To Date or Not to Date: The Parental Factor

The topic of this post was suggested by my Line Sister, Alegra.  Let’s see, where do I begin? Well, if you can recall the movie, Meet the Parents, then you can fully understand how nerve-racking this encounter can be. During the entire movie, Greg Focker tried his best to impress and be accepted by his father-in-law, Jack (Robert De Niro). Focker was subjected to a lie detector test and even had a background check run on him. Fortunately for Greg, he was eventually accepted.

Being introduced to someone’s parents should be held as a major turning point in any romantic relationship. For me, it symbolizes the relationship moving to the next level. In the past, I’ve allowed less than a handful of guys to meet my parents. I’ve since then have become even more reluctant on who meets my parents, solely because the couple of guys that I did grant the honor to, in all truthfulness, I realize didn’t deserve it.  Nevertheless, preparation did take place prior to the meeting. There was a lot of quizzing and answering of questions. Considering what was going to take place, who wouldn’t want to be well-prepared? For many people, being accepted by your significant other’s parents is truly gratifying. In a lot of cases, acceptance by the parents is like the gateway to acceptance by the entire family. After it’s all said and done, it can be exonerating to everyone involved.

Now, here’s where it may get interesting. What if after all the preparing and impressing (so you thought) you’ve attempted, your girl/boyfriend’s parents did not accept you? Needless to say, there is no guarantee that whoever you decide to bring home to meet the parents will be accepted. I’m pretty sure it’s obvious what you would do, should your parents decide to accept your beau. The question is, what should you do if they don’t? Do you continue to date your partner?

From my knowledge, I have not been in this situation. I mentioned the disclaimer because for all I know, my parents may have not accepted any of my exes, but decided not to say anything because they could foresee the future of the relationship.  However, if by some random chance I am knowingly put in this situation, I would try to handle it as maturely as possible. My parents are high school sweet hearts and have been married for 28 years. So, I would most certainly say that I do value their insight on relationships. I would approach the situation by having an in-depth mature conversation with my parents to find out why they chose not to accept the man I felt was worthy enough to be introduced to them. I know this talk would provide a lot of insight for both sides, but whether or not I take heed to their concerns would totally be up to me. Although I would listen to what my parents had to say, ultimately, I would not breakup with a man solely because they did not accept him.

I stated how I would handle the situation, but I know taking this route may not be an option for others. I know there are people out there who would choose not to continue a relationship because their partner was not accepted by their parents. That is their choice and I can’t judge them for that. Their parents’ approval may be just that important that they’re willing to take a chance on ending something that may or may not have been fruitful. However, I do realize that continuing a relationship after your partner was not accepted could result in a roller coaster ride. What adult son or daughter enjoys the feeling of going against their parents? I know I don’t, but as an adult, I have to make my own decisions and live with the consequences.

At times it can seem as though our parents’ opinions are better off being called facts, although deep down we know they aren’t. I think that even as adults, we believe that everything our parents do and say is what’s best for us, but that may not be the case in every scenario.

At the end of the day, your relationship is just that, it’s yours. So, whether or not your parents accept your relationship, it’s up to you to decide what happens next. In my opinion, it would be unfair to your partner if you only listen to what others say even if it is your parents. Don’t get me wrong though, there may very well be an instance or two that your parents don’t accept your partner because they can see what you can’t. You just have to deal with each relationship on an individual basis and put it in retrospect when it applies. In closing, if the relationship is meant to last, then everyone is going to either move forward and/or learn how to cope.

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Posted on Wed.Jun.06.2012, in Life Lessons and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. I agree that when you or your significant other are meeting eachother’s family it is a major step in the relationship. To me personally that means that means we are going to be in this relationship for the long run. I value what my family thinks and how everyone will mesh together, so I too am cautious in introducing who I am dating to my family because that is a whole other dynamic of the relationship. Also another good reference movie is “Guess Who” with Bernie Mac, Aston Kutcher and Zoe Saldana. This movie covers the whole interracial relationship dynamic along with introducing the person to the family.

    • I am extremely close to my parents and I am truly grateful our relationship. I know when they express their concerns about different things in my life it’s because they care. They’ve been right about a lot of things, but not everything. Ultimately, they just want me to be happy, but only I can achieve that.

      I haven’t watched that movie, but I’ve heard good things about it. I’ll have to check it out and maybe write a part two.

  2. MzEminentZeta6

    Since I came up with the topic suggestion, its only right that I comment. Lol. I’ve been in this situation before. A couple of years ago, I started dating a guy that my parents weren’t too fond of. Now note, my parents haven’t even MET the guy nor did they care to meet him. They went off of what I told them about him. They were completely judging him which I express to them many times of how wrong that is. But they still didn’t care. They had a feeling that he wasn’t the one for me. He had a daughter and had *clears throat* a couple run-ins with the law but hey I was smitten at the time. You couldn’t really tell me nothing lol. I continued to date and eventually got in a relationship with this guy but ended up breaking things off cuz of other issues that arose. I won’t lie and say that my parents thoughts about him wasn’t in the back of my mind. But ultimately, it didn’t weigh heavy on my decision to end things with my ex. Now as I look back on that situation, I realize how I much I value my parents opinion on the person I date. They were right with him not being the one for me. I’m so glad that I’m with someone now that my parents absolutely love and adore <3. Such a great feeling!

    • LOL! Only you! Thank you for sharing! I have a question though, how do you think you would have handled the situation had they not liked the man you’re with now?

  3. MzEminentZeta6

    I probably wouldnt have paid them no mind and just hope that they will eventually come around. Lol. After dealing with the first situation and knowing how much more added stress it put on, it steered me into a new direction of what to look for in a man. Like MC Lyte, I was so into the “ruffneck” type. It took me some time but I’m glad I got outta that phase of my life.

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