Falling in love with someone is a beautiful experience that many people cherish and look forward to all of their lives. It’s a combination of two people’s lives together, making them into one. When you meet your significant other for the first time, it’s as though the entire world does not exist beyond the two of you. That “honeymoon stage,” you wish it would last forever. But, we all know, there are friends, family, responsibilities—an outside world—that factor into our lives, not just love.
We all know that when we start dating a new guy, we want their friends and family to love us. We try our best to present ourselves in a good light—winning them over the same way we won over our man. But, as we also know, we’re not going to be everyone’s “cup of tea.” In fact, there’s a solid chance that a friend, or a family member, may not love you immediately. So, how do you deal?
I was in a relationship with someone that I was absolutely head over heels for. It was my very first love. I was in my early 20s and I felt as though we could definitely have a future. We were together all throughout college, we celebrated huge milestones together, and we talked about eventually getting married and starting a family. My friends loved him, and his friends loved me. But, there was one major problem in our relationship—his mom didn’t.
Being in love with someone, whose own mother isn’t your biggest fan—it’s hard. We were both still young and living at home, so it made spending time together at his house rather awkward. If we were constantly at my house, his mother would complain. If I was there too often, she would complain about that, too. She didn’t think that I was “good enough for him,” because I worked two jobs and didn’t have parents who came from a “put together” home. My parents were divorced and my mother struggled with money, so I spent a lot of time picking up extra bills and helping out. This, of course, I felt was unnecessary to explain to his mother—who hardly had time to sit down and get to know me, anyway.
She saw me, she made up her mind, and she never changed it.
Throughout our relationship, it bothered me a lot. I always wondered why she didn’t like me. What did I do that I deserved such tension whenever we were in the same room? I am an educated, well put-together woman who is hardworking and kind. I am patient, I am understanding—I had a 4.0 when I graduated. I felt as though I was missing something. I later found out—after our relationship ended (for completely different reasons), she didn’t like me due to my religion. I guess that finding out your son is in love with a girl, and may marry, a girl who believes in a different religion is enough to completely turn you off.
But, regardless, my relationship with this guy was still something I look back on fondly—despite his mother hating me.
Here’s how I handled it, and hopefully, if you’re in the same situation, it can help you, too.
1. Avoid spending too much time at his house when she’s home.
It sounds ridiculous, but the less time you’re around her, the better. She has her own life and her own problems to deal with—she won’t be thinking of you when you’re not around. So, don’t remind her to worry about you. Avoid the house when she’s there—even if your boyfriend invites you over. Find somewhere else to go instead.
2. Don’t bring it up too often to your boyfriend.
The last thing a man wants to do is choose between his mother and you, especially at a young-ish age. If he’s still under her roof—he’s not going to move out and abandon his family to be with you, face it. You’re not going to win her over overnight so it’s not worth fighting with him constantly about it.
3. Only go to family gatherings when they’re a big deal.
If your boyfriend invites you to a family gathering, only go when they’re a lot of people, so you’re not stuck with awkward tension. Small family dinners (unless it’s a big occasion) are something you can make an excuse for. Big weddings and parties, well, there will be enough people there to avoid her altogether.
4. Let things slide.
Many of us (me) are very defensive when we’re insulted. There are big battles and little ones—choose them wisely. She may make comments about you and say things about you that bother you, but, if it’s not a huge deal, let it roll off your shoulders. The less you fight, the better it is for your psyche and your relationship.
5. If you truly want to marry him, think about everything.
Marriage is forever (for some people), and you want to make sure you’re making the right choice for you, him, and your life together. If his mother hates you, she’ll be your mother-in-law eventually. Sometimes, you may love someone with all of your heart and they may not be the right one for you. Sometimes, letting go may allow you to find someone better, whose mother does love you—and you save on the drama. I found him, and I love him more than words.