7 Signs Your Partner’s Family Doesn’t Like You, According To Experts

Ad failed to load

Is there anything worse than when your partner's family doesn't like you? I mean, Romeo and Juliet feel you hardcore on this one. It's rough.

Even if you're normally super confident when meeting new people, it can be scary to meet your partner's family for the first time. It's already a high-pressure situation — like, OK, chill, the fate of your relationship and possibly your future hangs in the balance of this one dinner — and as anyone who's ever hyperventilated while taking the SATs can attest to (hey), it's tough to stay calm when you're feeling stressed.

If you're worried that Mrs. Smith didn't approve of your carefully-chosen "meeting the parents" outfit, or that Mr. Jones didn't actually find your joke about football to be all that funny, don't panic. Honestly, if you're stressing over something small, chances are good that your partner's family didn't even notice or care about it.

Ad failed to load

But if you got a legit pit in your stomach all through dinner that something was... off... then it's time to confront the possibility that you and your potential future in-laws might not be getting along. Here are some red flags, according to two experts who have seen it all.

They Don't Seem That Interested In You

Ad failed to load

This is a big one. "When they're not trying to get to know you, that's typically a signal that they don't want you there for some reason," Richardson says.

Unfortunately, this can take a couple of forms, including not asking you any questions, always directing questions to your partner, or cutting you off from the conversation by tossing around inside jokes or topics you can't contribute to (like if the entire dinner is spent recounting memories of Great-Aunt Judy's 90th birthday... which you conveniently weren't invited to).

As the newcomer to the group, you shouldn't be relegated to the sidelines — ideally, you'd be in the spotlight. "If you meet someone for the first time, there’s really no reason why you shouldn’t be curious about them," says Anita Chlipala, founder of Chicago-based relationship therapy firm Relationship Reality 312. That is, no reason unless... you already made up your mind that you're not interested in them.

Ad failed to load

There's No Eye Contact

If a family member doesn't warm up to you right away, don't freak out. Some people are just naturally a little standoffish, and that's OK.

Ad failed to load

Instead, look out for eye contact, says licensed marriage and family therapist Nicole Richardson. Different families express warmth differently, but eye contact is always a polite way to make people feel welcome.

They Ask Aggressive Questions

Ad failed to load

On the flip side, if they hammer you with tons of intense or negative questions, that could signal trouble, too. If they ask how you chose to major in English and eagerly asked what you're currently reading, that's fine. But if they frame the question as, "You really want to waste all that money on a liberal arts degree?" Well, that's a little different.

"If they're asking challenging questions that make it sound like they don't approve of you or the choices you made, that's not great," Richardson says.

Your Partner Is Avoiding Leaving You Alone With Them

Ad failed to load

At first, it might seem sweet when your partner is stuck by your side all night. How protective, right? But ultimately, they should trust you to hang with their family without a chaperone. "If your partner is being kind of clingy, not encouraging you to go up to people, and trying to keep you with them," that could be a reg flag, Richardson says. "Your partner knows their family and their subtleties better than you do. If the mom is giving you a little side-eye, your partner's likely going to pick up on it before you do."

They Don't Invite You Along

Ad failed to load

If your partner's sisters all get brunch together the day after Thanksgiving and don't bother to invite you — even though you're staying in their house — that could be a sign they're getting together to talk about you, Richardson and Chlipala agree.

They Don't Try To Meet Your Family

Ad failed to load

If you've been together for a significant amount of time and both families live near each other, it's a natural progression in the relationship for the families to meet. The first time they meet each other shouldn't be at the wedding ceremony. "There should be some kind of attempt that they’re getting to know your family," Chlipala says.

If there isn't, that might be a sign that your partner's family doesn't see you sticking around for long.

Your Gut Tells You Something Is Wrong

Ad failed to load

Let's be honest — you wouldn't be here reading this if you weren't worried that something was wrong.

"I tell my clients to trust their gut but balance it out with some logic," Chlipala advises. But she stresses the importance of staying objective. "Is there actual evidence? What gives you this sense? Try to really analyze it in the moment. What gives you this feeing? Sometimes, we could be taking it personally or our own anxiety can get the best of us. But sometimes, our gut can really tell us if something is off."

If you're not sure where you stand with your partner's family, it's always worth checking in with your partner to see how they thought the meeting went. Hopefully, they'll be honest with you — and they'll probably be able to reassure you that everything is fine.

Ad failed to load

Check out the entire Gen Why series and other videos on Facebook and the Bustle app across Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV.

Check out the “Best of Elite Daily” stream in the Bustle App for more stories just like this!

