If you find yourself in a situation where one or more family members don’t approve of your relationship with your partner, you’re not alone.
Often, family members won’t like a partner because they don’t think they’re good enough for you, or for other reasons.
It can be difficult trying to please everyone you care about, including your family and your partner. Does family come first?
Dear Dan and Jennifer,
My cousin and I have been closer than close for 2 years – Never letting anything get in the way. We are always there for each other. I’ve been dating my boyfriend for 4 months and she has been recently single for 2 months. I’m in a good relationship and everything is going great. We even started having sex. My cousin is totally against it and now wants me to end my relationship with him. What should I do? He’s the only guy that I have been active with and I love him… but I also believe that family comes first. How could I get my cousin to see that were no different and that she shouldn’t try to intervene in my sex life?
Making Your Own Choices
If you’re a legal adult, you can make your own choices about who you want to date and when. Perhaps you don’t want to date anyone or perhaps you want to date someone your family doesn’t approve of. Either way, it’s your choice. It’s no one else’s!
However, that doesn’t make it any less difficult of a situation to deal with if your family is consistently hassling you over who you’re dating. It can be hard to have a positive, successful relationship with someone if your family always has something negative to say about your partner, but it can also be hurtful to be in disagreement with your family over who you’re dating. What do you do? Who do you choose?
You Shouldn’t Have To Choose
You shouldn’t have to choose between your family and who you want to date. Your family should love and accept you no matter what. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen. If your family is upset and doesn’t approve of who you’re dating, try having a heart to heart talk with them when your partner is not around. Let them know how much you care about this person and how much they care about you. Let them know that you’re really happy and that you want to continue seeing this person. Let them know politely that it really isn’t any of their concern who you date or who you don’t date.
Many times, if you give your family the chance to really understand that your partner makes you happy, they simply will let it go because they want the best for you. This doesn’t happen all the time though, and some people are stuck making a choice even though they shouldn’t have to.
Making A Choice
If you have to make a choice – as in, if your family is truly threatening to disown you if you continue dating someone they don’t approve of – step back from the situation and consider all the aspects of it on your own. Don’t let your partner or your family members have an influence on your decision. This is something you must do on your own!
Really think about what the members of your family mean to you and how much your partner means to you. Give yourself time to mull it over, because either way, it’s going to be a life altering decision. Once you’ve come to a decision, it’s important to let everyone know that you didn’t want to, nor should you have had to, make the choice.
Keep in mind, many people that choose their families over their partners end up falling out with their families later because it never is the same between them. Ultimately, it’s up to you whether you want to continue dating your partner or not. If they make you happy, it’s no one else’s business who you date!