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The How-To Lounge: Negotiating Your Family and Your Significant Other

It seems like there are at least a few of you out there who feel caught between your family and your boyfriend. There's nothing more difficult than trying to negotiate the tricky terrain between the people that you love who dislike one another. Often times it seems impossible to satisfy both sides of the equation, leaving you feeling like you have to choose between the two. Truth be told, this is always going to be a hard situation to deal with, but there are ways to ease some of your stress and anxiety. To get some tips,

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  • For better or worse, your parents will always be your family. Thus, trying to keep your boyfriend separate from them will likely cause just as much angst as letting any awkward encounters take place. So I say, embrace the uncomfortable. Let them be around each other. Often just time and familiarity can truly change opinions.
  • Give your parents the benefit of the doubt; listen to what their complaints are without getting defensive. Once they've stated their case, give yours. Calmly enlighten them in the areas that they might be completely wrong, but acknowledge their concerns.
  • Go ahead and put it all out there. Explain how the situation is hurting you. Let them know that you will always want to make them happy, but you have no intention of breaking up with your boyfriend. See if they won't give him another try. But make sure your boyfriend is willing to start over, too.
  • As for your boyfriend, is it possible he's giving off the wrong impression? See if there aren't some things you both can do to reveal a more accurate portrayal of him and your relationship to your parents. Come up with ways he can connect more personally with your parents through hobbies or common interests.

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Asia84 Asia84 7 years
if there is tension, i don't go around it. so if my parents or other family members hate my boyfriend, then we won't go to the family picnic. it's just that simple. i love my family, but i'm not one of those people who are super close and get sad if i don't see people for things like Xmas. i don't mind if i miss a family function (unless someone got drunk and got into it with another family member. that's priceless). so i guess i don't get to wrapped up in how tough this sort of clash can be.
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