To tell your parents that you have a girlfriend can seem like a mammoth task, especially if you have been raised in a conservative and protective environment. But then, if you are dating someone and are not comfortable keeping secrets from your parents, you will feel as if you are betraying them. Also if your girlfriend has told her parents about you, then it is also kind of rude and inconsiderate to not offer her the same courtesy.
When you are in a serious relationship, you feel like telling the entire world about it and how special she is to you. You want to post lovey-dovey pictures on social media, tag each other in cute posts and take every opportunity to express love and care. You are happy and you want to announce your happiness to the world. But you can’t do so, especially in these times of social media where everyone is connected with everyone. You feel helpless and frustrated plus your girlfriend thinks you are no man for you are to not able to stand up for yourself and her in front of your family.
And that’s when you know it is high time to start thinking of ways to break the news of having a girlfriend to your parents and make sure they respond to it positvely. That’s exactly where we are going to help you.
Dating When You Have Strict Parents
Dating when you have strict parents is like feeling like a thief in your own house. You can’t text or call your girlfriend and you find yourself running to bathroom every time to speak to her every time she messages or calls. You see their questioning eyes and makeup lies about this and that. And then going on dates means cooking up another set of lies where you get your closed friends involved too where they end up lying for you too. And then you have the impossible task of remembering which friend you lied about when and deal with slips up which are bound to happen.
Dating when you have strict parents also means constant cleaning up your phone. Her text messages, call logs, mails and explaining time gaps.
Late night conversations are a big no-no. Even having a friend who is a girl raises suspicion. Strict parents are all about rules and regulations. If you’re caught, you’re dead.
Some parents feel that relationships are a bad influence and can distract you from important commitments. They feel school and college is the time for academics and not to goof around with girls. They also don’t want you to feel heartbroken in case the relationship doesn’t work out. They see all relationships as suspect and probably see the girl in a negative light (as if she is using you).
For these kinds of parents, there’s never a right age to start dating. They also want to control the kind of girl that eventually enters their home and so they want to be firmly entrenched in the girl you bring home process, hence they would rather you go later with the arranged marriage route later. Having a girlfriend then would seem like an unnecessary complication to them.
Related reading: 5 Bollywood movies that gave us serious relationship goals
10 Ways To Tell Your Parents You Have A Girlfriend
So, how to tell your parents you have a girlfriend? There’s never a right or a wrong time to tell your parents about your girlfriend. For all we know they have already thought of a response to this since you were maybe 16! They have a speech ready for the time when their son tells them that he is in love. Expect these reactions, maybe you can even laugh with them reading this together.
In any case, if you are sure you are about the girl and feel that she is an integral part of your life and makes you happy, your parents should know about her. They should know that you’ve chosen someone really great and that they have nothing to worry about when it comes to your relationship. Pick a nice day or time when they are normally not stressed. Either an early evening or perhaps Sunday works the best. All of you should have ample time for a detailed discussion, to listen to each other calmly and answer any queries that they may have. In addition, you can also check with them what their expectation from your life partner is, in case it gets to that stage. Here are 10 ways to tell your parents you have a girlfriend.
1. Introduce her as your friend
Baby steps, always baby steps. Introduce her as a good friend who happens to be a girl. Let them know that your best buddy comes in another gender. Your parents will be more open to knowing her when they know that she is just a friend. Have her come home and chat casually about her parents, her education and if your two families have people or friends in common, speak about them. She can even read up a bit on your parent’s interests to speak of things they are interested in. Make sure she comes over with some other friends so that this looks fairly innocent. Introducing her first as your girlfriend will make them defensive and they will perhaps up their antennas and they begin judging her.
2. Start dropping hints
Start dropping hints to your parents that she is close to you by including her in your conversations. “Rachel brought me soup when I told her I was sick“, is a subtle yet effective way of dropping hints. It shows that Rachel cares for you and is a close friend. Your parents will like the fact that someone is there to take care of you in their absence. This will also make them more comfortable with her presence see her in a positive light. We have a cute piece by Kiran on how she won over her boyfriend’s mom.
Related reading: 15 Funny Ways To Annoy Your Girlfriend
3. Show that you’re doing well in life
Most parents fear that having a girlfriend/boyfriend will hamper their son’s/daughter’s studies/work/and ambitions. You need to make sure that none of your personal and professional goals are being hampered because of your relationship.
