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Introducing Your Gay Partner to Your Family

When you want your family to meet him, it can bring challenges.

You should at least consider introducing your gay partner to your family — because yes, it is that important. Family ties are fundamental ones and figure highly in your personal hierarchy. While we don’t believe in fairy tales, the potential rewards of establishing a connection between the people you grew up with and the man you are in a gay relationship with are worth some work.
It can, however, also be very hurtful if you truly value your family’s opinion and want their approval. If you come from a close family, it may be very difficult trying to pursue a relationship with someone they disapprove of. Even if you’re not that close, it’s still nice to know that they accept the person you choose to spend your time with. Here are a few things that you can do to try to gain your family’s approval for your new relationship.

Discuss the Issue

The first thing that you want to do is discuss the issue. Just knowing that they don’t approve is not enough. You need to know why they feel the way they do if you want to try to change their mind. What is the real reason they don’t want you to see this new person? It could be something as simple as them wanting you to go to college before you get in a real relationship — to something as serious as they found out this person has a criminal record that you don’t know about.
You have to talk to your family and find out their concerns and why they feel like they do before you can understand them. However, when you talk you should be willing to listen, too. Don’t dismiss something they say because you think it’s silly or invalid. To them it may be very serious and if you allow them to explain, then you’ll understand why it’s a problem for them even if you still disagree.
Being able to sit down and discuss the matter can really make a difference. Sometimes, family members just need to be reassured that you’re going to be safe. Addressing their concerns will often be enough to get your family’s approval so they will at least give this new person in your life a chance.

What Do You Do When They’re Being Over Protective

If your family is simply being overprotective, it can be a little more difficult to gain their approval. Sometimes, parents and in some cases, siblings feel like there will never be anyone good enough for you. As a result, they find something wrong with anyone new you start dating. They see all of your potential and have high hopes for your future and they’re afraid you’ll lose the opportunity to accomplish your goals if you pursue a relationship with anyone less than perfect.
There’s not a lot you can do in this case other than assure them that you won’t let anyone else interfere with your plans for the future. It may help if you explain to your family that your partner encourages you to pursue your goals. For example, maybe they encourage you to go to college or to go after that job promotion you’ve been working hard to get.
When your family sees that this person wants the same things for you that they do, they may be more willing to accept and approve of your new relationship.

What If They Have a Legitimate Reason to Not Approve

Occasionally, there will be a legitimate reason why your family does not approve of your new relationship. In this case, you’re going to have a harder time getting their approval but don’t give up. A lot will depend on what the reason is.
For example, some families disapprove when there is a big difference in your ages. In many cases, dating someone much older than you are can cause serious issues especially if you’re still very young. They may also be concerned if the person you’re dating has several children they don’t see often, have been married and divorced two or three times or if they have a criminal record.
Anytime your family has a legitimate reason for not approving of your new relationship, it would be wise to listen to what they have to say. This doesn’t mean that you have to agree with them but they may know more about the person than you do. After discussing the situation with them, you can make your decision as to whether or not you want to continue with the relationship.
If you do continue to see the person, you can consider seeking the help of a counselor. Many times, they can help find ways for everyone to accept someone’s past and move on based on future actions.

What Not to Do

It’s not a good idea to tell your new partner every single detail about why your family does not approve of your relationship, at least not at first. This could cause hard feelings between them unnecessarily. Instead, try to work the problem out with your family.
However, if things don’t work out and your family still disapproves but you want to continue dating the person, then you should let them know there is a problem you haven’t been able to do much about. This way, they’ll know what to expect when they meet your family.

Don’t Create Problems Unnecessarily

When starting up a new relationship, you don’t want to create problems unnecessarily. Every couple has disagreements and it’s natural to get aggravated with your partner sometimes. When this happens, you want to talk to someone that sees your side of things, even if it’s not that important of an issue. Therefore, we call up family or close friends and complain.
While this is completely normal and healthy, it can give that person the wrong impression if you’re not careful how you word things. Try starting the conversation by saying everything is fine but you just need someone to complain to a little because things are not going your way. Otherwise, they may mistake your innocent venting as a sign of a serious relationship problem. It’s even more important how you word things when they did not originally approve of your new relationship.


It’s always nice to have your family’s approval when you enter into a new relationship but sometimes this approval doesn’t come easily. Talking to them and learning why one or more members of your family disapprove of your relationship choice will help you understand and know what actions to take to try to resolve the problem.
Once you know why they feel the way they do, you’ll know if they have a legitimate reason that you should take into consideration before continuing the relationship. If their reasons are not valid, then perhaps you can offer some comforting words to make them feel better.
You can even consider family counseling to help determine what the problem is so you can all get along even though you’re making the decision to see someone they don’t approve of. Eventually, your family should come to accept your choice as long as you do have a good relationship with the person you choose.