12 signs your family secretly disapprove of your relationship

Let’s face it: families are complicated. I know mine is. 

What makes it harder is how we refuse to communicate our concerns with each other which, more often than not, results in misunderstanding. 

And it’s quite tough when you’re excited about your relationship but can’t shake that nagging feeling that your family might not be as thrilled as you are. 

But don’t worry, you’re not alone. 

In this article, we’ll look at some subtle signs that might indicate your family secretly disapproves of your relationship.

It might not be okay, but the important thing is for you to feel seen and have your worries acknowledged—so read on if you’re looking for comfort.

1) They don’t want to meet your partner

When your family avoids meeting your partner, it can feel frustrating. 

It can leave you second-guessing, wondering what it is about your partner—or maybe even about you—that keeps them from wanting to finally meet them.

Maybe they’re not sure what to expect. Maybe they’re worried about your happiness. Or maybe it’s the first time you’re introducing a romantic partner to them and they don’t really know how to deal with that.

Whatever the reason may be, you’ll never really know until you ask.

Try to gently inquire about their feelings—make sure you don’t have a suspicious undertone. Reassure them that your partner is important to you. 

Only then can you stop the anxiety of trying to figure out why they’re avoiding meeting your partner.

2) They don’t invite your partner to family events

Family gatherings are opportunities for bonding and getting to know your loved ones better.

That’s why it stings when your partner is not invited because it’s like an implicit expression that they’re not welcome.

This exclusion might be unintentional, but it can still be hurtful. 

Maybe your family hasn’t fully adjusted to the idea of your partner being a part of your life, or they might not feel comfortable having them around yet. 

If you feel hurt by this, make sure to let your family know. It’s only when you talk about it that you’ll find out the reason why your partner is seemingly unwelcome to family events.

3) They don’t make your partner feel welcome

When your family doesn’t make an effort to welcome your partner, it can create an uncomfortable atmosphere. 

It’s like walking into a room full of strangers who aren’t interested in getting to know you, which is probably one of the worst situations you could possibly find yourself in.

This lack of warmth could be due to various factors – they might not know how to relate to your partner, they could have concerns they’re not ready yet to communicate…or they don’t like your partner, for some reason.

If the latter is the case, it’s important that you ask them why.

And a glaring sign that your partner is not welcome in the family is when they refuse to include them in photos.

4) They don’t include your partner in photos

Family photos are like treasures. It’s a visual record of the people you cherish, a physical memory you can always look back on for the moments you miss.

And when someone you love—like your partner—is excluded from your family photos, it can truly hurt.

If your family keeps asking your partner to take a picture of the family but never makes an effort to include them, that could be a sign that they don’t like your partner and they disapprove of the relationship.

And more than that, if their conversations are awkward, that could signify some sort of unspoken tension between them.

5) Their conversations are awkward

Awkward conversations are unavoidable, especially if your partner and family are just starting to get to know each other.

But if the discomfort never goes away, it can be concerning. 

Conversations shouldn’t feel like pulling teeth; they should flow naturally. When it’s persistently strained, something might be amiss.

6) They never ask about your partner

Your family should show curiosity about your life, and that includes your romantic relationships. 

When they never ask about your partner, it can feel like they’re avoiding acknowledging a significant part of your world. It’s as if they’re pretending that this essential aspect of your life doesn’t exist. 

Either they don’t care about you, or they don’t approve of the person you’re dating.

And what’s worse is that when you initiate the conversation about your partner, they don’t show interest.

7) They don’t show interest when you talk about your partner

When you share exciting or meaningful moments about your partner, it’s normal to expect your family to show some enthusiasm. 

If they don’t, it’s like your words are falling on deaf ears. It can make you feel like they don’t care enough about you or the relationship to give a crap.

It’s crucial to let your family know that your partner is someone you love and cherish, and it hurts that your family can’t see that. 

If they don’t listen, they’re a bad family, and it’s not your fault. 

8) They criticize your partner in front of you

Constructive criticism is one thing, but if your family is consistently critical of your partner in front of you, it’s not a great sign. 

You could be telling them about your partner’s achievements, and they would dismiss it like it’s no big deal even if, objectively speaking, it is a big deal.

Or they could say your partner can do better than that and be hypercritical of their mistakes, even the smallest ones.

When this happens, it can truly hurt. Know that it’s not your fault your family is critical of a person you love—the problem is on them, not you.

And that’s especially apparent if they keep comparing your current partner to your exes.

9) They compare your partner to your exes

Constantly comparing your current partner to your exes is a definite red flag. 

It’s like your family is stuck in the past, unable to see your new relationship for what it is and how much it makes you happy.

Of course, it’s important to look inward and try to see if it’s because you’re dating someone who’s not good for you.

But if everybody else sees how happy you are, how healthy the relationship is, and how good your partner is to you except for your family, that is a sign that they disapprove of your relationship. 

And when they do, they might even suggest new people for you to date in an attempt to make you leave the person you’re currently dating.

10) They keep suggesting new people you should date

If your family is always playing matchmaker, even though you’re happily taken, they’re sending an obvious message that they don’t fully support your current relationship. 

It can feel frustrating like they’re not listening to you. If it’s because your partner is not good to you and you can’t see it, perhaps it’s best to listen to your family.

But if it’s the other way around and your partner actually treats you well but your family can’t see that for some reason, maybe that’s because they’ve set unrealistic standards that no one can meet.

Final thoughts

Remember, noticing these signs doesn’t mean your family hates your partner or wants to hurt you. 

Sometimes, your family might disapprove of your relationship because your partner is actually a bad person or they might be bad for you, and in that case, it’s important that you listen for your own sake.

On the other hand, if you have a hypercritical family who disagrees of a wonderful person that you might be dating, it can truly hurt, because they can’t see that you’ve finally found happiness in a good relationship.

Whatever the case may be, it’s important that you communicate your issue with everyone involved. At the end of the day, you call your own shots—who you date is your decision. Just make sure you choose the right people for your own sake.

Joyce Ann Isidro

Joyce is a writer who believes in the power of storytelling and changing lives by writing stories about love, relationships, and spirituality. A bookworm and art enthusiast, she considers herself a creative-at-heart who likes to satisfy her childish wonder through new hobbies and experiences.

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