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Coming from a parent’s point of view, it’s hard to let go of your child into the care of another individual and if that individual is less than what you expect for your child, conflict is sure to arise. I’ve been on both side of the fence.

Red Flags - simple questions you can ask yourself

Many parents will say that there is nobody good enough for their child, but realistically, you are eventually going to meet somebody and get into a committed relationship with them.  The question is why don’t your parents like your partner?  You need to find out this answer before you can resolve the conflict. 

If your parents don’t like your partner maybe they can see some red flags that you can’t or don’t want to see.  Ask your friends their honest opinion about your partner and see if they notice any red flags.  You should get as many opinions as you can before detaching yourself from your family because they don’t approve or like your partner.  There are some simple questions you can ask your friends and family to get to the root of the problem:

  • Has my partner been rude to you?
  • What is it that you don’t like about my partner?
  • Do you think I have settled for second best?
  • What kind of person do you think I should be with?

It has been said that love is blind and getting this type of input from your family and friends might open your eyes to red flags that you just ignored or dismissed; sometimes, but not always, your parents and friends are on target and it’s a good idea to get their input.  As painful as the truth might be, in the long run, you will thank them for what they have to offer.

What if there are no good answers?

After you have asked these questions and you don’t get any logical, good reasons for why your parents don’t like your partner, then you need to explain to them why you like or love your partner.  You need to explain how he/she makes you feel and how better your life seems with this person being a part of it.  After all, parents want what is best for their child and if they see you are happy and have no real reasons to dislike him or her, they should eventually come to terms with the fact that you are in this committed relationship.  It was Abraham Lincoln who said, “You can please some of the people some of the time, but you can never please all the people all of the time.”  If you are a grown adult, it is your life and your choice to make but you should be very careful not to burn bridges you might have to cross back over.  What I mean by that is, if your parents still insist they don’t like your partner, don’t detach yourself from them completely; there may be a time that you’ll need them and if you burn that bridge, you’ll have no way of getting back to them.

What if I’m Under the age of 18 and my Parents Don’t like my Partner?

The rules change a bit if you are under the age of 18 and living with your parents.  You should still ask them the same questions as posted above and you should still get input from your friends, but if your parents lay down the law and tell you that you can’t see this person anymore, you should follow their rules; as unfair as that might seem, parents tend to know what’s best.  It’s possible they just don’t know him or her well enough yet, so you might suggest spending time with your parents and invite your partner over to join in.  Get them engaged in conversation and let the book speak and not the cover.  Sometimes parents can’t see below the outward appearance and tend to judge by what they see; they need the opportunity to get to know your partner and how he or she thinks.  Sometimes finding a common ground is the ice-breaker; your partner might like the same sports as your father or your partner might enjoy sewing like your mother; you just have to allow them time to get to know who he or she is.

When no Common Ground is Found and They Still Don’t Like my Partner

There isn’t much more you can do if you have come to a dead end and your parents haven’t changed their point of view about your partner.  You have to make the choice; what is most important to you; your relationship or your parents?  As an adult, you have to luxury of making that choice; as a teenager still living at home under your parent’s rules, you have to abide by their rules.  Parents just want to see their kids happy and if they have no valid reasons as to why they don’t like your partner, they will soon realize how torn you have become as they have forced you to choose between them and your partner.  Most parents will not let it come to this; they will or should love you unconditionally and eventually accept your partner for who he or she is.  Just don’t push it; let it happen naturally because the more you oppose their opinions the more they will oppose yours.

Happy Endings 

The key aspect to all of this is communication.  If your parents simply state that they don’t like your partner but give no reason for it, you have to communicate with them and try to understand their point of view and they should try to understand your point of view.  Getting mad and holding resentment because of how they feel will only lead to deeper problems.  You have to get to the root of the problem and then fix what needs to be fixed and move on from there.  Your opinions matters just as much as their opinions matter, so don’t be afraid to voice how you feel but do so in a respectful and adult manner.