The Times You Should Ignore Your Family’s Opinion of Your Partner

When it comes to your dating life every family member has their own opinion. One dinner with your significant other, and suddenly your mother’s a detective on a mission to learn every little detail of his or her life, from childhood to adulthood. But when honest concern turns into harsh judgement, a critical family can be impossible to put up with.

Believe it or not, there are times when it’s OK to ignore your family’s opinion of your partner. When your loved ones don’t like your significant other, these reasons aren’t good enough.

1. Your partner doesn’t want kids

group of kids running through the park

Kids aren’t for everyone. |

If you want kids, and your partner doesn’t, you two need to have a serious conversation. But if your family’s disapproval stems from your partner’s not wanting to have children even though you don’t either, they need a reality check. You’re smart enough to know your decision to remain kid-free is OK, and as long as you and your significant other are in agreement, there shouldn’t be any judgment whatsoever on your family’s part. If you don’t want kids, finding a partner who does isn’t going to change that.

2. You’re with someone who’s different from your previous partner

Grandfather and grandson talking

Your family may have loved your previous partner. |

It’s not uncommon for a person’s family to become attached to his or her significant other. And if you were previously involved with an ex for a long time, it’s likely your family got to know them pretty well over the course of the relationship. Just because they loved your previous partner doesn’t mean they have to shun your current one, though.

Obviously, you know what’s best for you — you need to go with that. As YourTango says, others may disapprove of your partner if “[they’re] a different type of person than they’re used to seeing you with, or because you’re changing and what you’re attracted to is changing.” If that’s the case, don’t be afraid to tell your family the truth about how you’re feeling.

3. They think your partner isn’t good enough

Meet The Parents lie detector scene

The cast of Meet The Parents knows the importance of impressing the family. | YouTube via Universal Studios

Hearing people say you can do better is draining, especially when those people are your family members. You know they want what’s best for you, but their constant breathing down your neck is exhausting. Furthermore, it’s causing you to second guess your otherwise healthy relationship. If you and your partner have a solid connection, you should be confident in telling your family to back off.

Though your parents just want what’s best for you, The Huffington Post points out part of growing up is making decisions for yourself. Maybe you just need to realize they will never think anyone’s good enough for their “perfect” son or daughter.

4. Your partner lives far away

Couple traveling

Long distance relationships are possible. |

Location shouldn’t necessarily be the reason two people break up. In today’s world, travel is more accessible than ever, and staying connected via Skype, text message, and social media is relatively easy. The important thing to remember is that it’s your life, and if you and your partner are making long distance work, that’s all that matters. Parents who demand their adult children stay close to home forever aren’t doing them any favors.

5. They’re judgmental of your partner’s appearance

young woman posing with a skateboard

Your partner’s appearance shouldn’t be a topic of conversation with your family. |

As open-minded as we’d like to think our society is, it often comes with its fair share of fashion critics. Rather than seeing a person for who they really are, outside appearances can significantly sway one’s opinion of another. And although first impressions are important, as time goes on, your family should be able to see past your partner’s appearance. Furthermore, looks will eventually fade, so that’s always something to keep in mind.

6.Your partner has a different background

Two happy affectionate young woman hugging each other in a close embrace

Cultural differences should be embraced. |

Of course you and your partner won’t have the exact same background, but it’s still possible you share a similar upbringing. Socioeconomic status, religious views, and the types of careers your parents had all come into play when considering whether you and your partner are compatible long term.

At some point during your relationship you and your partner came to terms with your differences, which gives your family more than enough reason to, as well. If your family can’t appreciate your partner’s cultural differences, you definitely shouldn’t pay them any mind.

7. They don’t like your partner’s career

construction worker holding hard hat

It’s OK to ignore your parent’s opinion if they simply don’t like your partner’s career. |

Family members can be quite judgmental of a person’s career. And as we mentioned earlier, their prejudices may even go back to their own careers. But when parents project their own professional views onto what they think your partner should be doing, trouble is bound to overflow.

For instance, maybe you grew up in a household where your father went to an office every day, and your mother stayed home to raise the kids. Well, times have changed since then, and there’s no longer a set standard of who’s responsible for what. After all, more women are becoming the breadwinners of the family, and bringing home the bacon is no longer a one-person job.

8. They think your partner should be more open about your life together

woman apologizing during an argument

Intimate details should stay within your relationship. |

Whether you have a nosy family or not, trust within a relationship should never be broken. This means it’s imperative that your family realizes it’s not their relationship, and some things are meant to stay between you and your partner. And the fact that your partner didn’t divulge details of your latest argument is no reason for your family dislike them. As The Huffington Post mentions, your significant other shouldn’t spill your secrets, especially to those whom you don’t want knowing.

9. They think, or know, your partner cheated

woman looking on as husband secretely texts

Only you and your partner really know what’s going on in the relationship. |

Learning there’s been infidelity in a relationship can be shocking, especially if your family is greatly invested in your relationship. It’s only natural to immediately take your side the minute they find out your partner cheated on you. But still, they need to step back from the situation, let both of you have your space, and give your partner the benefit of the doubt.

Your family members don’t know the details (read: No. 8), so they shouldn’t jump to conclusions too quickly. Perhaps you were also unfaithful, or maybe the two of you came to a mutual agreement that you should give an open relationship a try. Either way, it’s none of their business, and judging your partner for his or her actions without knowing the full story is unacceptable.

10. There’s a big age difference

Senior gay couple shopping for groceries

Age shouldn’t matter if you and your partner are in love. |

Your age difference doesn’t need to resemble that of Anna Nicole Smith and J. Howard Marshall to garner negative attention from your loved ones. While a few years here and there shouldn’t be a big deal, an age gap can raise a red flag on your family’s part. Perhaps they can’t see past it, or maybe they don’t believe you are together for the right reasons. As long as your maturity levels match up, there shouldn’t be a problem.