My Parents Don’t Approve of the Person I’m Dating! What Do I Do?

Published: 17th July 2008
Views: N/A

Hi Evan!

I have a dating question. What do you do when your parents don't approve or feel that the person you love/dating is the right person for you? Do you respect their wishes and find someone who is welcome at home and around your family, or do you follow your heart and stay with the person you love even if your parents may not attend the wedding?

Sincerely,

Gili

Dear Gili,

Let me guess - you're Jewish.

Yeah, me, too.

And while I like to maintain a separation between church and date, I don't think your culture can be entirely ignored here.

I've explored this concept before, in relation to successful women, but I think it applies to Judaism as well. In short, good qualities come with bad qualities. They can't be separated.

So if your parents are super-caring and attentive, they're likely to be overprotective.

If they're intelligent, they're likely to be opinionated.

If they're the CHOSEN people, they're likely to look upon others as NOT chosen people.

Okay, so, maybe I'm making religion the unfair scapegoat for your parents' judgment of your boyfriend, without any real context. Maybe he's a drug dealer. Maybe he's a slacker. Maybe he's got a tattoo of a skull over his left eye. There are some genuine concerns that parents can have about who's dating their daughter. But in the absence of tangible "you're hurting yourself and risking life-long sorrow" reasons?

Parents just need to back the heck up.

Good parenting means giving your kids the tools to make good decisions, NOT making decisions for them.

EVERY SINGLE HAPPY PERSON I KNOW is happy because of independent choices - not predetermined plans foisted upon them by overbearing parents.

I'm going to briefly use myself as an example, since I never, ever do that.

When I declared in 1993 that I was cancelling my LSATs and becoming a comedy writer, my parents supported me.

When I decided that I wasn't going to pursue screenwriting anymore and that I was going to film school to be a professor, my parents supported me.

When I told them I was dropping out of film school to promote "I Can't Believe I'm Buying This Book" and E-Cyrano, my parents supported me.

That's what good parents do. I may have broken their hearts and drained their wallets and destroyed their dreams of having a professional son, but they knew that I was driven and competent and had to find my own way. Nothing could have sown the seeds of strife MORE than them putting their foot down and telling me where I was going to work and what I was going to do.

Am I concerned with what my parents think? Of course. If you love your parents, you probably want to make them happy. But once you put their happiness above your own, you're screwed.

Good parents recognized this. Bad parents don't. They think that because they brought you into this world and sacrificed tremendously for you that they have a right to tell you how to life your life as an adult.

Uh uh.

YOU are the architect of your own life.

YOU are the one who has to live daily with the consequences of her own decisions.

YOU are the one who is in her own mind when her head hits the pillow at the end of the night.

Whatever anybody else says is irrelevant. They don't have to live your life. You do.

Still, I'd be remiss if you thought I was suggesting that all parental wisdom is worthless. Sometimes, we are so blinded by love that we can unwillingly steer our lives into a ditch. But there's a big difference between Mom cautioning you not to settle down with the heroin-shooting rock star and her commanding you not to marry Patrick because he doesn't have a masters degree and his family goes to church instead of synagogue.

Only you know, Gili, what the circumstances are. But if your parents find it more important to be "right" than to be supportive, I feel confident that you're better off without them on your very special day.

Want better results in your love life? Click here to read my FREE eBook "7 Secrets for Dating Success" and receive news about all my new articles, products and seminars.


Report this article Ask About This Article


Loading...
More to Explore