Ad failed to load

Must Reads

3 Important Red Flags To Watch Out For When You're Dating Someone Older Than You

My first serious relationship was with someone almost ten years my senior. We got together during my first semester of college (after meeting through mutual friends) and I'd be lying if I said our breakup didn't have anything to do with our significa…
By Sydnee Lyons

These "Millennial Cruises" Will Make Your Next Friend Group Vacation So Lit

If you're a millennial right now, consider yourself lucky. If you're a millennial with the travel bug, consider yourself luckier. I know, you might be thinking, "But... money!" Trust me, I get it. Plane tickets and hotels can get expensive as you cou…
By Amanda Fama

5 Trends From The '90s Are Making A Serious Comeback, So Somebody Page Cher Horowitz

I was born in the '90s and my childhood was one Caboodles train case packed with scrunchies and butterfly clips after another. If you could believe it, early '90s fashion is already considered vintage (I officially feel old AF) and according to sprin…
By Stephanie Montes

5 Social Things You Can Do To Feel Less Lonely If You’re Single

Being single and being lonely don’t have to go hand-in-hand. Just because you don’t have a significant other, doesn’t mean you aren’t surrounded by wonderful people who love and care about you. But once in a while (especially if you’ve been single fo…
By Veronica Lopez

6 Subtle Red Flags That Could Mean You’re Sleeping Way Too Much

Have you ever woken up after an unusually long night of sleep and felt, well, kind of awful? Whether you roll out of bed feeling super dehydrated, nursing a throbbing a headache, or you simply feel stiff as a board, there are reasons why your body mi…
By Annakeara Stinson

These 6 Workouts Can Be Done Right On Your Couch, & Yes, They Do Count As Exercise

Ever have that feeling when you're watching the Olympics like you should be working out, or at least stretching, but in reality you're just laying around eating chips? Yeah, me neither. But if you do ever feel that pull to work out when you're just l…
By Annakeara Stinson

10 Things You Should Say To Your Partner Every Day To Keep The Love Alive

When it coms to love, falling into it is a lot easier than maintaining it. There’s a reason, after all, that it's called "falling" in love, because it's mostly out of your control — the heart just takes over. Because those emotions come so easily and…
By Rachel Shatto

Science Says These 8 Foods Can Help You Live Longer, So Eat Up

If you're looking to live forever, or at least for an appropriately long amount of time, then the best way to get started on your journey toward immortality is to think about what you're putting into your body for fuel. Think of your diet as the batt…
By Caroline Burke

I Live In London & When Guys Find Out I'm American, They Only See Me As A Fling

I first entered the world of dating apps during a semester abroad in London, and I had zero idea what I was getting myself into. I was 21, had only ever dated boys I'd met through work, school, or mutual friends, and my appreciation for romantic come…
By Genevieve Wheeler

Here's Exactly How You'll Fall In Love, Based On Your Astrological Sign

One of my favorite things about learning about my zodiac sign and others' is learning patterns about my behavior that I can acknowledge and use to my advantage. As a Scorpio sun sign, I know I'm typically described as mysterious, drawn to loyal peopl…
By Elana Rubin

These 8 Red Flags Might Mean You're Pushing Yourself Too Hard In Your Workouts

If you live by the motto "no pain, no gain," or you frequently exclaim that your HIIT circuits "hurt so good," you're probably the type of person who challenges yourself to the max during your workouts. And while this isn't necessarily a bad thing, i…
By Georgina Berbari

These "Awkward" Proposal Stories Show There's No One Perfect Way To Get Engaged

There are a few adjectives people use to describe proposal stories that tend to be a bit more common than the rest. You know what I mean. How many times have you heard someone describe their marriage proposal as "magical" or "romantic" or — my person…
By Candice Jalili

This $20 Toy Simulates Pimple Popping, So You Can Save Your Face (But Still Lose Your Dignity)

As a self-proclaimed popaholic, I am not ashamed to admit that I love watching pimple popping and blackhead extraction videos. Call me gross, but I find it immensely therapeutic and satisfying. To all of my fellow weirdos, we’ve been blessed with a n…
By Ariana Marsh

Meghan Markle Uses This $13 Natural Wonder To Grow Her Eyebrows Back & You Can Too

Meghan Markle is the world's new go-to celebrity for all things fashion and beauty — she's marrying a prince after all, so she must have some tricks up her sleeve. Meghan Markle's beauty routine is just as intricate as mine, because that's how real s…
By Alison Turka

7 Foolproof Things To Do Every Day If You're Tired Of Being Lazy AF

Being lazy can be oh-so-lovely. Until you start letting life pass you by, and not living to your full potential, then suddenly, it's not so good anymore. Don't get me wrong, I love my weekends when I can stay snuggled up in bed just a bit longer. Hit…
By Marisa Casciano

This Is How Long Most People Wait To Say "I Love You," Science Says

If I had to choose one word to describe saying "I love you" to your partner for the first time, I'd have to go with... hmm, exciting? Nope. Thrilling? Hardly. Terrifying? YES. Exactly. Saying "I love you" for the first time is terrifying. What makes …
By Candice Jalili

6 Reasons To Travel Abroad With Your Boyfriend Or Girlfriend In Your 20s

Traveling can be many things: hectic, expensive, and definitely stressful. But with the right people or person beside you, all those troubles kind of just melt away. That's why there are some solid reasons to travel abroad with your boyfriend or girl…
By Alani Vargas