How to Ask a Girl's Parents for Permission to Date Her
Though it may seem old-fashioned, some girl's parents may have strict dating rules which may include having to ask them for permission to date their daughter. It is likely that her parents want to get to know you first so that they can see that you are a trustworthy person. Do your best to make a positive first impression and then ask their permission politely, accepting their terms graciously, even if they say "no."
Introducing Yourself to Her Parents
Become a familiar, positive presence.If possible, it is best to establish yourself with her parents before you ask their permission to date their daughter. Talk to the girl about arranging a group hang out at her house, or if she would be comfortable inviting you (and a few other friends) to a casual family gathering. This will give you an opportunity to lay some groundwork and become a friendly and familiar face in her household. This way, when you go to ask them for permission, they will already know that you are a trustworthy person and a good influence.
- One way to show that you are a positive influence is to go over to the girl's house to study. Stay focused on studying to prove that you are a mature and responsible person.
Talk to her parents in person.Show respect to her parents by making a special visit to their house. Discuss this with the girl, and see if her parents would be okay with having you over for dinner. Having their pre-approval will help relieve some of the tension.
- She might say, “Mom and Dad, can Jared come over for dinner Wednesday night? He'd really like to get to know you guys better and talk to you about us going on a date." This will give her parents some time to think about this so you don’t spring a complete surprise on them.If you have already spent some time at her house and established yourself as a respectful and trustworthy person, her parents will likely be more open to the suggestion.
- Understand that going in without her parents having any prior knowledge of you is going to be difficult — no matter how polite you are or how well you dress, you will still be a stranger.
Look nice.Dress conservatively: Think about what you would wear to a nice dinner with your grandmother or to a religious service, and go with that. Make a good first impression.
- Make sure you shower, or at least clean up, beforehand. You want to look as presentable as possible.
Introduce yourself.Say your name, smile genuinely, and shake their hands. Call her parents by their titles and surnames, for example Mr. and Mrs. Johnson, until they indicate otherwise.
- If you have met them before, say something like, "Hi, Mr. and Mrs. Johnson. It's really nice to see you again. Thank you for having me for dinner."
- If this is your first time meeting you, you could say, “Hi, Mr. and Mrs. Johnson. I’m Josh Green. It’s nice to meet you.”
- Use a firm, confident handshake, and make eye contact as you say hello. Stand up straight and tall.
Let them lead the conversation.Her parents will likely have plenty of questions for you. Try not to be overly eager to tell them about all your achievements. Allow the conversation to flow naturally. If they are concerned or curious about something, you can be sure that they will ask you about it.
- They will likely ask about your family and friends, goals, and interests.
- Mention anything that supports your claim that you are trustworthy and responsible — volunteer work, religious involvement, a job, and extracurricular activities can help vouch for your character.
- You could say something like, “Right now I’m working as a lifeguard on the weekends and am busy with the swimming team during the week. I’m going to start teaching swimming lessons next month at the park district.”
Be polite but genuine.Don't treat this like a formal job interview. Answer all their questions in a friendly, warm voice. Make sure you show interest in their lives by asking some questions, too. Showing genuine interest in other people leaves a positive impression when you meet someone for the first time.
- Questions you can ask her parents include things like, “How long have you lived here?” or, “Did you grow up in this area?” You could also look for things you may have in common. For example, “Mr. Johnson, did you coach softball with my dad a few years ago?”
- Make sure the conversation is a two-way street. Neither party should be doing all of the talking or asking all of the questions.
- Don’t get distracted by your phone during your conversation. Looking at your phone while someone else is talking can be seen as extremely rude. Silence it, and keep it in your pocket as you are talking to her parents.
Tell the truth.If you think you have a negative reputation with her parents, talk to them about it. Be honest with them, even if you have to admit to something you’d rather not. They will respect you far more for telling the truth than for lying to them. Lying to them will make them not trust you.
- If they ask you about a poor past decision, for example, make sure you tell them what you have learned from it, and how you are different now. For example, you could say, “Yes, I was one of the kids who got suspended last year for the cafeteria prank. I feel really embarrassed about that now because I know how much extra work we made for the janitors. We sent them an apology card.”
Asking Their Permission
Make sure they know their daughter wants to date you.Let her parents know that their daughter is interested in getting to know you better, but that you both wanted to talk to her parents to see if it was okay with them first.
- You could say, “Lucia told me that she knew how important it was that you meet people who wanted to go out with her. So I wanted to respect her and her family by coming here to ask your permission to take her on a date.”
- Acknowledge that the decision is also their daughter’s. You could say, “I wanted to get your permission to go on a date with your daughter, but I also understand that it’s up to her, too. If she’s not interested anymore, I understand.”
Talk to them about why you want to date their daughter.Talk about what you like about her personality and why you want to get to know her better. Talk about things you have in common. Convince them of the value of your relationship.
- You could say, “Ann and I were lab partners last semester and we became friends. She is fun to talk to. I think we bonded over our love of science fiction movies.”
- Do not say anything about her physical attributes. Only talk about her personality. Telling her parents that you think their daughter is hot will probably get you kicked out of the house fast!
