Having overprotective parents is a nightmare, but it’s even worse when it’s his parents that are overprotective...No woman wants to lose her son, of course, but some things are just ridiculous. If you’ve found that his Mum and Dad aren’t your biggest fan, here’s how to cope...
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If his parents have been frosty from the start, look to see if you could be the one causing problems. Do you dress inappropriately, or disinterested? Even nervous habits such as staying very quiet can be interpreted badly, so analyse your own behaviour and see if you could be more ‘parent-friendly’.
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His parents might be worried that you are going to ‘steal’ their son away. If you make plans, be sure to include them in them, and be interested in what they say. Make an effort to learn the names of family members and pets, as this proves you are planning on being around, and ask his Mum for advice on something like cooking, which will show you value her opinion.
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While you might want to impress them, treating his parents as superiors will make you feel unable to talk to them normally, and prevent you being able to become friends. If you are too easy to please you could come across as fake, and being too distant makes you look disinterested. Treat them as new friends, and equals to yourself, and be yourself.
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His Mum wants to see that her son is happy, and being looked after. He’ll probably have had girlfriends in the past who have hurt him, and she won’t want to see that again. Show her that you really do care. Hold his hand, give him a kiss goodbye, talk about the way he makes you laugh and the things you do together. If possible, show her pictures of the two of you out having fun at the zoo, etc. This will help her see you as part of his life, and accept you as part of hers.
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Show willing and invite his parents around for a meal. Clean your flat, prepare a great meal and dress to impress. However, don’t look at as if you are getting judged. Enjoy yourself, and let his parents see what you are really like. They’ll find it much easier to accept you if they feel invited into your life, and there is no better way to include them then to invite them into your home.
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This one seems obvious, but its really important. If his parents are causing problems, talk to him about it. He will know what his parents are like, and should be able to give you an insight into any potential issues that you haven’t realized. Keep him informed about how you feel, but make sure you don’t talk badly about his parents to him…remember that they are his parents, and he is caught in the middle. You’ll be amazed how much relief you’ll feel when you’ve explained how you feel, and he’s reassured you!
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Remember that if you have made an effort to get along with his parents and it hasn’t worked, there isn’t anything you can do. Your boyfriend will see that you have tried, and hopefully will talk to his parents, but no one can force them to accept you. If they don’t, it’s their loss. Reach a compromise on how to proceed…usually his parents will back down when they realize that the relationship is serious, but until then, avoid confrontation. Have him meet his parents at theirs’ on the way back from work (so it isn’t obvious that you aren’t going for a reason) and wait for them to realize that if you mean that much to their son, they should try to accept you too.
Luckily, my boyfriend has lovely parents, but my shyness meant I really struggled when I first met them. Using these tips helped me too, and have helped friends whose partners have amazingly overprotective Mums...one even demanded her son keep the bedroom door open when they stayed over! And one of my best guy friends mum’s wont accept his fiancé, despite them being engaged for nearly three years. It’s baffling! Have you got a tip for dealing with overprotective parents?
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