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Ask Todd Parker - (01-13-2016)

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Dear Todd Parker,

I've been getting a lot of conflicting advice from my friends and family, so I thought I'd try an objective outsider. Even if I am pretty sure you're just going to make fun of me.

My girlfriend and I have been dating for almost four years. And I love her more as time goes by, as corny as that sounds. She's never been anything but wonderful and supportive of anything that I choose to do, and I like to think that I've been the same way.

I've decided that I want to ask her to marry me, but I want to do it right. So, I'm planning on going to see her parents with the intention of asking for their blessing. Or permission. I'm not sure which yet. But I definitely want them to know; their daughter is really important to them and they've always been great to me.

So how do you think I should do this? If I ask for their blessing, does that imply that I don't feel like I need their permission? And if I ask for permission, does that imply that I'm not feeling really confident about the situation? And either way, how do I even approach the subject?

I've gotten a lot of different answers from a lot of different people. So what's yours?

Proposing in Bangor

Dear Proposing,

Man oh man. You're so sweet; I think I just contracted diabetes.

Believe it or not, I actually appreciate what you're going for here, dude. I really do. Being all charmingly old-fashioned isn't really my thing, but the basic cuteness is undeniable. And honestly, if she's half as into you as you clearly are into her after four years, you're probably due to ask her. Overdue even.

That doesn't mean that you have to get too wrapped up in the minutiae of the situation. Details are important, but dwelling on them is just going to complicate your life and stress you out. Do it however you want to do it; that's cool. But for the love of all that is holy, don't be one of these asshats that turns the whole thing into an overproduced ordeal.

No one likes that. No one.

Just be honest with her folks. If you've stuck around for four years, they're probably all right with you or at least resigned to the inevitable. Speak from the heart and you'll be fine. Don't get all hung up on this archaic blessing/permission horses--t.

Tell them how much you love their daughter. That's really all they need to hear and all they want to hear. If you turn it into some weird production, you could creep them out and they'll start to second-guess whether they really want this nutbar (that'd be you) as part of the family.

She loves you, man. That's all that matters. All of the other happy-crappy will take care of itself.

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