She’s Not Dating My Baby! What To Do If Your Guy’s Family Doesn’t Like You

July 8, 2013  |  
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You tell yourself you can ignore it—that you can bite your tongue through their monthly visits, or maybe weekly dinners—but it always affects your relationship if your boyfriend’s family doesn’t like you. Most relationships can’t survive that dynamic, so how do you overcome it?

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Did you do something wrong?

Usually people don’t dislike someone for no reason. Dig into your memory, think of every interaction you’ve had with the family, and ask yourself if there was anything you did wrong. Perhaps it was something you didn’t even realize, or that was misinterpreted. If it can all be boiled down to one incident, rather than overall character differences, it’s an easy enough fix.

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Remember, they’re people too

Before you write off his family as jerks, stubborn, insensitive, small-minded or what have you, keep in mind they’re just people: they have pasts, insecurities, fears, problems. Odds are, their problem with you isn’t even about you—it’s about their own issues. And when you realize it’s not personal, you can discuss the problem without anger.

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Ask your guy!

He’s a great source right at your fingertips! There’s a good chance his family has voiced their problem with you to him, and he just hasn’t felt comfortable telling you. But if he knows you’re open to hearing it, you might get your answer quickly.

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Show up more

Some families are very family oriented, and may think it’s rude that you’re not more involved with them. To some families, you should be stopping by every week for a surprise visit, you should be calling a couple times a week, you should be at every family event as if you’re a part of it. If you’ve been acting like a casual guest who can just come and go from the family as she pleases, they may think you don’t like them.

Image: Brand X Pictures

Show up less

On the other hand, some families are very private. They need a certain amount of time to be just amongst themselves to feel that they have real family time. Maybe you’re around too much. This, again, is something you can ask your partner about.

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Never underestimate the power of a gift

No matter your differences, the gesture of giving a gift can never be misread. Giving gifts shows you clearly care. So put aside a little budget for occasional gifts for the family.

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Never, ever take a side

During family arguments, sit back silently. Perhaps leave the room. Do not put in your two cents. You’ll hear crickets: most families won’t think it’s your place to chime in on their issues.

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Help even when it’s inconvenient

If you really want to show that you’re invested in this family, help even when it’s inconvenient. Don’t only help his mom cut the vegetables for dinner: call her earlier that week and ask if you can do the grocery shopping for her. Pick up the daughter from school when nobody else can.

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Don’t try too hard

They won’t feel at home in their own house if you so clearly don’t. Relax around them. Don’t feel the need to have engaging conversations all the time. They probably like to just veg out at home, but they can’t if they have an anxious guest twiddling her thumbs on their couch.

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Befriend an extended family member

They’ll give you the 411, and odds are they will feel sympathy for you if the closer family doesn’t like you. An uncle, a cousin, a godmother—they understand the immediate family, but feel distant enough to analyze them correctly, and help you understand them.

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Identify their love language

His family has their own love language—those aren’t only for romantic relationships. How does his family show love? By giving gifts? Through words of affirmation? By spending time with you? Through affection? If you can identify their love language, you can be sure to really show your appreciation for it when it happens. There’s a good chance they feel their efforts to welcome you have gone unnoticed.

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Don’t be confrontational

This isn’t your family. You don’t just get to walk up to your guy’s mom and say, “Hey, you’ve been rude to me all week. What’s up?” Sit her down. Make her some tea. Find polite, delicate ways to say you feel there is tension.

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Ask them directly

But don’t beat around the bush. Not to say that the family is bullying you but in a sense, they are. And bullies respond to directness. Typically when someone is being rude or passive aggressive, they feel embarrassed if you point it out. And they should be, because then they’ll stop. If you never speak up, they believe they can push you around.

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Remind them you love their son

And finally, (but perhaps primarily) remind your guy’s family that you have one important thin in common: a love for their son. And that’s all that should matter. If they care about their son, they’ll find a way to make peace with you.

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  • Mallorie Estenson

    Helpful read for someone who’s distraught by a dysfunctional dynamic. Thanks!

  • Bob

    For a Black site they sure loved posting pictures of white or mixed people the majority of the time.