Become even more invested in your future. Do all the things that you excel in and take up more projects if possible. This will show that your girlfriend is having a positive influence on you and you can balance your relationship with all your other chores. When you tell them about the relationship, they will see that they have nothing to worry about. If possible do drop on the line that ‘Racheal suggested I take up this additional course which may help land a better job‘.
4. Tell your girlfriend about it first
Tell your girlfriend that you are considering telling your parents about your relationship. If she is comfortable with it, ask her for suggestions. She can give you advice on how to approach your parents and can even help you to prepare for it. You both can discuss what aspect of her personality will be most appealing to his parents. You two can find common interests between her and your parents and speak of those.
If she has already told her parents about you then she can give you pointers and will also assure you that there’s nothing to worry about. When you mention to your parents that her parents know about it, it also gives some validity to the relationship.
Related reading: 7 things I felt when I met my in-laws for the first time
5. Talk to them in private
If you stay in a joint family try and pick a day when you can have all to yourself. Ask them to listen to what you have to say and think about it for a day before they hit the phone and start talking about his relationship with their close ones. Request them that this is a personal issue within the immediate family and for a few days you would like to keep it like that. This way you will be able to suspend any negative judgments from their friends and relatives who have had unhappy experiences.
6. Be respectful to them
When you are breaking news like this, it is important to be respectful to your parents. It is normal for them to react negatively to the news as it will take them time to get used to the fact that you have someone else in your life now. Talk to them in an empathetic voice and help them understand how important this relationship is to you. Assure them that their thoughts on this matter to you as much as your girlfriend does. That she is of the same opinion. Give them importance, let them feel they have a say in the matter and that you care greatly about how they think and react. One person actually went to the extent and told his parents that he is ready to wait it out till the parents feel like meeting her and getting to know her better, till then he can refrain from being with her totally. He added, ‘She is so much like you ma, I feel you will love her‘. Ma, of course, was floored.
7. Keep it simple
You don’t need to make it long and convoluted, keep the talk simple, your eyes should convey the deep feelings. Tell them about how you two know each other and how it started. Make them part of your journey and if possible drop a name or two of some familiar names that can connect her to them “Hey dad, I wanted to talk to you about something. You know Amita, our Priti’s aunty’s sister’s daughter, the two of us have been seeing each other for some time now. She is very sweet and wanted to meet the two of you too. We get along very well and make each other laugh a lot. I really like her. She makes me happy.” Tell them about how the relationship makes you feel and how much it meant to tell them about it.
8. Remind them that they were once your age
If you see your entire plan going south, ask them to remember about the time they were young. When the emotion of love overwhelmed them, make them reminisce of those times. Also they may be worried about what if you make the same mistakes they did. Assure them that you need to learn from your own experiences and that you will always speak to them when you are in doubt. Appeal to them to have faith on you.
Related reading: We Met On FB But His Family Is Against The Idea Of Marriage
9. Ask them how they feel about it
It is normal for parents to react negatively when they find out about their son’s relationship. Getting used to something like this takes time. Ask them how they feel about your relationship. Be open to criticism. Tell them you understand how overwhelming this can be and you are willing to wait out. You can even share a few anecdotes on what happened to your girlfriend when she spoke to her parents. Here is a piece on that.
How they feel about it will help you understand the amount of effort that you and your girlfriend will need to put in to show them that she’s the right one for you. Take their criticism as pointers to work on so that you can change those negatives into positives.
10. Don’t force them to accept it
If your parents don’t respond well to your relationship, don’t feel bad or get mad at them. You need to give them time to accept it. You need to understand that they don’t know your girlfriend like you do and letting someone else into their lives is a big step. Don’t force them to accept the relationship. Instead, arrange occasions for your girlfriend to meet your parents and get them to know her better. Once they know her, all their fears about the relationship will slowly start to diminish.
If you’ve told your parents about the relationship and are planning for her to meet them, make sure that you prep her well. You don’t want to unwillingly create a bad impression of her. Make sure she knows all about your parents and is prepared for what is to come. If your parents are against the relationship, don’t act out.
Understand their perspective and know that they have a right to feel this way. Step into their shoes and think about it. Give them time to wrap this news around their heads and they will eventually come around.