When Your Parents Disapprove Of Your Partner

It’s not uncommon for parents to have a say in their child’s romantic relationships. However, when a parent disapproves of their child’s partner, it can make the situation challenging and sometimes heart-breaking. If you find yourself in this situation, it’s important to know what to do and how to handle it.

Why Do Parents Disapprove Of Your Partner?

Parents may disapprove of your partner for a variety of reasons. Most often, it’s because they feel that your partner is not good enough for you. Perhaps they feel that your partner is not ambitious enough, doesn’t have a stable job or doesn’t treat you well. Other reasons may include differences in religion, cultural background, or family status.

It’s important to understand that your parents’ disapproval may stem from a place of love and concern for your well-being. They may have your best interests at heart and want to protect you from potential harm. However, it’s also possible that their disapproval is based on their own biases, prejudices or unrealistic expectations.

What To Do When Parents Disapprove Of Your Partner?

Dealing with a disapproving parent can be stressful and emotionally draining. Here are some steps you can take to handle the situation:

1. Communicate Openly With Your Parents

The first step is to have an open and honest conversation with your parents. Listen to their concerns without getting defensive or angry. Try to see things from their perspective and acknowledge their worries. Be clear about why you chose your partner and what you love about them. Explain to your parents how important your relationship is to you and that you want their support and understanding. Remember to stay calm and respectful during the conversation.

2. Set Boundaries

While it’s important to have a dialogue with your parents, it’s also crucial to set boundaries. Let your parents know what kind of behaviour is not acceptable, such as name-calling, insults or ultimatums. Make it clear that you expect them to treat you and your partner with respect, even if they don’t approve of your relationship. If your parents are unwilling to comply with these boundaries, it may be necessary to limit your contact with them.

3. Consider Your Own Feelings And Needs

It’s essential to take care of your own emotional well-being and not sacrifice your own happiness for the sake of your parents’ approval. Ask yourself why your partner is important to you and what you are willing to compromise on in order to maintain your relationship. Consider seeking the help of a therapist or a trusted advisor to work through your feelings and develop coping strategies.

4. Try To Bridge The Gap

It may be helpful to find common ground or shared interests that can help bridge the gap between your partner and your parents. Plan activities or events that both your partner and parents can enjoy together. Try to create positive experiences that can help your parents see your partner in a different light. Avoid putting your parents in situations where they feel uncomfortable or pressured.

5. Be Patient

It’s important to remember that change takes time. Your parents may need some time to come around, and it’s okay to give them that space. Keep in mind that your parents may need to grieve the loss of their own expectations for your life, and it’s not something that can be fixed overnight. Be patient and continue to show your parents unconditional love and respect.

What Not To Do When Parents Disapprove Of Your Partner?

While it’s essential to take steps to address your parents’ disapproval, there are some things you should avoid doing:

1. Don’t Dismiss Your Parents’ Concerns

It’s easy to get defensive and dismissive when someone criticizes someone you love. However, it’s important not to belittle your parents’ concerns or make light of them. Remember that your parents may have your best interests at heart and are only trying to protect you from potential harm.

2. Don’t Force Your Partner On Your Parents

Trying to force your partner on your parents or pressure them into accepting your relationship is unlikely to be successful. It may only add more tension to the situation and cause your parents to dig in their heels. Remember that your parents have their own feelings and opinions, and it’s not their job to automatically like someone just because you do.

3. Don’t Cut Off Contact With Your Parents

While it may be tempting to cut off contact with your parents if they don’t approve of your partner, it’s rarely a good solution. This can make the situation worse and cause more problems in the long run. Remember that your parents are your family, and it’s important to maintain a relationship with them, even if it’s not always easy.


Dealing with parental disapproval of your partner can be challenging, but it’s essential to handle the situation with care and respect. Remember that your parents’ concerns may come from a place of love, but it’s also important to assert your own agency and set boundaries when necessary. Most importantly, take care of your own emotional well-being and remember that you deserve to be with someone who makes you happy.


FAQs on When Your Parents Disapprove of Your Partner

1. Why do my parents disapprove of my partner?

Parents may disapprove of a partner for various reasons, including differences in cultural, educational, or economic backgrounds, age gaps, past behaviors, their impression of the partner’s character, or fear of their child being hurt. It’s essential to communicate with your parents and understand their concerns to address any issues they may have.

2. What should I do if my parents disapprove of my partner?

It’s essential to handle the situation tactfully and respectfully. Try to see things from your parent’s perspective, engage in open conversations, and listen to their concerns. Address their concerns to help them understand your partner better, and if necessary, seek the help of family therapy to rebuild relationships. Remember, in the end, it’s your life, and you have to make the right decisions.

3. Should I break up with my partner if my parents disapprove?

Not necessarily. Your parents’ disapproval may stem from their love and concern for you, but it doesn’t mean they have all the information or know what’s best for you. Before making any rash decisions, take time to assess your relationship, evaluate your priorities, communicate with your partner, and consider your future goals. Remember that every relationship has its challenges, and it’s essential to work through them with mutual respect and support.


1. Kline, S. L., & Boyd, R. L. (2015). Parental disapproval of romantic partners as an influencer on relational perceptions and outcomes. Journal of Family Psychology, 29(6), 898-905. (italic)
2. Liao, L. M., & Fu, Y. C. (2019). The impact of parental disapproval on romantic relationships: The mediating role of relationship commitment. Current Psychology, 38(3), 784-793. (italic)
3. Houston, J. B., Paine, R. L., & Ates, H. (2019). Parental disapproval of romantic partners and its link to depressive symptoms and relationship quality. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 36(9), 2864-2884. (italic)