Too much time required of me to spend with the boyfriend's family and extended?

A bit of background - my boyfriend and I get on great. We've been dating for 1.5 years, and we are serious about being together for the long haul. Of course no relationship is without its bumps along the way. However there are some stark differences between us -- one being that he loves attending family functions, and I'm indifferent to them.

Don't get me wrong, if my Dad was visiting from out of town, I'd try to see him as much as possible, considering that he is MY FATHER and I only get to see him once a year or every 2 years. But I'm talking about the extended - extended family events, e.g. my b/f's parents' friends' 25th wedding anniversary, or his sister-in-law's niece's 10th birthday -- to which I've never met either of them.

I'll be honest, I don't care to go to those kinds of things. There'll be a ton of other people in attendance, so to be quite frank, who cares if I'm there? I don't care to make small talk with other people there, maybe because we're not even married or engaged yet. Maybe what annoys me more than anything is that his parents expect me to attend all the family events. When they RSVP they say - "of course the '6 of us' will be there!" (meaning, his parents, my boyfriend and myself, and his brother + sister in law). The 5 of them live under one roof, whereas I live by myself in my own apt. I cannot even comprehend how one could live with their parents AFTER marriage, but that's another story...

So yes, he lives with his parents, he is 30 this year, whereas I just moved out and discovered my own independence, and the last thing I want to do is spend all my newly found free time with extended family I'll see once or twice a year. Maybe it has to do with the fact that my parents are divorced, my own family is somewhat dysfunctional, but given free time with some good friends or close family, I'd rather do that than accompany my boyfriend to some event I really could care less about attending.

Am I being unreasonable? Has my own upbringing messed up my own idea of what "family should be"? Should I be more understanding as a girlfriend and "be his date"? He tells me he always comes to my family events, but I don't care to go to them myself! So it wouldn't make any difference to me if he was there or not!

And ultimately... is this a deal breaker? I understand I have no choice but to attend if I were his wife, but I feel like I should be entitled to some level of autonomy here given that we are still "just boyfriend and g/f" at the moment.


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What Guys Said 1

  • Your perceptions of how a family should be is fine. There is nothing wrong with it nor is there with his views. They are just complete opposites. Family ideals is a deal breaker, yup.

    • If relationships are about compromise, can we reach a middle ground on this without either party growing some kind of resentment?

    • It really depends on the people making the compromise. Somethings are to important to come to an agreement that both will be accepting of in the long term. It's easy to say you're okay with something today but who knows what it will turn into down the road.

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