We're sure you're stressed out about this, but there isn't any need to be. Let's simplify what you think is a complicated situation. Your parents don't like your boyfriend or girlfriend. How do you handle your parents not liking your partner? Let SoNaughty.com help walk you through it.
Even though it might seem like a big deal to you right now, we assure you that in the long run, it's not. When you were little, your parents may have wanted to control how late you could stay out, or who you hooked up with, but that was then. You're an sexually active adult now, and this is a very common problem, that most people go through at one point in their dating life or another. The easiest way to convince your parents that they should love your partner, is to show them why you love your partner. Just like it probably wasn't until after you'd spent a little bit of time to get to know them, that you began to understand your partner, your parents just need to get to know the side that you've fallen for. It also helps if your partner puts in the effort they probably put in at the start of your relationship.
Have them think about it almost as though they're trying to get into your mom and dad's pants. They shouldn't be corny. They shouldn't be fake. They need to put on a good appearance, show interest in your parents' interests, and demonstrate the value that they bring to your relationship. Is it really that easy? For most people, yes. Read on if you want a more in-depth look at this strategy, and others that you might prefer to try instead.
What makes you want to be with your partner? What does your partner think makes his or her friends want to be around them? You both know what your partner's strengths are so work with those strengths to make your parents like them. On your first date with your partner, what was the first thing that you noticed and liked about them? Preferably not something physical. You don't want your parents to sexually attracted to your partner, right? Do they do something interesting for a living? Are they funny? Are they great a storyteller? Maybe they do lots of charity work and that's something that your parents would be impressed by. Maybe if they don't currently do charity work, it's something they can start doing once every two or three weeks so that they can tell your parents about doing something selfless and helpful to their community, which even though insincere in this instance, would be likely to impress them.
Both you and your partner know how to make people like you. Or you at least know how to try to make people like you. You go to parties, you've gone on dates, you've gone to work functions or conferences, and at all of those things, you're trying to make people like you. We don't often think about it, but you've been trying to make people like you for many many years. Strangely, one of the first things that we learn growing up is that when someone likes you they're nicer to you, and that makes you feel good. So we're always striving to get people to like us, even sometimes when we don't need to get along with someone; we still want that affirmation. Before you try anything fancier, just use these same skills in trying to make your parents like your partner.
It might be more effort than it should be, but that's just how it works sometimes. If your parents liking your partner is important to YOU, then it will also be important to your partner. If it's not, well we hate to say it, but maybe your parents are right to have some reservations about them.
We've all seen that scene in movies and television where a new boyfriend or girlfriend studies up really hard on a topic that they have zero interest in, in the hopes of impressing and getting off on the right foot with their partner's parents. We've seen it, and it hardly ever works. While you ARE trying to get your parents to see things your way, you need to remember that your parents raised you. They probably know you better than anyone else. Especially when it comes down to being able to read sincerity or devious behaviour. They've seen your lying develop from when you were a small child, blaming your sibling for stealing cookies out of the cookie jar while you had chocolate chips all over your face, all the way up to last Christmas when you pretended to love the shirt they gave you (thankfully, with gift receipt in the box). It's very likely that the way you try to trick people into agreeing with you is the exact same way that at least one of your parents do, so don't try to be sneaky. It won't work.
Sit down with your partner and write down a list of what you both think their best qualities are, and then focus on that list. Find something on your list that matches up with your parents' interests. Even if it's only with your mom or your dad. Start with one of them if need be, and the next thing you know, they'll be converted, and be telling the other one that they are starting to see a new side of your partner, and that perhaps they were wrong to judge them so quickly and harshly.
The important thing remember, is to start with an interest of your partner's, not an interest of one of your parents. If you do it backwards, your parents will see right through your transparent attempt to dupe them, and they'll become even more resistant to your partner, because they'll think that they have something to hide if they only way to be liked is through trickery.
There's a quote that says that 90% of life is just showing up. So when your parents invite you over for dinners, while it would understandably be attractive to your partner to stay home and not go since your parents seem to not like them, make sure they go. This sends the message to your parents that your partner wants to spend time with them. That they want them to like them. That they care about you, want to be around you all the time, and that your parents approval is important to them. On top of this the more they spend time with your parents the more your parents will get to know your partner, and slowly but surely they will begin to soften up to your partner (unless they're going over and being rude and inconsiderate guests). Remember that your parents raised you so your taste is largely built around the way that you were raised, and if you love your partner, they will eventually come around.
Take for example if your parents invite you over for dinner once a month. If your partner only shows up to less than half of those dinners, your parents will see that as though there's a problem with your relationship, or that your partner doesn't like THEM. If your partner comes to 10 to 12 of those dinners though, they'll begin to see that this relationship is serious for the both of you. Within those dinners there will be birthday parties which are great opportunities for your partner to give gifts to your family members. As silly and shallow as that may be; a thoughtful gift goes a long way in making someone like you. So help your partner pick out a gift that you know your father, or mother, or brother, or sister are going to love. Maybe bring a chew toy for the family dog every couple of visits. "If the dog likes them, they can't be all bad," they'll say. Through these gifts, and other small things, your parents will begin to realize that your partner has been paying attention to them during the time spent together, and is interested in them. That they're showing them sincere care and respect. And if you and your partner are on a budget, and can't afford to be bringing your mom flowers every time you visit, perhaps the easiest way for a person to make their partner's parents like them, is to simply offer to do the dishes after enjoying a meal at their home. Probably someone in your family doesn't offer to do this as often as they should, and it will impress either your mother, your father, or perhaps both. We know that it doesn't seem like much, and that more importance is being put on dishwashing than probably should be, but trust us. It works!
If you've tried everything that you can think of, and everything that we've suggested here, it's time to do the thing that you've been trying to avoid this whole time. It's time to sit down with your parents, when your partner isn't there, and ask them WHY they don't like your partner. That's an awkward conversation to have, but you need to have it if you want your relationship to work, as well as to not have it interfere with the relationship you have with your family. If something is troubling them about your relationship, your family will begin to think that you love your partner more than them. And if you begin to take your family's side on things more often than not, your partner will believe that you don't love or respect them as much as you say you do when you're alone. So it's a very complicated situation, and one that truly your family should know better than to put you in.
If you find that your family has put you in this or similar situations before, you should address this with them. Get it out in the open, and clear it up so that they know that their behaviour hurts you, and that they're preventing you from being as happy as you can and should be. Hopefully they'll understand and realize that they've been immature and inconsiderate to you in regards to your relationship, and the way that they treated your partner. If they don't, you're going to have to delve deeper into the problem and find out the specifics of why they seem to not like your partner. Hopefully they'll tell you something that you can disprove very easily and they'll believe you immediately. If not it could be a very long discussion, that will probably be rather difficult, but in the end be very much worth it because of how much you care about your partner.
We always have to respect our family for all that they've done for us. For raising us, for supporting us, and for giving us life. But we also have to remind ourselves sometimes that that life is our own, and that it isn't theirs anymore. So if they don't like something that we do, or someone that we date, we can discuss it with them and try and work things out, but if they're unresponsive to your viewpoints, then you have to just sometimes not worry about what they think. This may cause a strain on your relationship, but hopefully with more time, and getting to know your partner better, your family will come around and realize that the most important thing to them is your happiness, and if this relationship makes you happy, they'll be happy for you, and accept your partner with open arms.
Did we teach you a thing or two about how to handle your parents in regards to your relationship? If so, then why not take a peek at our other great relationship advice guides NOW RIGHT HERE!
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