Ask Riley: Parent problems with a significant other


Hannah Hadidi

Parents just don't understand.

Riley Brands

Editor’s note: This is an advice column written by in-house know-it-all Riley Brands. All answers are based on personal experience. Brands is not a licensed professional. Questions for Brands can be sent to [email protected]

Dearest Riley,
What should I do if my boyfriend’s family dislikes me? I really love him. I don’t know what to do.
Feeling Neglected

Dear Feeling Neglected,
Do they have a good reason for disliking you? If they do, go about making reparations and try to improve your image in their eyes. The change won’t come overnight, but an apology and a visible effort to set things right can go a long way.

If, on the other hand, they’ve taken an irrational dislike to you, try to ignore them as much as you can. In a perfect world, they would accept you with open arms and family get-togethers would be copacetic gatherings of joy and mirth. Unfortunately, things haven’t turned out that way, but you don’t have to let it ruin your relationship. Getting along with the ‘rents would probably ease some tension between you and your sweetie, but it’s not the be-all and end-all of domestic bliss. As long as the two of you openly acknowledge the friction rather than tiptoeing around it and letting it fester into a constant sore spot, it shouldn’t be a relationship killer. Granted, family reunions will still be awkward affairs full of shifty glances and long silences, but remember, you don’t have to live with them; you only have to be pleasant toward them a few times a year.