What To Do When Your Parents Don’t Like Your New Love Interest

What To Do When Your Parents Don’t Like Your New Love Interest

I recently posted an answer to the question "What would you do if your parents did not accept your partner?" Several users suggested that I develop my answer into a myTake on this subject. I’m not too old to listen to others, so . . . @Cavewoman and @YourFutureEx, this is for you.

Sometimes, parents readily accept your choice for a new partner in romance and everything is just hot biscuits and gravy.

What To Do When Your Parents Don’t Like Your New Love Interest

But . . . sometimes, as soon as you start describing him or her, you can see that look in your parents' eyes. You know the look: “I don’t like this new person, I’m not going to like this new person, and nothing you say or do will change my mind.”

What To Do When Your Parents Don’t Like Your New Love Interest

How does this situation usually play out? You get angry at your parents and start raising your voice. They get angry because you aren’t listening to them and they think you are acting like you know more than they do. Then you start sneaking around to meet up with Mr. or Ms. Wonderful but you feel badly because you are being secretive and can’t include them in your family’s activities. Most often, these pressures cause friction within your new relationship and things eventually fall apart. After it is over, you never admit that your parents were right (and they may NOT have been right!) You still have resentment about them trying to control your life, and they have resentment about you acting like you are smarter than everyone else.

What To Do When Your Parents Don’t Like Your New Love Interest

There is a better way to handle this situation. Before we get to the solution, let's talk about WHY you should handle this differently. You need to remember several very important points.

1. This person probably isn't The One. Your partner may seem like the most perfect person in the world - to you - but think about your last partner, and the one before that, and the one before that, etc. At one time, you thought your last partner was The Most Perfect Person In The World. This current partner may be The One and may be with you for the rest of your life but the odds are against that possibility. More than likely, this is one more person who is simply passing through your life.

If you think the new guy or girl is The One who you will ultimately marry and you will have children and dogs and with whom you will grow old, then you are going to perceive your parent’s interference as the most ridiculous and idiotic thing that anyone has ever done. But you do realize, somewhere inside - and you probably don't want to admit this - that the new guy or new girl probably ISN'T The One but you have yourself convinced of that . . . just like you were convinced three months ago about the previous Most Perfect Person In The World.

2. Parents are your best friends forever. You have only had one set of parents your entire life. You will never have another mother and father. They will love you even when you act like a total shithead and do stupid, rebellious stuff. They are probably the only people who you will ALWAYS be able to count on when you need help with something. When everyone else is against you, your parents will stand with you. When the entire world is crashing down on you, they are your safe harbor, your refuge during the tempest. They will be the babysitters who are always available when you and your future spouse want to have a night out by yourselves. When your child is sick and can’t go to school, they will take care of things at home so you don’t need to miss work. Do I need to continue with the reminders of how important these folks are?

What To Do When Your Parents Don’t Like Your New Love Interest

3. Dating people who are different usually does not work . . . and your parents know that! If you look at successful long term couples, the majority of them share similar backgrounds and beliefs. Of course, there are some long term couples who are opposites, but those couples are the exceptions and not the norm. If you are a Christian and your new boyfriend is a Muslim, your parents have a reason to be concerned. If you are a 15 year old girl, honor roll student, meek and mild, never been kissed, and your new boyfriend is a 19 year old guy who does construction work, rides a motorcycle, and is covered in tattoos . . . they have a reason to be concerned.

Of course, you are aware of the differences and you naively think that “love will overcome all obstacles.” When someone like me tells you that love will not overcome all obstacles, you tell yourself “but they don’t know how strong my love is!” What To Do When Your Parents Don’t Like Your New Love Interest

But . . . actually, no one has ever visited the moon simply because they were loved!

You think that you have some unique strength that will enable you to defy all odds and do what no one previously has ever done. Well, if anyone has ever said or done anything that makes you feel that you are THAT different, let me put it in perspective: “Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else.” - Margaret Mead.

4. Your parents have more experience than you. You are 15 or 17 or whatever; your parents have much more experience and they probably have a better understanding of who is good for you and what relationships have a better chance of success. Really! Undoubtedly, you disagree but most older people will agree with this statement. And . . . remember that we were all 15 or 17 years old at one time and we have not forgotten what that is like.

Do you remember some of the dumb shit that you thought when you were 12 years old? You no longer belief that stuff. Why not? Because at the age of 15 or 17, you have had more experience with the world and you have witnessed things firsthand. You have more of an ability to comprehend the world around you. Imagine how much smarter you will be when you have another 20 years of experience! Twenty years from now, you'll be just as smart as your parents are now!

