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DearSugar Needs Your Help: Should We Proceed?

DearSugar and Not Liked Nancy need your help. She has been with her boyfriend for five years now and his parents still don't approve of her. They are planning on moving in together and getting married this year, but the disapproval of his parents is putting a real damper on their happiness. What can they do to all get along?

Dear Sugar,

My boyfriend and I have been dating for nearly five years and have been talking about getting engaged in the next month or so and moving in together. We're ecstatic to take this next step and so are all of our friends. Here is the obstacle: his parents don't like me. When we first started dating, they disapproved of me for really superficial reasons: they felt I was too "aggressive," they didn't like that I came from a single parent family, and they feel like I'm inherently not good enough for him. After the rocky start (of about a year), I believed we had made progress and his parents were warming up to me. His mother was always very nice to me, said a lot of positive things about me to my boyfriend and her friends, and asked fairly often when we'd get married. However, my boyfriend recently called her to tell her about these developments and she seemed taken aback, shocked, and displeased. I can only imagine how his dad will react, given that he has always liked me less than his mom. I get the impression that he's always assumed my boyfriend would have found someone else better by now.

We both come from a very family oriented background so having parental approval is something that's important to both of us. Unlike his family, mine has always loved and embraced my boyfriend wholeheartedly and can't wait for us to marry. While he is less concerned with having his parents' complete approval, it means a lot to me. I was reduced to tears after he told me about his conversation and her reaction made me feel as if my family and I would never be good enough for his. I don't want to start off my relationship with them as in-laws on the wrong foot, but at the same time, if they honestly have so many reservations about me, I'm tempted to just say "screw them" and go on with my life. I just don't know what to do. My boyfriend isn't letting their opinions affect our relationship, but I can't help but take their viewpoint to heart. Does anyone have any advice for me?

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