Article by Maya Vukovska

An evil family is trying to destroy a beautiful bond. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Probably because the story has already been told and re-told so many times - throughout different decades, in different languages. Only now, you happen to be the protagonist of this same old story - the tragic character who's facing the biggest dilemma of his life so far. Should you continue the relationship despite your parents’ disapproval, or should you choose them over the person you are in love with? This Romeo-and-Juliet kind of situation is not an easy one to resolve, I admit, but it doesn’t mean that it's OK to ignore the issues that provoke it. Otherwise, it’s only gonna get worse, not better. If you’ve seen the movie Monster-in-Law, you know what I mean…

Sometimes parents ARE right

Alas, we often realize this too late, after the damage is already one. Do not allow this to happen to you! Before you go against their wishes like a rebellious teen who’s convinced his parents are, in fact, villainous aliens sent to Earth with the sole purpose to make his life a living hell, be sure you can survive without them being around - without their love and support, and without Mom treating you like the prince you are in her eyes. John Lennon once said that love isn't blind, it’s deaf. But it sure can also be mentally deranged. Try to keep your mind clear so that you'll be able to distinguish between your folks trying to warn you about a potential pitfall of this relationship, and them being obnoxious or homophobic without good reason.

You can’t have the best of both worlds

The worst thing imaginable in the given situation is to try to keep your relationship a secret in an attempt to make both sides satisfied. First of all, this tactic won’t smooth things between your boyfriend and your parents. And second of all, being secretive about the relationship will only make the guy feel like you’re ashamed of him - the way a kid is ashamed when his mom walks on him while jerking off. Trying to play Switzerland, i.e. staying neutral in a brewing conflict, will only make things worse. If you want to resolve this fucked-up situation, you have to take action, and you definitely have to take a side.

Ask the audience

Just like in the popular TV game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, you might consider using this lifeline in case your parents dislike your boyfriend. Of course, I am not suggesting displaying your case on social media for everyone to participate in a decision-making debate (although that may actually work!). I am just saying that you should ask people outside your family circle, people you trust to give you feedback on your boyfriend and your relationship with him. It is vital that you see your relationship through bystanders’ eyes in order to make up your mind about who’s right and who’s wrong in this uncalled-for drama.

“Your children are not your children”

That's a quote by the American-Lebanese poet Kahlil Gibran. One thing that many, many parents are reluctant to recognize as true is that children that come through them in this world do not belong to them. Good parents are supposed to give their children unconditional love and care and not forcefully implant their own thoughts and beliefs into their heads. Because no matter how young a child is, it has individuality, and its own path in life to follow. The bottom line is: even if your parents’ opinion is important to you, but you are nevertheless convinced that your relationship is going well, then you should set boundaries and enforce them. Parents who fail to respect their kids’ romantic choice will eventually carry the burden of the consequences of their own actions. No doubt, the best case scenario is that your family falls immediately in love with your S.O., just like you did, and you all live happily ever after. If, however, this doesn’t happen, and, what’s worse, they give you the ultimatum to choose between them and him, just remember this: You are your own man, and as a grown-ass individual you have the constitutional freedom to live the life in the way you see fit. And who knows, maybe over time, your folks will see the good qualities of your partner and will come around. Just give them time. And if not, sometimes our chosen family becomes more meaningful than our birth family.
March 01, 2023 — Andrew Christian