4 Signs Your Parents Don't Trust Your Partner, Because Family Can Be Tricky
It can be super important to keep the peace between the people that raised you and the people you're dating. And if you're starting to think that you're seeing some signs your parents don't trust your partner, it's natural to feel a little unsettled. Whether you've been dating your partner for a while or if your relationship is still new — your parents' support can mean a lot, and if they don't really trust you boo, it can be confusing to know what to do. "While it isn’t necessary to have your parents trust your partner, it would certainly be helpful," Dr. Gary Brown, a prominent couples therapist in Los Angeles, tells Elite Daily. "If they have a good track record of judging good character, they may know you better than other people in your life." Building trust can take a long time, and if your parents are super protective or if they have their own idea of who or how you should be dating, it's completely common that they may take a while to warm up to your partner.
If your folks have been suspicious of people in the past, they may feel enabled to share their sixth parent sense, especially if they've been, gulp, right, about someone you were seeing. "There are any number of reasons why your parents wouldn’t trust your partner," Dr. Brown says. "They don’t treat you well. Their humor tends to inflict pain on you. They constantly lie to you and then deny it. They have broken up with you more than once. They have not been faithful. Any and all of these would be very understandable reasons why your parents might not trust your partner." If your partner is really sarcastic or if they always flirt a little with the waitstaff — your parents may interpret their actions as a little shady. Your parents probably want you to have the best and most supportive relationships, and if they think your partner could be a *little* more respectful, it may be hard for trust to develop right off the bat.
According to Dr. Brown, if you're thinking your parents don't really trust your partner, there are four things to look out for. "Your parents clearly don’t want to be around your partner. They tell you why they don’t want to be around your partner. They avoid social gatherings if your partner is going to be there. They invite you but not your partner," Dr. Brown says. If your parents seem to be dodging your boo, or don't seem to be inviting your parter to family events — it could be there an underlying trust issue between everyone. If your parents have literally described why they don't like to be around your partner, you may have some more insight into what they are thinking or feeling and why they feel the way they feel. However, if your parents are less direct communicators, they may resort to intentionally leaving your partner out of things or trying to avoid your partner in social situations.
Of course, if you're noticing your parents don't trust your partner, you don't need to panic. Trust can take a while to build, and can totally grow overtime. People change. And if your boo has recently really gotten their life together or recently made some major attitude adjustments, it's natural for your parents to need a second to see the new and improved person you're dating. According to Dr. Brown, the most important thing to do when your parents don't seem to trust your partner is to honestly reflect on where you think the lack of trust is coming from. "First things first. You have to do an honest assessment as to why your parents don’t trust your partner," Dr. Brown says. Do they have valid reasons or are they hyper-critical to the point where they never like anybody that you choose? If they tend to be critical of everyone, then it may also be difficult because you may not know what is motivating and informing their distrust of your partner." If your parents have impossible standards, anyone you date may get the cold shoulder. If they have some real tea on your boo, it could be worthwhile to look into that more.
If your parents not trusting your partner is becoming a big deal and impeding on your ability to live your life, it may be time to talk to your folks about what's going on. "Sit down with your parents — without your partner — and have a frank and open discussion about all of this. Try to find out what they are thinking, what their concerns are, and if their views of your partner are flexible or in concrete," Dr. Brown says. "You really have to be rigorously honest with yourself." Your parents may totally get you and may have a valuable read on your relationship, that could potentially save you from some major heart break in the end. Of course, your parents could also be a little off base and not really clear on who your partner is and how your relationship works. The best way to tackle misconceptions and get everyone on the same page is to talk honestly about what everyone is feeling and what they need moving forward. If your partner is amazing, it may just take a second for your parents to see what you see.
If your parents don't trust your partner, you don't need to feel overwhelmed. Try talking to them (maybe without your boo around) about where they're coming from and what they need from this situation to give you their full support. Sit with yourself and be honest about how you're feeling and what you need. When it comes down to it, you get to choose who and how you date, and that is something you can always trust.