I have been with my boyfriend for more than two years now. We met online, and then met in person about a year ago. We've since gotten together twice this Spring and had a blast the whole time. My parents totally disapprove of our relationship, because he is eight years my senior and I'm still in college. Despite all of the obvious challenges, and a period of about six months where we tried to stop talking and date other people, we've found ourselves deeper in love and more compatible. We have also learned a great deal about ourselves in that time.
Call me crazy or just lovestruck, but I really think he's the one. No one else could have stuck with me through hard times and never asked a thing in return. I don't know how to tell my parents that despite their best wishes, I intend on seeing this man until we either break up or die happily married. How can I explain to them how I feel about him?
— Crazy in Love Casey
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Dear Crazy in Love Casey,
It's very easy to disregard our parents concern and chalk up their negativity to the fact that they just can't understand us, but truth be told, part of being a parent (and an adult) means considering things from a more rational and less emotional point of view. With that said, it doesn't mean that your love isn't real, or that you should follow your parents' every wish, but it does mean that you should start looking at things from a different angle.
Just as you expect your parents to see things from your side, try viewing your relationship from theirs. Acknowledge and address all of their concerns, regardless of whether or not you see them as valid. By doing this, you're showing them you both that you respect their opinion and that you're thinking practically. Don't let your emotions get the best of you by giving into the theatrics of the moment, but keep things calm and respectful.
Finally, explain to them that while you're aware that things may not work out, you want to try to maintain a relationship with this man because you love him, and you hope that they can be supportive of you in the process. Obviously you can't control their reaction, only your own, so be prepared for anger and disappointment on their side. It sounds like they truly want what's best for you, so even if they fail to understand you, their hearts are in the right place.