5. Why do you want to date someone of whom your parents disapprove? Sometimes, we date people who are different than us. That is often motivated by either rebelliousness or a strong desire to show others that we can do things "our way!" If you are dating someone who is different simply to show your parents that you do not need to follow their rules or live up to their expectations . . . how do you think this “in your face” behavior makes them feel?

What To Do When Your Parents Don’t Like Your New Love Interest

The fact that you feel strongly about what you are doing does not mean that you are right. This is part of the process of maturing and establishing your autonomy. There are better ways to establish your independence!

6. You should not simply dismiss your parents' advice without giving it serious consideration. All of the above does not mean that you should accede to your parents’ wishes about dating. But it does mean that you should be very mindful of their advice. After all, they really do want you to be happy and safe . . . and you now have the potential to do things that will forever alter your life for the worse (like becoming sexually active and getting pregnant or getting a girl pregnant.) This is what causes your parents to be concerned.

7. You can't "make" your parents accept your decision. Trying to force your parents to accept your decision will not work. It has never worked for anyone.

What To Do When Your Parents Don’t Like Your New Love Interest

Q. How many of your friends, cousins, neighbors have ever “forced” their parents to accept a decision and had their situation resolve in a good way? A. None.

8. At last, The Solution! If you want your parents to accept your decisions because you think you are sufficiently mature, then you should handle this in a mature way. When you identify a prospective partner, you immediately know that gaining your parents' acceptance will be a problem. It is much easier for your parents to reject someone who they have never met and have no reason to like.

Invite the young man or woman to your home to meet your parents. Do not engage in any displays of affection in front of your parents: no kissing, no hand holding, no cute pet names, etc. Discover the areas of common interest that may be shared by your prospective partner and your parents and encourage some discussion on those topics. Let him or her demonstrate that they are respectful, courteous, bright, etc. Show your parents the reasons why you find this person to be an attractive potential partner. Once they start to know him or her and see some good qualities, it is much more likely that they will accept him.

If they still don't accept your decision, reassure them that you are only 15 or 17 years old and you are not looking for someone with whom to elope or to make babies. Tell them that IF their judgment is correct, you proceeding and having that experience with this mew partner should make it obvious to you. Explain that you don’t want to be rebellious but you also think that not following your heart would be disloyal to yourself and that you are caught in an impossible situation.

If all else fails, ask them if you can spend time with the new person in your home when they are present. More familiarity may weaken their opposition and, at the very least, you will be demonstrating to your parents that you are capable of handling conflict is a responsible manner.

9. Good luck!


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Most Helpful Girl

  • this is more about teenagers I guess... cuz I am an adult and I can make my own decisions. I do love my dad and I respect him but at the same time I know he cannot understand the choices I make, I'm fortunate enough to have a dad who knows I'm smart enough to make the right decision even if he doesn't understand it so he doesn't push me for something I don't wanna do.. this is a HUGE thing given that I'm from a muslim family and I live in Pakistan

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    • Yes, this was intended for teens who still live under the rule of their parents.

      From what I understand of Muslim life in Pakistan, it does sound like you are very fortunate to have a father who can tolerate your need to be independent. From what I know about you, I think you would be miserable if he was trying to control your life.

      I have not seen you participating in this site recently so it is good to see you responding again! OAW

    • yeah.. I've been super busy with school... but soon I'll be done with my finals and I'll be back on GaG! :D It's good to see you as well <3

    • Thanks for MHO :)

Most Helpful Guy

  • Thanks for the shout-out!

    I agree with you. Being an Indian, I can relate to this situation very well. Parents play a vital role in the relationship of couples here. Consequently, it is often difficult for orphans to get married.

    Love marriages is seen as a sin here. India is a land of arranged marriages. Before considering the relationship, parents check out the social status, wealth, religion, caste, surname (shouldn't clash with the mother, father and grandmother's surnames), region, race, horoscope, occupation and what not.

    We guys talk to each other whether we'll marry with our love or our parents' love. Most of the guys say that they'll follow whatever their parents have to say ( cultural impact probably).
    Personally, I will do that too only if I failed to find a true love. My parents are like my best friends and they might accept my choice but it's gonna be hard and impossible if she belongs to some other religion.

