a bow of respect. But some people see it as a continuation of misogynistic rituals. I think this is a misunderstanding of the motives behind the gesture, which is all it is meant to be. Those that would criticize involving the bride’s family in this process oftentimes mistakingly believe that the groom is seeking the father’s permission to marry the daughter and removing her from the equation completely. This could not be further from the truth.
Asking the father’s blessing is merely a gesture by which we can say, “I want to spend the rest of my life with your daughter. She changed my life and I could not imagine living the rest of my life without her. Before I ask her to marry me, may I have your blessing?” Knowing it’s simply a gesture unlikely to change the path of your resolve should give you confidence to pose the question.
And should you choose not to ask the father’s blessing, the downside really isn’t that deep. The worst you have to worry about is eventually explaining to him that you felt that it was a personal decision between yourself and his daughter, and you wanter her to be the first person to know. If he’s a reasonable person, he’ll understand. If he’s not, you can only apologize and tell him you hope to make it up to him as you and his daughter grow together and start a family.