When Your Partner’s Relatives React Negatively to You Because of Your Age
You really enjoy the company of your older or younger friend, so the last thing you would have expected was someone in your inner circle reacting badly to your date. But some people just don’t do well when a possible future step-parent, brother or sister-in-law looks and acts different than most in the family and don’t agree that your young or older partner is the “love of your life.”
When your relatives react negatively to your date for one reason or another, you will want to reassure your date that you are in the relationship for him or her and that you will not permit your family and friends to change your opinion about how you feel about your date. Your partner should do the same. Remind your date of this when you notice that he or she is starting to feel insecure, confused, or worried about your commitment to the relationship.
First, address concerns with both, your date and loved ones. You can talk with relatives and your partner alone, share your thoughts about the future, and spend necessary time to mend any broken pieces in your relationships with those you care about. Maybe it has been a longtime since you talked with them, went out to lunch, or gave them a gift. Jealous feelings or past misunderstandings that were never resolved could be a hindrance in relatives and friends accepting your possible future wife or husband.
Chances are your date has noticed the family’s negative reaction to her--don’t sugar-coat your family’s mannerisms or defend them. Your date is obviously disturbed about the way your family’s reacting toward her. Don’t pretend as if you are unaware of your family’s negative behavior. Expose them on their foolishness and distance yourself when they say or do things to pressure you into appeasing them like getting rid of your young or older date.
Next, spend time getting to know your mate so well that if your relatives and friends were to say something crazy, you wouldn’t be surprised by anything and you wouldn’t feel the need to threaten, lie, or cover for your mate.
Third, don’t take your younger or older date into hostile environments no matter how “near and dear” a relative or friend might be to you. Sometimes people create meetings for the sole intent to argue, name-call, insult, and belittle others. Keep your trouble-making, meddlesome relatives and friends at a distance.
Fourth, make time to meet with more positive people that you know at a neutral location. Restaurants, sporting events, parks, and other places where people can busy themselves without having to make conversation the whole time are perfect for experiencing fun moments; rather than sitting across the table having an ask and answer session with relatives and friends about your new date.
When you can clearly see that your date and others are unhappy about how your older or younger date was introduced to them, don’t attempt to force people to go along just to get along. Instead, give people some breathing room to gradually accept the idea you are dating who you are dating. No one wants to feel like they have to do something just because you tell them to, and besides, consider your past selection in mates and how often you brought dates around your family, after awhile people are going to get weary of having to meet your new partners. With each date you bring around your relatives and friends, remember there will be those who don‘t have to like the person or support yet another relationship. Focus on what makes you happy, and not what others think. Your relationship just might be one of the successful ones that go the distance.
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