What do you do when your family hates your boyfriend? Is breaking up with them the only option? Maybe your family doesn’t always know what’s best.
I definitely relate to this. It can be hard figuring out what to do when your family hates your boyfriend. When you’re in this situation it’s really up to you to use your discernment to determine if your family’s concerns are valid. This really depends on your family’s dynamic. Figure out if their concerns coming from a place of care or bitterness.
From the Ask Your Good Sis Google Form:
Why does your family hate your boyfriend?
When it comes to dating, I’ve learned to take the opinions of my family a little more seriously because they do know me best. My family and I are very close. We’re not perfect by any means but when it comes to these situations, their discernment is usually top tier. With my ex for example, they didn’t like the relationship for me because they felt I wasn’t a priority for him. They wanted to see him take me out on dates, getting me cute gifts and for one thing, not constantly crying over him. I was young so I couldn’t see these things at the time. Hindsight is always 20/20 but even then I knew that their concerns were valid to a big extent. Even more so when I look back on it now.
Seeing how they express their worries is another key component to determining if their bias against him is something you want to consider. Even though my family didn’t like my ex necessarily, they never spoke ill about him or wished anything bad on him. They just privately told me their concerns one time and that was it. We didn’t need to harp on it, which I really appreciated. Did it suck for them seeing me distraught over this dude every Monday morning? Sure. But sometimes, when you love someone, you have to let them learn for themselves. I was 18 and I wasn’t going to let him go even if it was in my best interest. I had to learn that lesson on my own. I’m really happy that they gave me the space to do that.
Does your family hate your boyfriend in an overbearing or excessive way?
So, on that same vein, do they harp on the littlest points over and over and over again? What are some of the reasons why your family thinks he’s horrible for you? Does your family hate your boyfriend or are they just slightly concerned about a few things? Remember that our family members also have their own biases and viewpoints regarding how relationships should be.
For example: Is this a disagreement on a generational difference like who should pay for dates? Do you never come first to him? Does he lack focus or loyalty? Really clearly write down their dislikes. Ask them if they have any likes. Ask them why the dislikes outweigh the likes. Very precisely define all this so you know why you think your family hates your boyfriend. After you figure this out, look at the list and see how it compares to your concerns/doubts and your wants and desires for your relationships.
Finally, when it comes to this, don’t listen to every Tom, Dick and Harry in your family. For me, there are very specific people in my family whose opinions have more weight like my parents, grandparents, my close aunts and uncles and my closest cousins. Essentially, the saying, “Don’t take criticism from someone you wouldn’t take advice from,” applies here.
What are your doubts?
Figuring out your doubts is key. Be clear and specific about what you want in this relationship. Your family hates your boyfriend, but do you want to stay with him in spite of this? What are your reasons for staying with him?
Another key thing is determining if you’re staying with him out of habit, fear of being alone or if you’re genuinely satisfied with this relationship.
Space could be key
One point you raised is this on and off situation. Why are you guys on and off? What keeps you coming back? Time apart and I mean, strict time apart, no messages, no DMs, no dates, could be crucial to you realizing whether or not you want to be with him. You’ve been with him so long, I’m sure you do have love for him. But there’s a big difference between loving someone and being in love with someone. Love is a choice. Are you ready to make the choice to extend yourself for the purpose of nurturing this person’s emotional and spiritual growth?
It’s okay to want your own space. You guys have been in each other’s lives for a long while. Taking a break could help you realize what you really want and need. And it’s okay if you realize that it may not be him. It’s also okay if you realize it is him.
Take the pressure off
The phrase “potential future wife” throws me off. That’s so much pressure in your twenties. We get so used to dating for an end goal, we forget what it means to date and enjoy the moment with this person. Maybe you don’t need to break up, maybe you just need to change the terms of your relationship? Could that statement and those intentions be adding undue pressure? This might be one of the reasons that your family hates your boyfriend and it could be why you’re having doubts.
You also use the phrase, “I think he loves me as a potential future wife,” which makes me wonder if he’s said this or if you’re projecting this thought onto him. This warrants a conversation. See where the two of you are at. If he really does see you and date you because of the potential for long-term partnership, determine that concretely and then ask him why. On the other hand, maybe he really doesn’t see you that way and you’ve put this idea and this pressure of being that to him onto the relationship.
You both need to have an open and honest conversation about what you are to each other, what you want and what you need. Then stick to the boundaries set and either keep dating or break up if those values and intentions don’t align.
What don’t you like about him? Does this correlate to some of the reasons why you think your family hates your boyfriend?
You identified that you have some doubts. Pinpoint them. Get specific. Then see if they relate to some of the dislikes your family presented to you. You need to trust yourself and your relationship. Sometimes, the little things we dislike about someone are the reason why the relationship ends later on. Identify if the dislikes you have are your dating dealbreakers too.
For example: I need a guy with emotional intelligence. So, if I don’t feel listened to or respected when I express my feelings, that’s a big deal-breaker for me. Moreover, this tiny problem in the beginning will ultimately become a bigger problem.
Trust your intuition
I totally hear you on your family doubting your decision making. My family thinks I’m too naive at times too. I get it BUT it doesn’t make you feel good. Doubts also affect your intuition and your ability to trust yourself.
Release that. Even if your family hates your boyfriend, you know what the right decision is for you. Stand by that and trust yourself. You know yourself best. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Regardless of whether or not you do make a naive decision, that’s okay too. Learn the lesson, give yourself grace and move on. Everyone makes mistakes. That’s also just a part of life.
The decision that feels right and authentic to you is the right decision.
Trying dating for fun again
I recently saw a tweet that said it’s okay to date for fun and be in the moment. Not everyone you date has to be your person. Just stay present and enjoy each experience.
If you find yourself attracted to other people, feel free to pursue those connections. Taking time apart, exploring yourself and pursuing other connections actually helps with figuring out what you want.
For example: after my breakup, even though I wasn’t completely ready to date at the time, dating showed me that I love being wined and dined. I didn’t have that in my previous relationship to the extent that I experienced it when I was dating. That made me realize that being spoiled and appreciated is something I really want. It also felt really good to be outwardly pursued and just vibe with people without an end goal.
Since you’ve been so committed to him for so long, dating for a bit and for fun might help.
You’re not stringing him along.
Overall, no, I don’t think you’re stringing him along. You’re just confused. That’s normal and valid. You thinking your family hates your boyfriend is a confusing situation.
Trust yourself. Listen to your intuition. Even though you do love him, you’re not obligated to be with him. The same way he’s not obligated to be with you. Determine your family’s concerns, write down your doubts and conclude whether or not you want to stay in this relationship.
Ultimately, whatever decision is right for you, is the right decision.