Talk about family drama

February 2, 2012
This article was published more than 2 years ago.
Est. Reading Time: 3 minutes

Chantal Cino

The Silhouette

If you’re like me, you not only enjoy the company of your friends, but you want their parents to like you as well. This usually works out pretty well for me; I can hold my own in casual conversation and always make sure to be polite. Unfortunately, politeness does not necessarily mean that they will approve when you’re caught kissing the child they’ve spent eighteen years raising.

I found this out the hard way. What do you do when the parents of that special someone in your life, whether they be an old friend or someone you have just recently met, do not accept your relationship?

I admit, it can be tricky. If they live at home, the time you get to spend together can be limited. Also, the stressful and upsetting environment that is imposed on them means that you should prepare yourself to be a frequent and reliable shoulder to cry on. Things will likely be easier if your significant other lives on their own, as they will not be surrounded by their parents’ disapproval quite as much.

However, the little things, like your partner not being able to bring you over for Friday night dinner, are likely to spark strong emotions just the same. So how do you, the indirect recipient of their non-acceptance, cope with the situation?

First and foremost, you need to exercise patience, and lots of it. If you’re not a patient person, learn to be. If you are, you might need to amp it up a bit.

Next, try to see where they’re coming from. Often, generation gaps, religion or ethnicity are the reasons that parents give for disapproving relationships. While these obstacles may seem like small issues for young people today, it is important to realize that at one point they were a big deal, and that reversing beliefs that have been ingrained in a person’s mind is not a quick or easy task.

It is also vital to always remain respectful of your partner’s parents if you ever want to have the chance of establishing a good relationship with them. This does not mean you have to accept their opinion, but being disrespectful can only increase tension, and you don’t want to give them a real reason to dislike you if the problems they have with you are truly unfounded.

Also, keep in mind that having your loved ones reject your feelings can be extremely painful, which will force the person you’re dating into an emotionally fragile state. You need to be ready to offer support whenever you can, making communication between the two of you even more essential than if you were in a relationship that wasn’t plagued by disapproval.

By establishing solid methods of communication, you can help your loved one through this tough time, especially when it seems there is no end in sight. The upside is that this extra emphasis on communication will likely help intensify your bond and result in an even stronger relationship, capable of dealing with other hardships effectively. It’s important to remember that while some individuals stay with their partners only to anger their parents, any mature individual has surpassed this spiteful stage by the time they reach university.

This means that someone who is staying with you even when it causes them great stress in their life is actually greatly invested in your relationship. Even though it’s not a situation that either of you wished for and that you hope to resolve with time, fighting to stay with each other when times are tough can be one of the greatest ways to prove your love to the person you care about.

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