    I know how to convince them, because their own marriage kinda failed because they never knew each other before getting married as their parents decided their fate. I don't want to live a life like they did. But I'll try what's best for everyone. To me, my parents will always be above everything else. No one can provide me all the happiness as they did. My mother says that I should always love and prefer my future wife more than my mom, but I can't. But she's right, we have to look into the future. It's kinda hypocritical to say because if I cannot choose my partner, how am I supposed to like her above everyone else?

    When I'll become a father, I'll try to give my child freedom, but still... as your point #4 says, I would have seen the life better than my child. I won't choose his/her partner, but I may reject the choice if it's pathetic. I don't want to see my child go bankrupt, heartbroken, suffering from STDs etc.

    Generally, in the west, you have freedom, but in the east, you have a guarantee to get a partner. Unfortunately, we cannot have it all.

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What Girls Said 8

  • I think that there's truth to this, but it doesn't fully apply. My mom originally had an issue with my boyfriend because he didn't have money, and told me when we hit a bump that I should just dump him because he couldn't provide for me. If I just decided to listen to her, I wouldn't be with a wonderful man just because my mom was being materialistic.

    I think you really have to be the judge. If your rents are being reasonable and can give you solid reasons why they think this person is bad for you, that's one thing; but if they're clouded by prejudice and are trying to live vicariously through you and your love life, tell them to fuck off.

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  • @They will be the babysitters who are always available when you and your future spouse want to have a night out by yourselves. When your child is sick and can’t go to school, they will take care of things at home so you don’t need to miss work. Do I need to continue with the reminders of how important these folks are?

    This reminds me of a friend of mine. She is an awesome mother who said jokingly that she is her children's dustbin because she always eats their leftovers so as not to waste food. I hope nobody would treat parents as figurative dustbins.
    __________________________________________

    @The fact that you feel strongly about what you are doing does not mean that you are right.

    Emotional reasoning is a common cognitive distortion. "I feel it, therefore it must be true." This kind of reasoning is misleading because our feeling reflect our thoughts and beliefs. If they are distorted, our emotions will have no validity.
    __________________________________________

    @just like you were convinced three months ago about the previous Most Perfect Person In The World.
    @More than likely, this is one more person who is simply passing through your life.

    I ever told several teenagers that if they never changed who their Most Perfect Person In The World is for the rest of their life, I will strike the first prize of the weekly TOTO. The prize money for the first prize is at least one million.
    Or if they ever dared to change who their Most Perfect Person In The World is, they must pay me one million dollar as a fine for being fickle-minded and having lousy judgement. So guess how wealthy I should be by now if insisted that they pay their fines, haha!

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  • I totally get what your saying, but not every parent knows what's best for their child. Often they are too stuck in the type of person they want their child to be with, if the reason for rejecting the significant other is because of solely race/religion/etc. and that's not something you care about, then there's no reason not to be with someone. I get parents want what's best, but what they think is best is not always true.

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    • Yeah, good point. OP was always assuming that the teen in question had logical, relatively open minded parents, which is true about 90% of the time (according to my lengthy 17 years of Earthly experience lol). If they're not, then all of this goes out of the window, and a lot of very different, much bigger problems arise.

    • Yes, parental judgment is not always on target but teenage judgment is far less on target.

  • You have to give it time. Your parents may not like them originally, but with time that could change. Just because your parents don't like them, doesn't mean they're not right. Some parents are just like that. They're super judgmental.

    There were guys my dad liked but he still didn't want me with them.

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  • That's amazing advice. I needed that. Thanks so much <3

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  • But how would this apply in instance for a girl, who lost her relationship to a mommas boy (his mom was to controlling, manipulative and made decisions in our relationship for him, including not getting back together), mind you I didn't do anything to her or him.

    When it comes to certain parents, you just can't win lol

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  • My ex and I want to get back together, but his parents do not like me anymore because we had a small situation occur that lead to our break up. he's not sure if we can work it out now because he doesn't know if he can get them to approve of me. They're very judgmental people that doesn't let go of grudges easily... But, I know me and my ex are perfect for eachother. We really are.

    Any advice on how to get his parents approval of me again?

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  • This only applies to teens.

    My parents are toxic. They are toxic and violent to one another and also to me. While they are very good at recognizing their own kind and letting me know, they are also very superficial and controlling, only willing to let me marry into a lot of money, regardless of the guy being a piece of shit. They don't approve of anyone because they wish to retain control over me and use my own money for resources if I fail to find a rich man. (all under a blaket of "concern")

    Not only do I wish to get away from them as fast and as far as possible (minimizing contact as much as I must so they no longer hurt me), I will never actively allow them to control my choice in a mate, even if they never spoke to me again.

