There’s yet again another reality TV show that is focused on love and relationships called, Bride and Prejudice. I had watched three seasons of Married at First Sight and there were a lot of eye-rolling moments because there were a ton of clichés.
But when I started watching Bride and Prejudice, I found myself being able to relate to the engaged couples who were going through struggles dealing with opposition from their family.
Having been in an interracial relationship for almost two years, I can understand and feel the struggles that these couples are facing, but more so with Briana and Adam who are dealing with opposition from their family because she’s black and he’s white.
That being said, although I haven’t had extreme opposition or struggles for my own relationship from my family, it was there in the beginning no doubt.
If you and your S.O. are dealing with family opposition from either side, here are some measures and steps you can take to stay strong and get your family to like them.
1. Give your family a run-down of your S.O.
First impressions are important but they are not the be all end all if it doesn’t go well. It’s crucial to give them the basics of your S.O. It can be about where they’re from, what they’re pursuing, and their background.
The day I told my family about the relationship I had with my boyfriend, I showed them a family picture that his mom had sent to me a couple weeks back and then told them that he was pursuing a Masters in aerospace engineering, and that he was from a big family, like us.
Their initial reaction was a lot more positive than I had expected, but I had a lot of questions to answer because my parents and relatives wanted to know more about him.
I suggest that you don’t shove your S.O.’s personality traits to their face all at once right away, because it’ll be overwhelming and they won’t believe it until they see them in person.
2. Speak well of your S.O.
You should always be honoring your S.O. through words of affirmation. But when you’re dealing with family opposition, it’s important. They don’t know your S.O. as well as you do and all they see initially is their appearance and the fact that they’re different from them.
Whenever I got a care package from my boyfriend or when he did something loving and nice for me, I told my parents. Anything positive that he did, I affirmed it by sharing it with others, and that gave them the impression that at the very least, he’s a nice guy.
If all you’re talking about are the fights you’ve had with your S.O., you’re painting a picture for them on who they are as a person. They’re only hearing from your side, and granted that they care about you, they may think that they’re not a good person for you.
3. Set up a time and day for a meet and greet.
A meet and greet dinner or lunch is vital if your family is not fond of your S.O. It’s a great environment to focus on conversation. Try not to do this at a party where there will be a lot of things that can disrupt or keep a conversation from happening.
My parents and two aunts took my boyfriend and I out for dinner the first time they met him in person, and it was awkward for me because I rarely talked, but it went fairly well for my boyfriend. We ate, talked and weren’t distracted by our surroundings.
Your family has every right to oppose your S.O. but I don’t believe that it’s fair for them to do so without taking the time to get to know them first. What you have to do is to initiate and give them the opportunity to do just that.
4. Respect the process.
It’s gonna take time, and that’s okay. Every person has their own set of beliefs and morals and they’re not gonna like them overnight, no matter how much information you give about him to them. Do not force or rush the process, because that will do more harm than good.
My parents were open to getting to know my boyfriend, so after the initial meet and greet dinner, I’d try to do something with my boyfriend and my parents, so that they could get to know each other in a casual setting. It took them some time to accept and take favor in him.
You need to be mature and not force your S.O. onto them. It’s like when the creators of a TV show try too hard to get the viewers to like a character. It just makes you dislike them because of the pressure. It’s the same for relationships, so give them time and space.
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