Meeting the Parents and NOT Being Accepted


You’ve been dating someone for awhile and now you’re in an exclusive relationship with them. You really love the person, but there’s one problem, your parents don’t approve. Perhaps they don’t really have a good reason why they don’t like the person. And perhaps it’s just their instinctive gut feeling they say, and they might even refuse to talk about it very much. All that you know is that it’s hard on you, your partner, and on your family as well, and maybe even both of your families. You feel torn and under pressure. All you keep saying to yourself is, “How can I choose between my family and my partner?”


Well, first of all, you should never have to choose between your family and your partner. But what you will have to decide is what will make you happy in the long run. Do you want to please yourself or please your family, and if you choose to please your family by leaving your partner, will that make you happy now, and in your future or will you feel tormented and regretful for your decision? It’s important to understand that at the end of the day, your parents likely made their own decisions, and now they’re living their lives with what they chose, and you have to do the same thing and be happy with what you decide.


Even when someone wants to please their family and have their love and support, they have to figure out to what extent they’re willing to go to in order to get it. Many times, people are too attached to their families, and they haven’t really cut the cord so to speak. But other times, they’re simply family oriented, and very close to their families and desire to have their consent.


This is a decision that only you can make. You shouldn’t stall a decision like this for too long. Especially, when there are so many hurtful emotions being swung around repeatedly. Neither you or your partner should expect to win over the other parent’s heart or acceptance overnight. It may take a long time before anything changes, if at all. However, you have to eventually make a decision on whether or not to take things forward with your partner or end things altogether. It’s a personal decision that you will have to make and that you’ll have to live with for the rest of your life.


You have to come to terms with the fact that you may never win over your parent’s approval, despite how you handle the situation. You may give it all of the time in the world with hopes that over time, they’ll approve. But, there are no guarantees, and that’s something that you need to know, if you choose to go forward with your partner.


Once you’ve made a decision to be with a person for the long term, you’ve made your decision. Depending upon how important it is to have your family’s approval of the person, you have to make the wisest decision for yourself. If you think about it, your parents decided to be together and they’re going to lead their own lives and into old age. The person that you pick to be with forever is going to be the person that you’ll live your life with. You have to make the best decision for yourself, because this is your life, and ultimately, you need to do what makes you happy. Your parents have made a decision for themselves where they’re happy and you have to do the same for yourself.


Many times, parents give their children an overpowering, controlling opinion, whether they realize it or not. By doing so, they’re not letting their children be who they want to be and make the best decisions for themselves. They’re killing their child’s free will and independence. Parents who do this are dominating and taking control over their children more than they should. Having said that, I don’t believe in going out of your way to disrespect your parents or your family’s wishes. I merely believe in living your own life and ultimately, deciding what’s best for you, so that you can lead a happy life.


Going against your parent’s wishes is an extremely difficult thing to do. Some people won’t even consider causing turbulence in their family and marrying someone who their family disapproves of, let alone, be in a relationship with them. Others, I wouldn’t call rebellious for doing so, but they’ll try to lead their own lives, making the best decisions for themselves that they’ll be happy with. People who are just doing whatever they want and going against their family’s wishes for the mere sake of being rebellious, have deeper rooted issues, and that’s a whole other subject.


Many parents don’t approve of someone who their child is dating because of very particular reasons. Maybe it’s the person’s family, their religion, their looks, their education, their ethnicity, their age, or perhaps even because they’d been married before and already have kids. There are many traditions that many people keep that go way back, originating from cultural, religious, or even just good old family traditions in which people want to keep their family pattern of what they’ve been taught, what they’ve seen, heard, and have been brought up with going. Keeping family traditions can be a beautiful thing, but there’s good and bad in doing so. I truly believe that it’s a very personal decision whether or not to keep family traditions, religious traditions, or cultural traditions, etc.


I can’t tell you what to do or what to believe in, nor do I intend to do so. I can simply give you my personal opinion on these matters. But, this article isn’t about my opinion on family traditions, and whether or not to keep them. It’s about what to do when you’ve made the decision to be with someone for the long term, with hopes for marriage at some point, and how to deal with the disapproval of your family.


When you’re dating someone or are in a relationship and your family disapproves of the person, my best advice would be to kill them with kindness. It’s not going to be easy to do this. Killing people with kindness is never an easy task. But, it’s something that I truly believe works wonders in many areas of life. You may not get the outcome that you want ultimately when you kill with kindness, but at least you’ll be in a better place with yourselves, the situation, and it won’t be as bad as it could be if you took another route.


Things could get as bad as family disowning their child, if they’re that extreme about keeping family, religious, or cultural traditions. Again, that’s a personal decision that you have to make, when your family is that extreme or fanatical. I personally don’t believe in fanatics and doing things in an extreme way. Moderation is the key to life. Having said that, if you’re willing to risk losing your family over choosing this person, that’s a personal decision that only you can decide for yourself. But at least acknowledge the fact that by being given an ultimatum as such by your parents, they’re conditionally loving you, and it’s wrong.