    And what people fail to see is that most parents who act like this to their ADULT children (over 25!) are abusive. There is no love in a parent who refuses to speak to the child who defied their plan for them. Giving advice and even arguing can be love, but walking out on you for not being a puppet is a sign there is something wrong with your parents.

    Of course if you're a teen, it's a different story and you need all the protection you can get. And we all need protection because we always lack wisdom, but teens are limited by law for a reason.

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    • Yes, this is oriented towards teens and young adults who still have a teen-like dependency on their parents.

    • Show All
    • Blackmail: the action, treated as a criminal offense, of demanding money from a person in return for not revealing compromising or injurious information about that person.

      Blackmail usually entails paying a price to obtain another person's silence about an embarassing situation.

      Telling me that I need to read slowly is rather condescending. You have lost my respect, so this is the end of the discussion. If you are one of those people who must have the final word because you think that means you "won" or "proved" that you are right, reply and have the final word. I won't read it. THE END.

    • And playing the semantics game tell me all I need to know about your level of maturity dear sir. Have another definition when you seem to enjoy them: "verb: blackmail; force (someone) to do something by using threats or manipulating their feelings."

What Guys Said 8

  • I found problems with your mytake.

    1. This person is probably not the one.
    They may or may not be the one but sometimes you need to take a chance to find it out.

    2. Parents are your best friend forever.
    Do you realize not all parents are caring people? There are parents who are alcoholics, druggies, big time gamblers, abusers etc.

    3. Dating people who are different usually does not work and your parents know that.
    Why compare a 15 year old with a 19 year old. Depending on where they life it could be illegal fir a 19 year old to have sexual, relations with a 15 year old. You make out everyone who is a construction worker and or rides and motorcycle and or has tattoos to be a bad person. How does any of that make someone a bad person?

    4. Your parents have more experience than you.
    What about the mom and or dad that has been married multiple times and divorced each time?

    5. Why do you want to date someone of whom your parents disapprove?
    What if the parents are the type to only like the people they pick out?

    6. You should not simply dismiss your parents' advice without giving it serious consideration.
    What if their advice is incongruous?

    7. You can't make your parents accept your decision.
    What if the parents do not like the person at first but you stillbare with them anyways. They try to getvyiu to break up, but at some point realize rage person you are with is batter than they thought.

    8. At last the solution.
    What if the person makes a good first impression?

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    • 1. This person is probably not the one.
      They may or may not be the one but sometimes you need to take a chance to find it out.
      And how does a 16 year old girl know when to take a chance?

      2. Parents are your best friend forever.
      Do you realize not all parents are caring people? There are parents who are alcoholics, druggies, big time gamblers, abusers, etc.
      Thanks for that insight.

      3. Dating people who are different usually does not work and your parents know that.
      Why compare a 15 year old with a 19 year old. Depending on where they life it could be illegal for a 19 year old to have sexual, relations with a 15 year old. You make out everyone who is a construction worker and or rides and motorcycle and or has tattoos to be a bad person. How does any of that make someone a bad person?
      I never said that made someone a bad person. I merely said that it may be an indication that this person is not the right person for you. That does not make them a bad person.

      CONTINUED

    • Show All
    • It is easier to follow my response if the text to which I am responding is appended.

    • @OlderAndWiser The conversation ends here

  • only for teens sorry.
    a person in 20's or 30's ignoring few exceptions is mature enough.
    now i kno you will be having examples of people in 20's who are stupid enough but same implies for parents too. some experience holders are also have very thin grasp of reality ( one of them is president 😂).

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  • Best move, date them for like 6 months before bringing them around. I started to realize my parents would never like anyone I date because they are Christian Right, so they are following an idea not a religion and unless that girl is christian right, and that would make me miserable they won't like anyone

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  • I chose love. My mother and I already had our complications, and this was just the one that ended things. I feel bad about the way things had to go, but I don't regret my decision.

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  • explain tot hem that you value their opinion very much but also you have to follow your heart. hopefully they will get around.

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  • I'd tell them to f**k off!!

    Jk

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    • And how does that approach generally work out for you?

    • Never been in that situation but guessing it won't go well ofcourse. Besides they are very liberal. I see no reason they'll disagree

  • @lovelyhoneybones I agree with you.

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  • I thought parents weren't supposed to be your friends. Not all parents are good either.

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