  • Danielle

    I have tried just about everything on this list before I knew about this list and just because I was raised to be polite and respectful. His family still acted like assholes to me for no apparent reason. His sister finally admitted to me via facebook that she never liked me after she had just seen me the day before and her brother and I got into an argument and broke up. She had nothing to say until I was two hours away… Since then he and I have been talking and trying to patch things up. He has some issues that he is seeking help for and I am standing by him. We still have a lot of love for each other that just will not die. He always told me that he did not care what his family thought about us and has vowed that he is willing to put me first and put his family behind. I would never ask someone to do that but he said he would. I wish I could see the look on his mom and sister face when he tells them we are back together :). We know we will probably not have support from either side but we are ok with that.

  • Sin-derella

    They’re both fat and ugly, they deserve each other. I wouldn’t want him anyway!

  • Gotta Be #1

    I dated a “baby-man”. He was 30 and his mom still did his laundry, she even had his name written in the back of the drawers. He was scared to wear colored ones or mommy would notice. She did everything for him, cutting food, making a whole new meal if he changed his mind, waking him up. It was plain to see she did not want him to be grown and move on. I got rid of him because of his mommy attachment. His mom had a husband and 3 grown sons at home. The funny thing is I have not seen this fool in over 15 years and when I check my AOL email he is trying to find me through a people finder site. It actually mentioned him by name and he has been at this for a couple of years. I guess his mom must have passed and he wants to be grown. I would not contact this guy for all the money in the world.

  • Love_Bug

    This is one of the most difficulty topics for me. I pretty much gave up on the idea of marriage and that family bond I that i’ve we always wanted because of this family issue. I’ve put up with the cattiness and held my tongue for the longest time because I loved him but couldn’t allow myself to be mistreated and judged after I had my first baby. I’m a grown woman and admit to my mistakes and flaws but I refuse to encourage the bullying from his side if the family when my own family do not even treat me this way. Yes I was raised in a big family that had very little of anything but I was taught to treat people with respect and to not judge people by what they have/or don’t have or how they look. Hurts to know things will never work out between us. It affects more and more every day.

  • Theresa

    My husband’s aunt can’t stand me. As long as she doesn’t say anything to me, we’re good. If she ever approached me to start some ish, it would be all bad for her because I would go glazed ham with pinapples and 4 toothpicks on that beyotch.

  • gwen

    ask info from melaniefiona that,s why adam rodriquez wouldn,t claim her,his parnets didn,t approve.

  • Be yourself. If they don’t like you as you truly are its either because you are stank or they are. In any case its better to know what’s up out the gate than a marriage and a couple of kids later.

  • Tiffany Shaw

    Been there done that.. And it was some mess. Let’s be clear you are dating one person not an entire family. Don’t do people unhealthy attachments to their family. Cut the strings already. Clearly you should never disrespect anyone’s family but you don’t have to kiss butt either just to be accepted. If you are good with the person you’re dating that’s all that matters. You don’t need anyone else’s approval in a relationship

    • Child_Puhleez

      YASSSS. Been there, done that, too.

      First time your hubby gets mad @ you & says things like, “See, my mom SAID….,” cut him off & tell dude his momma’s is EXACTLY where he needs to be. smh

      So glad you addressed standing up for yourself if your spouse won’t do it for you.

  • kierah

    Stay in your lane. Don’t try too hard! If your good intentions, get rebuffed you’ll only get your feelings hurt. If you’re being fake, you’ll get called out on that too. Let your man take the lead in establishing your relationship with his family.
    Don’t just throw away a relationship because of family issues. My friend met her DH in college and his parents couldn’t stand her. During sr year, he broke it down to his parents. He said thay he loved this woman and where she wasn’t welcomed, he wasn’t welcomed either. So the love fest didn’t start right away, but at least his parents became friendlier toward her. My friend married her DH right after graduation and have been married for the past 13 years. She gets along with her in-laws very well now.

  • Alexis Morris

    I dont get along with my bf mom and brother and it’s not a deal breaker for us. His mom tried to make an ultimatum and he chose me. They talk sometimes but my bf was never close to his family anyway so I’m not worried he’ll resent me

    • dddooonnnttt

      Exactly, some men know well enough that their mom isn’t their wife/girlfriend.

  • Miss D

    I’d be outta there quick! Not going to deal with constant tension and conflict for the rest of my life.

  • NSimonefan

    Tell the boyfriend and his family to kick rocks. Life is too short for that. It’s not fair that his family treats you like crap while your family treats him with respect. Things are only going to get worse, not better, if you get married to this person. Have faith that you will meet a good man who has a family that will like you.

    • olivia

      That sums it all up. If your b’f’s fam can’t show respect move on cause its never gonna work anyway.

    • WHOISBSQUARED?

      YOU AINT NEVA LIED……