Ask if you have their permission.Once you have introduced yourself and made your case about why you want to date their daughter, it’s time to ask the question. Stay calm, remain polite and friendly, and ask if you can take their daughter on a date. Tell them about what kind of date you would like to go on.
- You could say, “I really would like to get to know your daughter better, and I think she feels the same way about me. Do we have your permission to go out on a date?”
- You could say, “I was thinking about taking Emily to the school play next week, then going out for dessert afterward. We’d probably be home by 9:30. Would that be okay?”
- If they seem reluctant to let you go on a one-on-one date, you could ask if it would be okay to go on a group date with the daughter. Make sure they know the other people in the group. You could say, “A few of us in my youth group are going out to dinner next week. I think you know Laura and Jack? We’d all like to have Emily join us.”
Agree to their conditions.Accept their answer politely and graciously, and understand their decision. If they say no, talk to them about it and try to understand why.
- They may say they think their daughter is too young to date. You could ask, “Would it be okay if we went out together in a group?”
- They may say you could go out together as long as you are not out too late. Be agreeable and say, “No problem. I have a 10 o’clock curfew. Does that work for you, or does she need to be home earlier?”
- If this is their first time meeting you, they may say they'd like to get to know you better. You might say, "We have a test coming up next week. Maybe I could come over Sunday afternoon and we could study here?"
- If they say no to everything, you could ask, “Do you think we could talk about this again in a few months?” Accept that you may need to wait a little bit to date, but you may still have other ways to see their daughter in a school, extracurricular, or social setting.
Proving You’re Responsible
Keep your word.Show that you are a trustworthy person. If her parents have initially put strict limits on how you can spend time with their daughter, keeping your word and being reliable may help them give you more freedom and responsibility over time.
- Be at the location you told her parents you’d be going. If you told them you are going to see a movie, be at the movie theater watching the movie you said you were going to see at that particular time. Don’t go to another movie or be somewhere else entirely. If her parents find out you are lying about your whereabouts, that will likely put a stop to your relationship.
- Be on time. Bring her home when you say you are going to. If you absolutely can't avoid being late (for example, you're caught in an unexpected traffic jam), let the parents know as soon as possible. Then try to avoid circumstances that would cause you to be late again, such as going somewhere within walking distance rather than driving.
- Have safe and reliable transportation. Let her parents know how you are getting there and back. If they are not comfortable with you driving, for example, propose alternatives without argument.
Provide your contact information.Give them your phone number. Return their calls or texts promptly. You could also give them your address and your parents’ phone numbers, so they have other ways to get in touch with you. Parents like to know how to get in touch easily.
- You could ask your parents to talk to her parents. Be brave and ask your own parents if her parents could call them with any questions about your character.
- If your home life isn’t great and don’t think your parents could speak well of your character, you could ask another trusted adult in your life to talk to her parents if necessary.
Avoid sneaking around.Respect the limits her parents set, even if you disagree with them. If her parents catch the two of you going behind their backs, it will be very difficult for you to regain their trust and move forward with your relationship with their daughter.
- If the girl you like wants to sneak around, don’t go along with it. Ask her to be honest with her parents and try to talk to them. You could say, “Look, I really like you, but I want to respect your parents’ wishes. Do you think you could try talking to them again?”
Work hard in school.Parents are more likely to trust someone who is known to be a good student. Make sure you and the girl are keeping up with your studies. Her parents will be more likely to put limits on your relationship if she is not doing her best at school.
- Offer to come over to her house and study for tests with her. Do your work in a room in the house where her parents can keep an eye on you.
QuestionWhat if we only see each other at church?
Licensed Professional CounselorLicensed Professional CounselorExpert AnswerTry to plan gatherings with her and mutual friends and family outside of church. Become a familiar presence outside of church in her household.Thanks!
QuestionI'm not old enough to drive and my parent wont bring me over to her house. What can I do instead?
Licensed Professional CounselorLicensed Professional CounselorExpert AnswerYes, try to engage with her and her family more in the places where you already see her on a regular basis. If you see her at Church weekly, make an effort to engage with her parents as well at these places.Thanks!
QuestionCan I get advice? I'm trying to salvage a month's worth of effort. The girl I'm talking to has parents who found out we were talking before I could tell them and they aren't too happy with me at the moment.wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou could talk to her parents and apologize that you weren't upfront with them from the beginning. You could say, "Now that I know your expectations I promise to adhere to them in the future." Then you could ask if they would still be okay with you dating the girl, or if they need some more time to think about it.Thanks!
QuestionShould the girl I'm asking out be there when I am talking to her parents? Or I can just not tell her to lessen the frustration?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerAsk the girl what she thinks is best and go with that. You might want her to be there for moral support (and because, presumably, she wants to go out with you, too), but she may think it will go over better if it is just you talking to her parents. See what she thinks.Thanks!
QuestionWhat if the girls parents have told her she can't date because dating is supposed to lead to marriage someday?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThanks!
QuestionWhat if the girl wants to tell her dad about you but is afraid. How do you convince her its the right thing to do?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou could talk to her about the importance of honesty. Maybe she doesn't want to tell her dad and the two of you go behind his back, but what if he finds out? She will likely be in much bigger trouble than if she were to be honest with him upfront.Thanks!
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