When you get into a new relationship it feels important for your family to get along with your new partner. For me, it means a lot when my mum likes a girl that I’m seeing. It’s nice to feel that she’s proud of my choices and sees the qualities I see in another person. But what about when she doesn’t like her? Awkward.
It was hard not to get annoyed with my mum recently when she confessed that she didn’t approve of my choice. She told me the girl seemed lovely, but didn’t feel she was right for me. It felt like working really hard on a school project only to be told that you could do better. Of course, having a girlfriend is not like doing a project. But there is a similar sense of pride that comes from finding a beautiful girl that you really like – and bringing her home to your mum. It’s hard when someone you value doesn’t see things like you do. So what is the answer?
I realised that the important thing during this time was communication. Whilst I didn’t like that my mum didn’t like my girlfriend, it was better that she said it early on rather than keeping it to herself. Instead of getting angry and dismissing her feelings, I let my mum talk about her concerns. This meant I had a chance to explain things to her, or give her information that would help her see my girlfriend in a different light. It may seem crazy, but even mums are only human. My mum has her own set of personal experiences that influence how she reacts to things. I showed respect for this by listening to what she had to say.
How did we move forward? By keeping communication open, my mum and I were able to come to an agreement. At the end of the day, it was my choice who I dated. But good communication meant I had space to figure it out without it being awkward.