A new relationship only lasts so long before you must join the greater world as a couple. Once you take your relationship public, you are open to the many varied opinions of your friends and family. We all hope that our friends and family will be excited for us as we start the journey to couplehood, but that isn’t always the case.
Whether it’s a concerned mother, a jealous sibling or a well-intentioned grandparent, there is almost certainly to be someone in your life that may be less than thrilled with your pick of partner and won’t be afraid to let you know. However, even the strongest of relationships can buckle under too much scrutiny from meddling family members.
Before you assume that your family members are trying to meddle in your personal relationship, take a moment to listen to their concerns. Think carefully and examine your relationship to see if they have a valid concern or if they really do just need to mind their own business.
Tip #1: Keep Your Private Life Private—Be careful how you present your special someone to family members who are determined to bring them down. Don’t air every petty grievance or give them the slightest bit of ammunition to use against your partner. When you find yourself needing to vent about your relationship, do it to a trusted confidante who is supportive of you and your relationship. Don’t forget to be careful about sharing your relationship on social media outlets.
Tip #2 Take a Stand—Honor yourself, your partner and your relationship when you take a stand and tell meddling family members that your relationship comes first. If meddling family members won’t invite your partner to a family event, then you stand by your partner and stay home with them. Make sure that your actions show your family members, and your partner, where your commitment lies.
Tip #3: Fortify Your Fences—Strong and secure buildings are always surrounded by boundaries that make it clear where the private property begins and public space ends. Learn from the great buildings in history and take the time to protect your relationship with strong boundaries. If your meddling family members don’t like to respect your boundaries, it is your job to set them straight and keep them out of your private relationship.
Tip #4: Let Your Partner Shine—If your friends and family are just on the fence about your relationship, invite them to activities that will let them get to know your partner and see how the two of you interact as a couple. Whether you decide to host a dinner together or meet your family in a more neutral environment, giving them the chance to see you and your special someone together may go a long way in them accepting your relationship.
Whether you are dealing with intruding in-laws or have to hold your parents at bay, there is no reason that you can’t find the balance between loving your family and supporting your partner. It may take work and it may not come easy, but you have the right and responsibility to make your relationship work.