10 Signs Your Partner’s Parents Don’t Like You

When you enter a relationship, an important thing to remember is that you will also have to get along with your partner’s family. If you plan to live a long, happy life together, making nice with the parents is a must. If they don’t like you, life will be very difficult for you and possibly your children (if you decide to have any). But how do you know if they really don’t like you or if it’s just a passing moment that doesn’t mean much? Not to worry, The Cheat Sheet is here to break it down for you. Here are 10 signs your partner’s parents don’t like you.

1. You always have to speak first

woman with folded hands

Are you always the one starting the conversation? | iStock.com/UberImages

Have you ever been in a situation where you always had to say hello to someone first? Initially, you thought you were just being paranoid, so you continued your usual greeting routine. However, with each encounter, you get more annoyed with all the energy you have to put forth for a simple hello. So, you try a little test. You decide not to say anything to see what happens. And guess what? Nothing happens. No one says hello.

This is usually enough to confirm any suspicions that you aren’t liked very much. It’s a red flag if your partner’s parents don’t acknowledge you unless you say something first. This is one of the most telling — and annoying — signs they are not a fan of the relationship. It’s also a good sign you should prepare yourself with some strategies to minimize tension in the future. 

2. They don’t reach out when you have a crisis

young woman holding phone

Don’t hold your breath waiting for that phone to ring. | iStock.com/fizkes

There may come a time when you experience a crisis such as a life-threatening illness or the loss of a loved one. Pay attention to how your partner’s parents react. Do they reach out to you? Are there attempts to offer support and comfort in the form of a phone call, greeting card, or home visit? If no effort is made to contact you, this shows how much (or rather, how little) they care about you.

3. You’re not included in family pictures

young family taking selfie on the floor

No one wants you in their picture. | iStock.com/shironosov

When your partner’s family takes a photo, are you shoved to the side? (Or worse, you’re always the designated picture taker.) This most likely means they don’t see you and your partner together for much longer and don’t want memories of you in their photos. It also means they pretty much can’t stand you and don’t want to look at your face.

4. They make mean comments about you

woman worried by what she sees on cellphone

When your partner’s parents turn into meanies, it’s usually because they dislike you. | iStock.com/nandyphotos

When the parents don’t like you, they will take any and every opportunity to make you feel awkward. It’s the more adult version of Mean Girls. They might belittle your job, make fun of your appearance, or criticize your housekeeping or parenting skills. Even worse, their insults could be delivered in the form of backhanded compliments.  

5. Your partner’s parents aren’t friendly toward you

Men happily talking outside

How friendly are your partner’s parents? | iStock.com

One quick way to tell you aren’t liked is if your partner’s parents give you the cold shoulder. They may give you an unfriendly look or only manage to offer a forced smile. If they really don’t like you, they won’t even bother to return your grin at all. When you reach out for a hug, they might even take a step back, become rigid, or offer you a handshake instead. (It’s possible they might not like hugs, but if they like you, they will likely make an exception.)

6. They don’t try to make you comfortable in their home

Businesswoman using mobile phone

If the parents hate you, they will try their best to make you uncomfortable. | iStock.com/diego_cervo

Do you have special needs or requests? Perhaps you don’t eat red meat or you have food allergies. Do your partner’s parents make an effort to accommodate you? If not, you are dealing with parents who couldn’t care less about your welfare. Take note and mention this to your partner if their resistance to accommodate you becomes a problem.

7. You don’t get invited to important family events

woman sitting alone at dinner.

You’ll be waiting a long time for that invitation. | iStock.com/flisk

When parents just aren’t feeling you, they will avoid inviting you to special family events. Don’t be surprised when your invitation to weddings, baby showers, and Thanksgiving dinner gets “lost” in the mail. When invitations to family gatherings are not extended, this is a clear indication that they don’t want you to be part of their family.

8. You constantly feel like you have to prove yourself

Casual couple having coffee together

Sometimes, meeting the parents feels like being a contestant on a game show. | iStock.com/Wavebreakmedia

Parents who don’t feel like you’re a good fit for their son or daughter will constantly make you jump through hoops. You will never be good enough for their precious child. Consequently, they will consistently pick apart or downplay your accomplishments and make comments that might cause you to question your worth. Spending time with them will feel like being an eternal contestant on The Bachelor (or The Bachelorette).

9. They talk about your partner’s ex in front of you

couple on the couch

Your partner’s ex shouldn’t be a recurring topic. | iStock.com

If they really hate you and want you to go away forever, they will start talking about the girl or guy who almost married their child. This usually happens during a moment when you can’t easily get away, like a family dinner (that one rare time you were invited) or during a family outing. They will go on and on about how nice he or she was, the great things they did together, and may even talk about how they wished things would have worked out.

10. You can sense it

bored sad woman in front of computer

Trust your gut. | iStock.com/anyaberkut

Your inner feelings can tell you a lot about the world around you and your relationships. Don’t spend so much time overthinking things that you ignore your heart. You can generally sense when someone doesn’t like you, especially your partner’s parents. If you feel in your gut that they don’t approve of you, it’s best to trust your instincts. It also may be time for you to have a heart-to-heart with your partner so that you can work on solving this problem.

Follow Sheiresa on Twitter @SheiresaNgo