What Do You Do When the Awkwardness Begins?
What do you do if your family hates your boyfriend? First, it’s worth asking yourself whether this whole situation might be the point. Is there something in this that serves you? Perhaps you like having a reason to pull away from your family. Or maybe you like getting your family’s goat. Or maybe you’re just trying to define yourself. And maybe not. Maybe this is really The One for you, and your family isn’t accepting him into the fold. There are many possible reasons for this:
1. Your family is afraid they’re going to “lose” you.
This is common with early relationships. If it’s your first boyfriend, you can definitely expect some amount of this. It’s hard for most parents to see their kids growing away from them, and no matter your age, you’re still your parents’ kid.
2. Your family is worried that he’s not a good influence on you.
Perhaps your family sees your boyfriend as a bad influence. This can be because they see big changes in you—even positive ones—and, again, see you moving away from them.
In other circumstances, your family may be right. Perhaps he’s not a good influence. And perhaps your family really is working from concern for your well-being.
3. Your family thinks “you could do better.”
Again, a lot of families will think this about your boyfriends. No matter what standing or virtues your boyfriend may have, your family may think he’s just not good enough for their little girl, or their golden child.
This may be even more pronounced if you are the “star” of the family. If you are, you know exactly what I mean. Your success is the success of your family. Your choice of mate is seen as a success or failure for the whole group.
4. There are religious or cultural differences that make your family uncomfortable.
Religion or cultural differences (like class, for instance) can be a big hurdle in finding acceptance. The more devout your family is, or the more they identify with their culture, the harder that gulf will be to bridge.
5. Your family, or certain members of your family, may be jealous.
Sounds strange, right? But it’s true. They may be jealous that you have him (because he’s a prize, and they know it), or because he has you (leaving less of you for them).
Perhaps figuring out the reasons your family doesn’t accept the love of your life will help you to address the concerns they have. With some compassion and acceptance there’s always a way. You can be the one to begin the process of clearing that path.