Meet the Parents

by eHarmony Staff

Meet the Parents

Introducing your new partner to your family is a big event in the life of a relationship for many reasons. First and foremost, it’s symbolic. You’re showing your new love that you care about them a great deal.

If you’re bringing a new person in your life to the family table, you may be wondering in the back of your mind how people are going to react to your new significant other. You may even worry how their judgments of your date might reflect on you.

It may sound shallow, but it’s not. Each of us know on some fundamental level that the input of close friends and family is important to us, and that’s why it can be so upsetting to have the disapproval of our chosen mate by those closest to us. If your close friends and family disapprove of your relationship, don’t fret. Keep a cool head and keep these three things in mind:

1. The Truth is Always Better than Anything Less than the Truth
Even in the face of negative judgments about your chosen partner or yourself, it’s in your best interest to invite all types of feedback, both good and bad. So, be objective! While involved in a relationship that may be less than perfect, we’re often afraid to admit the negatives that actually may be true. But each unique person’s perspective on your situation usually carries some truth in it, and therefore, everyone’s thoughts are important for you to know.

If you find that some of the statements about your date are true, it doesn’t mean you need to make an immediate decision to break it off with your partner or to distance yourself from your family or friends. Instead, take some time to think about how the less positive qualities in your partner may impact your life and your expectations that you have about the kind of relationship you want.

Also keep in mind that those people who initially disapprove of your date may actually change their minds should your relationship with your date bloom into something more serious. Then again, they might not. What matters, though, is the truth, and more importantly, how you handle the truth.

2. Being able to handle the truth empowers you to make good decisions
When someone important to you doesn’t like the person you are dating, it creates self-doubt that can make you second-guess who you are and what you’re doing. It may even create friction between you and the person expressing the negative judgment. No one likes to hear negative input, but if someone’s comments trigger a large amount of self-doubt, you may want to look deep within and ask yourself if you know clearly enough whether your romantic relationship is a solid one and whether you have the skills and knowledge necessary to know what a good, long-term potential relationship even looks like.

If you think you’re with the wrong person, you just might be. But before you make any rash decisions, make sure you weigh multiple perspectives to help balance the confused emotions you may be experiencing.

3. Good decision-making comes from weighing multiple sources of input
Gathering information and assessing it objectively before acting on it is what good decision-making is all about. So, while it’s important to look at how you’re feeling, it’s also equally important not to discount the input from our closest friends and family. Ask yourself honestly how you feel, and then balance it against others’ input. The question you want to know the answer to—and without reservation—is: “Am I making a good decision by being with this person?”

Ultimately, you have the final power of decision-making about who you choose to be with in your life. Taking into account all sources of input will help keep your decision-making skills sharp and your decisions sound. The better decisions you make for yourself, the happier you will be, and the happier you are, the more you can share it with someone who’s really perfect for you—and that’s truly something to be thankful about.

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