(quote) Jason-818994 said: This is a great question, Joan.
Winning a woman's heart through purity of intention is the ideal.....It not only shows that you're interested in knowing her as a whole person--as part of a family--but it also reminds both parties that marriage brings about new families, complete with all the sacrifices that families make for one another.
There's one additional merit to the old-fashioned method: families usually have a much keener eye for potential character flaws than do smitten sweethearts. Running the gauntlet of the mother, the father, the siblings, and even the family dog indicates that a man has guts, and that he's willing to submit to the much more sober inspection protocol of everyone in a woman's life who cares about her the most. If he ain't a stand-up guy, he ain't going to want to bother.
I LOVE this! These days, the 'family inspection' works both ways, too. It's wise to get to know as many of the people in your sweetheart's life - family, close friends, etc - and see how they all interact and how they treat you as well.
That said - not ALL opinions of those who love us are equal in my mind. I only really take to heart what my Mom, my kids, and a few truly close friends think. (I'll never please everyone, and my siblings aren't exactly like me - we have our own preferences and ideas of how well someone else blends in.) If another of my family members / friends doesn't care for my choice - it won't necessarily stop me from proceeding - but it will cause me to take a closer look at what THEY see - just to be sure I'm not looking through rose-colored glasses.