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You Asked: How Can I Make my Parents Approve?

Dear Sugar--

I am the youngest child in my family and grew up with three older brothers. I am extremely close with my parents, but they have always babied me and have been extremely overprotective, especially when it comes to my love life. I have only brought one guy home to meet my parents and it really didn't go well. My father was basically trying to find something "wrong" with him the entire time so I now try to keep my dating life separate from my home life.

I have been dating a wonderful man for about 7 months now who I truly love -- I even think he could be "the one", but I am petrified to introduce him to my parents, specifically my father. My boyfriend is 10 years older than I am who recently got out of a terrible marriage, and although those factors are not ideal, I love him. I have never felt this way before and have never been treated this way by anyone in my life, and I'm ready to share my happiness, and the man who is responsible for my happiness, with the rest of my family. I know my father will find fault in his divorce and age, so my question is this: How can I make my family see past those issues like I have? -- In Love Laurie

To see DEARSUGAR's answer

Dear In Love Laurie ---

I can completely relate to overprotective parents, but just keep reminding yourself that they only want the best for you, and in your father's eyes, no one will ever be good enough for his only daughter. With that said, you need to do what makes you happy -- it sounds like you have found a man whom you truly love and who loves you back, so that's the first step!

Do your parents even know you are dating or will this be a huge shock to them? Does your boyfriend know how overprotective your family is? I would first give him some insight on how your parents might react so he is at least prepared if he isn't welcomed with open arms. If your brothers haven't met him yet, perhaps start there, they might be able to report good news to the rest of your family. When you're ready for your parents to meet him, perhaps suggest a dinner or lunch date, nothing too formal, but pick a restaurant that isn't too loud so everyone can chat and get to know each other.

Since you have always kept your love life to yourself, the mere fact that you are initiating this meeting will be telling enough that this man really means something to you, so hopefully your dad will take that into consideration. Remember to be yourself, don't try to push your boyfriend onto your parents, let them warm up to him at their own pace. Hopefully seeing you together and how happy he makes you will be reason enough for your parents to love him just as much as you do. Good luck.


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