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Afraid to introduce your significant other to your parents?

parents in law, couple
© Adam Gregor I Shutterstock
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Being nervous about introducing your boyfriend or girlfriend to your family is not unusual. Here are some questions to help!

“I’ve had a steady relationship with my partner for over two years now, but I haven’t had the nerve to tell my parents. I finally decided I should tell them, but I can’t stop putting it off. I’m afraid of how they’ll react. I’m not proud of acting like a little girl who doesn’t want to disappoint her parents, but I’m 27, and I need to own my decision. How can I get the nerve to bring it up?” confesses Bernadette, who really wants to take the next step but at the same time is very apprehensive. 

If you are in a situation similar to Bernadette’s, what are you afraid of? That your parents will judge you, or not like the partner you’ve chosen? That they’ll be disappointed, worried about your future with someone they consider “not good enough” for you, or not what they imagined? Maybe they’ll think you might not be totally happy. You can be sure that your parents will react, no doubt, according to their values. 

Learn to own your choice and assert your decision

You say you don’t want to sadden your parents and that is admirable. But this is your life. And what parents can be saddened when they see their child is happy? Even if they are surprised by something they weren’t expecting and their initial reaction is less than enthusiastic, without a doubt they will soon listen to their heart. Your parents could be disappointed in you for not trusting their unconditional love!

As for your life — you as an individual, and as a couple — does it conform to your Christian values? Even before sharing your decision, it would definitely be worth thinking about, with the help of a third person, the reasons that have brought you to where you are. What is it that attracts me to this man or woman? Do we have mutual respect for each other? Do I feel free and loved just as I am? Have we thought about a lasting future, commitment, children, or are we still in the discovering phase?

For a Christian, life as a couple is based on the liberty to choose, on commitment, fidelity and the desire to have children. How do you see yourself in terms of these demands? Having the answers to these questions will allow you to calmly be able to share your decision. Don’t be afraid!

Marie-Noël Florant

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