Kicking things off with a brand new boo can be scary and exciting. You’re in the honeymoon stage, all you do is spend time with them. When you’re not together you’re thinking about them. Emotions (and hormones) are at an all time high.
Eventually, if all goes well, they’re going to meet your family. Opening up your family life to someone new is often incredibly intimidating, especially if you and your fam are tight. Whether you like it or not, you’re saying to your bae, hey it’s really cool that you’re into me, but now it’s time for you to judge and be judged by my family.
Now in a perfect world, it would all go swimmingly, everyone would be happy, and we all lived happily ever after. But this isn’t always the case. What do you do if your SO doesn’t like one or more members of your family?
Communication is key
The first step to overcoming this is to talk to them. Work out what it was about your fam that they didn’t vibe with. Once you know exactly what it is, you can go from there. It might be hard, but try not to be too confrontational or defensive. This first conversation should be as calm and balanced as possible. I get it though. It’s never cool to hear someone bagging out a family member, even if it may be something you agree with.
Giving your partner the opportunity to tell you what they’re really feeling and air their grievances can help with the healing. Maybe they just need to vent? Maybe they legitimately do have an issue. Talking it out is the only way to really work this out.
Try to keep a level head
Think about your own family. I bet there’s plenty of things about them that gives you the shits. Maybe your mum tries to get too involved in your personal life. Maybe your dad can be frustratingly distant. You’re never going to be totally chill with everything about them. Now think about someone who didn’t grow up dealing with their idiosyncrasies.
They’re always going to stand out more to your SO than they do to you. What is something you think of as “that’s just mum” is going to be a distinct (and potentially frustrating) personality trait to your SO. As long as they’re not constantly shitting on your family and being cruel, try to give them some leeway.
Remember it’s not the end of the world
It can be all too easy to just jump on the defence and insist that everything about your family is amazing and you partner just can’t see how great they are. Just take a breath and hear them out. Try to see things from their perspective and not jump to conclusions.
At the end of the day, it’s more common to hear about people disliking their in-laws than loving them. You definitely won’t be alone in this situation, it’s so not uncommon. What is important though is that they’re not cruel or disrespectful. As long as they’re respectful of you and your family, then the fact that they don’t totally love everything about them is all part and parcel.
At the end of the day, relationships are all about teamwork and occasionally compromise. There will be things about their family that you won’t love too. The strength in your relationship is the ability to love each other regardless of the things you dislike. As long as the mutual respect and care is still evident every day in your relationship, any hiccups can be overcome together.
Image Source: DreamWorks