As far as situations where your parents don’t accept the person you want to be with, but they still want you in their life, you need to kill them with kindness. It’s imperative that your partner kills them with kindness as well. You need to have open communication with your partner on this subject and be very understanding of the partner who’s not being accepted, because it will be very hard for them to deal with those emotions alone. Having said that, it will likely be very hard on both of you, so be each other’s backbone and pillars of strength, and remember not to let the lack of love and acceptance tear your relationship apart.


Some people can’t take it and will peace out when they’re not accepted by someone’s parents. Others will just simply hold all of their heartache inside and handle it all alone, if they don’t have your support. Remember to be loving and supportive of your partner during this time and always. Not being accepted by someone’s parents when you’re dating the person, can be one of the most painful experiences especially, when a person views having close family as such a beautiful thing, whether it be yours or theirs.


I was in a similar situation once, many years ago. The parents of the person who I was in a relationship with didn’t approve of me for certain reasons that were out of my control. When there’s something that you can change and improve in yourself or in the situation, there’s nothing wrong with improving, if it’s for the benefit of growing and becoming a better person. However, there are certain things that you can’t change, nor that you should be willing to change about yourself or your situation, in order to make someone like you better or so that they’ll accept you. Having said that, in my scenario, the family loved me, all except for the mother of the person who I was in a relationship with.


One day, the mother would be kind to me and say hello. The next day, she’d literally ignore me to my face when I would say hello to her. It was like living, breathing, torture. I was literally shocked the first time that I was ignored by her. She treated me like I wasn’t even in the room and acted as if she couldn’t hear me talk. It was so incredibly hurtful, because all I wanted was her love and acceptance. Believe it or not, I felt so much love towards her, despite the way that she treated me. After all, she brought up and raised someone who at the time, I adored. I never knew what to expect in her personality and whether or not she’d be friendly to me for her own personal reasons.


Remember, you can’t ever change someone else, someone else’s views, or their opinions of you. And you shouldn’t bother trying, especially, after a certain point. All I could do, because I wanted to be with that person at the time, was kill her with kindness, and so I did.


Unfortunately, at the time, I didn’t have the support of my partner in being there for me, because of many reasons that I personally can’t comprehend, and in all honesty, there’s never a good enough reason why someone shouldn’t be loving and supportive of their partner. Especially, when they’re going through something like that, where it’s your family who doesn’t accept them. That’s a time when you need to be the most supportive and understanding of your partner, and their feelings. Especially, when they’re killing your family with kindness, being authentic and genuine in doing so, with pure intentions, and with the mere hopes to one day gain their love and approval.


It took her a long time to come around and be loving and kind to me, but to this day, she is, despite the fact that I don’t want to be with her son anymore (for many other reasons). Towards the end of that relationship, there was a point when she was more stable with her feelings towards me, and she acted kind and loving, likely, because she saw how kind and good I was to her son and how much I cared for him. I mean, come on! How can a mother not like someone, even a little at least, when they’re so good to their child! It’s beyond me, because I can’t figure that one out.


To this day, when I pass his mother or his family on the street, they’re kind and loving to me, and I can tell that they’d still want me to be with him if I was interested. I suppose you could say that the tables have turned, and things are night and day different now. That’s not why I left, but that’s another story for another day. It wasn’t easy staying with a person who didn’t give me the love and understanding that I deserved while going through a situation like that. But I suppose the lack of support from my partner at the time was a red flag or some sort of warning that they would never have my back, and especially, when I’d need it the most. 


It’s important not to have expectations to fully gain another person’s love and acceptance. There’s only so much that you can debate and disagree with, when it comes to the subject of “accepting you.” You shouldn’t have to convince someone how good you are. They should know, by giving you a chance and seeing all of the beauty that’s within you. A person who doesn’t accept you without knowing you, hasn’t opened up their heart for their own judgmental reasons. It’s unfortunate but true, that many people judge others without even knowing them or giving them a chance to get to know them.


People judge others on many things from how they look, their race, their religion, their ethnicity, their education, if they’re divorced, if they have children from a previous marriage, what kind of job they have, and much more. What a lot of judgmental people are forgetting, is that each and every person has a soul and that we’re all human, and we all deserve a chance to be accepted and loved by the parents of someone who we love and care for.


If you do decide to be with someone who your family disapproves of, make sure to give your partner a lot of love and support. They’re gonna need it. I hope that none of you have to experience or endure the type of heartache that I’ve experienced in the example above. But, if you are experiencing something of the sort or know someone who’s experiencing something like that, please be kind to them and understanding, because it’s not easy, and I’m sure that they could use your love and support.

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Anne Cohen

Founder, Owner, Writer, and Editor at Anne Cohen Writes
Anne Cohen is a lifestyle and relationship blogger based in Los Angeles, CA. Her blogs are Anne Cohen and Anne Cohen Writes. She contributes to various publications including The Huffington Post, Elite Daily, and many more. She's passionate about love, writing, chess, and more than anything, her two kids.
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