I’ve always been tight with my family but lately I feel like I’m way closer to my boyfriend’s parents than my own and I feel incredibly guilty about it.
Relationships have always felt a bit taboo in my family. While my parents gave my siblings and me an upbringing full of love, they’ve always seemed uneasy about our romantic relationships. I remember talking to them in middle school about friends starting to date and they acted so awkwardly that it discouraged me from pursuing a boyfriend of my own for a long time. They were out of their element—they were high school sweethearts who have been together for more decades than most couples and haven’t really dated anyone other than each other. Meanwhile, my siblings and I barely dated during our teen years and didn’t progress much more during college. Still, my siblings and I are 28 years old, and one would think our parents would be more comfortable with these things by now.
My parents still haven’t met my boyfriend. My boyfriend and I have been together for almost two years now but the only member of my family he’s met so far is my sister. I really want my parents to meet him but it doesn’t feel like they’re very interested in doing so. I was recently on the phone with them and brought up the fact that my boyfriend and I would really like to come visit and they were just like, “Oh… OK.” They also then proposed putting us up in a hotel room because they are currently doing renovations to their house (which have been going on for years, by the way). What the hell?
In contrast, my boyfriend’s parents have treated me like family since the moment we met. I met my boyfriend’s parents several months into our relationship and they instantly made me feel at ease. It was actually really easy to talk with them and now I’m very happy whenever we see them. I even went with my boyfriend’s family on a cruise last year and felt surprisingly at home with all of them.
It’s not like either of our parents live very close. My boyfriend and I currently live in Colorado, though his parents live in North Carolina while mine are back home in New Jersey. This is obviously an inconvenience when it comes to us spending time together, but my boyfriend’s parents have still come out here to visit multiple times. I know that my parents are very busy and flights between here and New Jersey are also a lot more expensive (usually) than those between here and North Carolina. Nevertheless, I think we’re reaching a point here where it’s time to stop making excuses.
It’s not entirely their fault—it’s mine too. In addition to them being kind of weird about relationships. I admit that I’ve always been somewhat of a private person. I’ve never been very open about anyone I’ve dated, so I don’t think my parents realize just how important my boyfriend is to me. At least, I definitely know they have no idea that we’ve been talking about marriage. Can I blame them for this? No, because it’s not like I openly share these things.
I think my last relationship damaged my parents’ view of my love life. The only boyfriend of mine whom my parents have met was actually the guy I broke up with right before I got into my current relationship. They only met him once, and it was perhaps because things started off so well in the beginning that I actually talked to them excitedly about him once on the phone. But false starts are very real, and because I’m not very open about my love life, my parents don’t know that things got increasingly bad with my ex after they met him (and they still don’t know that the guy cheated on me). So now I’m guessing that they think my relationships just tend to abruptly end and therefore there’s not much of a point in meeting the guys that I date.
I love my boyfriend’s parents but they’re not my parents. Don’t get me wrong, it’s awesome that I get along so well with my boyfriend’s mom and dad. I mean, I know way too many people who don’t get along well at all with their significant other’s parents. But even though I’ve been getting closer with them, they’re still not my own parents. Those positions are already filled regardless of how close we are at any given moment.
I feel like my parents don’t know me that well anymore in general. I love my parents—always have, always will—but I’d be lying if I said that they feel fully in tune with my life. It’s sad, but I feel like the more I progress throughout my adult life, the less they know about me. I’m not quite sure where to go from here but I really want us to fix this before it becomes an even bigger problem. I hope we can.
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