What If Your Parents Don’t like Your Partner?
You met the man/woman of your dreams and you felt they’re the one. You take your relationship to the next level and decide to introduce them to your parents.
For some of us, introducing your guy/girl to your parents IS a big deal. You seek their consent if you’re close to the family or hold respect for them. In that case, it’s a nightmare if they disapprove of him/her. Obviously, you’re swept off your feet by your partner to think of presenting him/her to your parents and wanting them to like him/her too, and the “what if they don’t like him/her” question never leaves your mind until they open the door and check out their reaction.
Parents might mislead their children by being pickier or living in the “Flinstones” age; your partner might not be the one they picture you with, whether it’s related to personality, social status, career, physical appearance, cultural or religious background, or other crucial choices.
My daughter worries whenever we don’t like her boyfriend. She knows this will affect her relationship with him indirectly as she respects our opinion and knows we want the best for her. But at the same time, we respect her choice because we know we will lose her if we turn against her.
Some parents might show their dislikes in an obvious, really obvious manner, by avoiding your partner or acting awkward in his presence. Your family might refuse an invitation where your partner is present because they feel agonized by his presence, and this leads you to ask the question: WHY?
How should you behave?
- Confront them and know the reason of their dislike
Parents perceive what you don’t see in your partner because you’re blinded by love.
“We never know the love of a parent till we become parents ourselves”
Henry Ward Beecher
Instead of being defensive and aggressive, make them a nice cup of coffee and discuss with them the likes and dislikes of your bae from their point of view. Try to leave your feelings aside and listen to their opinion. You might be convinced or maybe convince them of yours. Be patient. Give them time.
- Organize a casual meeting between both parties
Fill your partner in about your parents’ character, interests and topics which he/she can discuss with them. Think of a way to impress your parents with your choice. Don’t expect him/her to get along with them at first sight especially if he/she has a different mentality.
If you want them to get along, you should never complain about your partner to your parents before introducing them to each other, or in case they don’t find him/her suitable for you.
- Stick to your partner
If your parents still feel bitter about your partner after trying hard to convince them that he/she is a good element, it will be good to ask them to respect your decision and act well in his/her presence if they really care about you.
- Observe your surroundings
You still have doubts about your parents’ approach towards your mate?
Try to run a discrete survey on your friends (who know him/her) and distinguish his/her pros and cons from their perspective.
- Examine the reactions of your partner
To make sure that you’re not making the mistake of your life, you can scrutinize your partner’s actions and prove your parents wrong (or right).
- What if your parents totally refuse any connection with your partner?
The disapproval of your parents might not be justifiable and nothing is going to change their mind about your bae despite how happy you are. So you’d better visit them alone to save yourself from arguments from both sides.
Make up your mind.
Remember, you’re an adult. In the end, it’s your decision, especially if your parents’ negative approach isn’t coming from direct concern for your happiness or safety. Set your boundaries! Be clear with your parents that it’s your choice, not theirs.
- Talk to a trusted friend or seek a therapist
Some people seek professional help or a trusted relative or friend to come to terms with the difficult condition with their parents. If they’re not being logical, you can’t control others’ feelings or opinions, and fighting for their blessing often leads to more suffering.
- Don’t let your partner know about your parents’ dislike for him/her
What will telling him/her do any good?
How will your partner react?
How will your parents act towards your partner if they know you revealed their opinion towards him/her.
BUT, if your partner is understanding and not vulnerable that he might hurt you, and if he doesn’t put himself in a position to lose you, you can discuss it with him. Maybe he/she has a way to get into your parents better than yours.
In the end, you wouldn’t want awkward silences, uncomfortable glances or veiled signals every time they meet, always hoping they will get along.
Emotions are nice, but living with the wrong partner destroys it all.
If after thorough thinking, you agree with your parents’ point of view, you can forget about your feelings and call it quits, or hope they will come around. After all, parents’ disapproval is horrible.
Are you the parent, the child or the partner?