Can you pass the "Tell the Parents" test?


Can you pass the "Tell the Parents" test?
Dating someone can be hard. Finding out that she hasn't told her parents can be even harder.

You’ve been dating for half a year and at least half that time sleeping, eating, shopping and entertaining together. Life is good. So good you’re wondering why you still have separate homes. You have your moments and always work through them becoming closer and closer. Love is unquestionable…or is it?  There is one glaring problem. Your sweetheart can’t tell the parents about you.

They would like their parents to accept you with open arms but they know their Mom and Dad wont go there. You don’t fit the mold for the partner they want for their child.  You’d think your beloved could stand their ground and if their love is true proudly express how they feel.

More from YourTango: Break the Dating Rules—And Win!

Tough situation! What should you do?

1. You must find out if they truly love you. 

Do they conceal your relationship from your close friends or members of your close community?  If the answer is no, jump to Step 2.  If yes, then I would question the authenticity of their love. 

If they are more concerned about the approval of others than revealing their feelings for you, then there has to be a deluge of stories that are in the way of them being present and truly loving to you.

There is also a good chance they’re keeping their options open and would even date others if they could get away with it. Bottom line, the love is a dream and not a reality.  Stop fooling yourself and let them go.

2. They truly love you, great!  Time to find out what’s in the way of them being transparent with their family.

Keep in mind that close family ties can be like cement with generations of expectations. Family is almost as precious as our physical health. Approach with genuine care and sensitivity. 

What are the circumstances?

Has your sweetheart simply kept you a secret from their parents and they know NOTHING about you?  If this is the case then maybe their waiting for the right time to share their feelings.  If they say they'll tell their parents but consistently finds excuses, then time to go deeper.

Have they concealed the truth about your existence or told their parents you exist, but “It’s nothing serious?”

This is where things get tricky. Why do we lie about anything? We withhold the truth for one reason only—to protect ourselves from physical or emotional harm.

Children of all ages conceal things, fib or lie to their parents because they fear negative retribution. Either the parent will immediately reprimand, shame them or blame them for not meeting their expectations for who they want their children to be or how they want them to behave. They are judged rather than seen. When this happens to adult children the family tie begins to collapse. 

More from YourTango: 30 Dating Habits You Need To Lose By Age 30 (Part 1)

When parents feel they are losing their children too often they respond by heaping guilt and resentment into the fire. 

This becomes a painful downhill spiral because all the child really wants is unconditional love. Instead they misrepresent themselves hoping to arrest the feeling of separation from family. 

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Article contributed by
Advanced Member

*Larry Michel*

Marriage/Couples Counselor

Come from a place of unconditional love—seek to see before you seek to be seen.

Location: Encinitas, CA
Credentials: Other
Specialties: Couples/Marital Issues, Dating/Being Single Support, Matchmaking
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