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While you may want your family to think as highly of your partner as you do, this isn’t always the reality. In fact, your family may intensely dislike and distrust her, and even though you may see her as a drop of sunshine, they may view her as a dark cloud hanging over you.

At the same time, your family may be completely enamored with your partner, and their positive feelings toward her can be powerful enough to influence your behavior going forward. In particular, their reaction can further strengthen your affection for her and perhaps even help you to see her as someone who’s truly marriage material.

On the other hand (so to speak), when your family’s not mirroring back the admiration that you feel towards your partner, you can end up second-guessing yourself. And rather than popping the question, you may feel that you should put a stop to your relationship instead.

In a word, when it comes to your family’s opinion about your girlfriend, their thoughts and beliefs about her do matter — to an extent. After all, you’re the one in the relationship with her and not your family. However, if there’s a disconnect between how you feel about your partner versus their sentiments, it’s important to have a real conversation with them about why this is the case.

Specifically, you need to ask them exactly what’s causing their discontentment and/or disapproval of her. Do they find her controlling, possessive, or just plain rude? Or is it that she seems cold and closed-off when you’re all together? Once you openly and honestly discuss what’s at the root of their displeasure with her, you and your family can make an informed decision together about how to proceed from that point. For instance, perhaps you’ll try to be more cognizant of the behaviors that your family finds unsettling, while at the same time, your family will make a concerted effort on their part to break down the wall and initiate conversations with your girlfriend to try to get to know her better.

But in the end, it’s important to remember that the decision to be with your partner has to come from you and you alone. And while you should definitely take into account your family’s opinion of your partner, both the good and the bad, it’s you who gets to ultimately decide whether it’s worth being with this person. Besides, there’s always the possibility that your family adores your partner, but it’s you who’s not convinced that she’s the one for you. It’s for this very reason that although you should respect and take into account your family’s point of view, it’s your opinion of your significant other that’s the most significant of all.

About the Author

Stacey Laura Lloyd is an award-winning dating, relationships, and wellness writer and is the Dating Expert for About.com. Her work has been praised in Library Journal and Publishers Weekly and has also been featured on The Doctors. She’s a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and is the author of two books, including Is Your Job Making You Fat? How to Lose the Office 15…and More!

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