There's tension concerning me, my boyfriend and my parents/family (not much with my sister)... I think they generally like each other, but the communication and the trust isn't there; I can't seem to have a good time with either my boyfriend or parents when all of us are together.
I've been having trouble with my parents, in the fact that I just don't feel as close as I feel I should with them. It's been really hard realizing that we weren't very close in my last year of highschool, which was pretty turbulent, and now into my first year of college, I'm physically distanced from them.
I wish I could spend time with both my family and boyfriend together, but it feels like they're competing for my time, and I hate feeling stuck in the middle having to choose! I want to make up for lost time and bond with my family, but I also am trying to hold together me and my boyfriend's lonely long distance relationship. It's been making me anxious lately.
My boyfriend hates being dragged into my extended family's social events, because he's shy, and inevitably that happens when we're with my parents. He hasn't bonded much with my parents even after these 15 months of dating and being at my house so much. We hide in my room because... I don't know, there aren't many things to do with my family.
So, I guess, just any tips and ideas of things that might help bring us all together? Even just the standard suggestions of all-family activities, like "go on a picnic" etc.
Posts: 15 | From: Canada | Registered: Nov 2007
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Tough situation. As for the bonding part, I don't know if you have tried this before, but does your boyfriend share any common interests with one or both of your parents or the rest of your family? Something like an interest in photography.. love of animals.. political affiliations? Maybe instead of creating an awkward gathering where they feel pressured to try and get along, casually bring up some common interests they may have. Conversation may flow a little easier on common ground.
Posts: 755 | From: United States | Registered: Nov 2007
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Ever since we were together (actually some time before we were together), my boyfriend and I have always hung out at each others house a lot and we always spent most of the time like, in the lounge room or kitchen or backyard or whatever, rather then locked in our bedroom together. Its not that we included our families in what we were doing, but at least they were there in the background so my family got used to having my boyfriend around and his family got used to having me around, plus they knew what we were like together. I think that built a lot of trust, rather then looking like we had something to hide by holing up our our bedroom. So now my boyfriend feels really welcome around my family, my parents adore him and he gets on great with my brothers. Less so me with his family, but for an entirely different reason. So my piece of advice would be to not necessarily find something for the whole family to do together, but just mix with them. That way hopefully you can gradually become more comfortable together. Hope that helps
Posts: 22 | From: Australia | Registered: Oct 2007
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I agree with Hollie5626, in that it would help to act more open and relaxed when all of you are around. You could also try talking to your parents (or one of them) and tell them how you feel. They might give you some insight as to why they are not feeling comfortable. Then you could try and isolate that one thing and work on it. Another thing I'm pretty sure of is that if a boyfriend is polite and makes an effort to be friendly, talkative, respectful etc. instead of reclusive and mysterious, around parents, that usually wins some points. Communication is key.
Posts: 107 | From: New England | Registered: Jan 2007
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