posted by Anonymous on 26 September, 2019
my girlfriend and i have been dating for about six months now and i think she's wonderful, she's my best friend and we're at the stage where we both love each other and we've talked about marriage. ive never felt anything like this about anyone i've dated before. (i'm 22, she's 23 btw). but i introduced her to my parents at dinner and they seriously hate her, especially my mum. i love my parents massively and ultimately they have my interests at heart but they have this idea that i should be dating someone middle class and with a high paying job, and my girlfriend, even though she's really hard-working and determined to succeed, she comes from a very poor background, she grew up in a single parent household with four brothers and sisters, she's had a difficult life in a lot of ways and she is only working a fairly low paying job. none of this bothers me at all because we're young, i know how determined she is to make something of her life, and i love her deeply, but my parents, who are very middle class, don't see it that way. i guess they're trying to protect me but they've been making jokes about my girlfriend, about how she speaks with an accent and about the clothes she wears and so on (which is because she has no money and can't afford to buy expensive clothes). its really unfair at her and i know my girlfriend has noticed they don't like her, she told me she had picked up on it at dinner. she was so polite and brilliant and tried so hard to impress them but they are still so judgmental about her. i feel like i'm caught between two sides, i am absolutely not going to break up with her because i feel like she is almost definitely 'the one' for me but i know that when we take things further it's going to seriously annoy my parents and i don't want to fall out with them. so i honestly kinda don't know what to do
it seems like you have a shakespearean situation going on! from what i could understand, you're in an healthy, happy relationship, with someone that seems to be an extremely wonderful person. hitherto, all okay. but your parents seem to disagree and it keeps you in a very delicate position. first of all, i think that you need to have a little talk with them. find out why they don't like her (i know that you said that's all about her not being middle class, but try to make them tell you their reasons, let them clarify it) and, then, try to explain to them why they're wrong. all the things that you love about her, tell them to your parents. make them understand why she's the one and why do you love her so much. i would never tell you to argue with them, because they have your best interests at heart. you shouldn't have to start a feud to prove your point. try to reason with them the best you can. however, maybe it is also important assuring your girlfriend (and maybe you've already done that) that your parents not liking her is not her fault. she can feel bad about it and you should prevent that from happening, because then you'd have two full problems on your hands. breaking up with her is not the solution! even if it is important for you not to grow apart from your parents, you should remember that, at the end of the day, only you and your girlfriend matter (at least to what concerns your relationship). maybe they just need some time to understand that she's really important to you and to come to their senses. give them that time and steer them as they walk that path.
Anonymous ● 27 September, 2019 ⚓︎
thanks so much for your advice. yes it is a faintly shakespeare type situation i guess haha. she is a wonderful person as you say, she's beautiful, intelligent and such a kind and loyal friend. and ultimately if i end up having to make a choice between her and my parents' approval i will choose her but i just hope so much that it never comes to that, despite their faults i love my parents and i want us to stay a close family. ive tried telling them all this and explaining why i love her but although my dad seems willing to accept it my mum especially is strongly against our relationship. my mum seems to have this idea that i'm not making a good choice if i date anyone with a career less than a doctor, a lawyer or an academic. she is constantly judgmental of my girlfriend for her clothes, her accent, her job, her family background, even her religion (she's catholic, we're protestant). she seems to think that my girlfriend is obviously only with me for my money and career prospects even though that obviously isn't true because when my gf has been short of money in the past i've offered to lend some to her and she's always said no because she doesn't want me to feel like she's using me and because she's determined that she should be able to get by herself. and yeah i have told my girlfriend that it's absolutely in no way her fault, but i can tell it's hurt her anyway. shes not annoyed at me, she's just upset that with all the effort she made to impress them and make conversation with people from a totally different background to her, they still treated her quite badly. she was charming, funny, polite, interested in what they had to say, and yet they didn't respond to it at all. i don't think it's at all fair on her, she shouldn't have to jump through hoops like that and it must have been a really hurtful experience for her. i really hope my parents come round to things in time and i'm not going to push too hard because i don't want to start a massive argument with them but honestly i'm not sure i'm that hopeful. especially with my mum who has basically implied that if we get married she doesn't want to go to the wedding.
if you had the might to (kind of) win over your dad, you'll also succeed with your mum. it may take a little more time, but she'll come around when she understands that your happiness is what really matters. money and social status are just means, not ends. your girlfriend did a very sweet thing by trying to impress them, but she should remember that the person she is now should be enough for them, as it is for you. your parents should accept her as she is, regardless of clothes, job, religion, etc. they've placed you on an unfair position. this is not about choosing, it's about accepting other people's feelings. i know that you don't want to hurt anyone, so you'll have to put your foot down and stand by your ideals in the most delicate way you can. and, above all else, share your feelings with the ones involved. try to explain them how this situation is making you feel and try to keep a tidy environment. when people put their beliefs above others, sometimes they don't see things very clear. communication might be the key to solve all this.
Anonymous ● 12 October, 2019 ⚓︎
hey, first of all congratulations on your relationship. i wish the two of you the best luck and it sounds like you found a real one. i myself know that situation well. my parents used to judge my ex-boxfriend too because he came out of different surroundings and so on. but believe me when i say at the end of the day the biggest fear of every parent is to lose their child. also losing in the sense of turning against them. you are 22 it is up to you now to create your life and make decisions. your parents do know that but they will always see you as their little boy they want to protect, guide through life and also parents have a certain plan in their head of where they want their children to be. i then turned against my parents because i really loved that boy and wanted to show them if they make me choose i´d rather choose him. i was younger than you back then and i reacted out of stubbornness and love. i don´t want to tell you to turn against your family. that´s wrong. but the situation made me realize that your parents just want you to be happy. and sooner or later they will accept her and include her because even if she is not what they may have imagined for you they will see she is what makes you happy and they rather see you happy and support you than risk to lose you because they are not happy about that situation. they do know how strong fresh love is and that you won´t turn against your girl. so my recommendation is to stay with your girl and support her. you said she is hard working and that means you and her can build a successful life as well and she will grow out of that circumstances your parents don´t like with your help. together you can build a better life and prove your parents wrong. believe me they worry about you now. so please don´t blame them. find a minute to sit down with your parents and explain them exactly how you feel for her and what a good person she is. tell them you love her and that ain´t gonna change. and tell them the only person they end up hurting with that behavior is you. that you worry about your relationship to your parents when they turn against the person you love and that you deeply wish that they are more supportive and even if they don´t like her now that they should give her a chance and don´t make her feel unwanted. tell your parents you love them and you wish they support you in the things that make you happy because you being happy should be their greatest goal. tell them you are fine and will be. together you can search for a job for your girl and so on. just being supportive you know. ask your parents directly what annoys them and be understanding but also suggest how that problem can be solved together and that there is no you without her. they won´t turn against you if you´re being honest and understand their situation as well. but please just don´t get angry with them and make them taste their own medicine just to protect your girl. that makes everything worse. experience talks. an open conversation is the best solution. then give it time and it will get better believe me. and also try to support your girl, tell her she has done nothing wrong and your parents don´t mean it in a bad way that they are just worried and that everything will clear up. hope this makes sense to you and that i could help a bit best luck and greetings yours julia