When Your Parents Loving Your New Boo Doesn’t Turn Out To Be a Good Thing

There are two types of guys that I can bring home to my parents: the guys that they hate, and the guys that they love.

There’s really no in between in my family. Either my dad gives him the Robert De Niro “I’m watching you” look every time my bf picks me up, or embraces him like the son he never had and is essentially planning the wedding already.

For obvious reasons, you always want your current boo to fall in the latter category. It’s no fun having your whole family await the day that you two break up, or having to hide the fact that you’re dating someone because you know your parents won’t approve. I’ve dated guys that my parents hated, and I’ve dated guys that my parents loved; and to be honest, I almost preferred the dudes that they hated.

You may think that I’m saying this because I’m not close with my family, or I like to keep my love life private, or my family is trying to find me a husband ASAP, and none of that is true. In fact, I’ve been bringing idiots home to meet my parents since my first “serious” boyfriend in the ninth grade. His name was Matt, he had long shaggy hair that he had to whip out of his eyes every two seconds, and he loved to skateboard. Did my family want me to marry him? Probably not. Did I date worse guys after we broke up? Absolutely. Aside from my dad calling him a stoner and my sisters making fun of me for being so obsessed with him, the rest of my family mostly approved when I brought him over for Thanksgiving dinner that year, I can’t say the same about the next guy I had a serious relationship with in high school.

Regardless, the real problem arose my freshman year of college, when I decided it was a good idea to bring home a guy I had a “thing” with. We had been seeing each other for about six months, we acted like boyfriend/girlfriend, but because I was such a “chill” 19-year-old and didn’t want labels, we weren’t official.

My family fucking loved this guy. He came from a good family, he was great at talking to parents, and he was the captain of the tennis team at my university. The whole tennis thing was really the winning ticket since nearly all of my relatives are obsessed with tennis (besides me, of course).

The thing is, like nearly every two college students who refuse to define their relationship, our relationship quickly unraveled and became ugly in the next few months. We weren’t speaking by November. Naturally, my grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. would have had no idea that this happened. And even on Thanksgiving when I told them through choked back tears that we weren’t together anymore, they didn’t seem to get it. My one aunt even had the audacity to ask, “What did you do? We really liked him.” When I came home for Christmas, it was the same shit, asking if we were still friends, how he was doing, etc.

As if I wasn’t upset enough about our horrible break up, I now had to deal with the fact that my family was also heartbroken at the fact that they wouldn’t get to see my (now ex) boyfriend again. Each time I went home from school to see my family, I was faced with questions or memories surrounding my ex that I absolutely did not want to hear about. It was so bad that I told myself I would never bring a guy home again until we were engaged, and I wondered to myself if my family would ever love a guy as much as they adored the guy who broke my heart.

It’s been two years, and I’ve very much moved on from the heart-wrenching freshman year break up, but my family still mentions said dude from time to time. It doesn’t bother me quite as much anymore, but I’m not exactly looking forward to the comparisons I know will happen once I decide to introduce my current boyfriend to my relatives.

Your family may not be as chatty or gossip-y or willing to fall in love with a 21-year-old tennis enthusiast as mine; but that doesn’t mean that this couldn’t happen to you too. My advice? Don’t worry so much about what your parents think of your boyfriend. Some of the guys that my parents hated were amazing boyfriends, whereas the dude that they loved led me to drink too much, cheated on me, and ended up breaking my heart. Make your own romantic decisions, and don’t bring a guy home until he earns the privilege.

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