It might be challenging to you get your parents on board with your long distance relationship. However, helping them get to know your boyfriend will help stop their worrying. Here’s how you can achieve that.
It is only natural that when you have met someone special, you want to share it with the people around you, especially your family. On the other hand, if you are in a long distance relationship, this could be rather complicated. Although you might be sure that your parents would like your boyfriend and they would get along perfectly well, your family might not think positively of your being in a long distance relationship.
However, with the right method and preparation, it is possible to gently ease them into the idea and minimize any negativity. Read on to find out how.
How to Tell Your Parents About Your Long Distance Boyfriend
Prepare in advance
Think about what you want out of the talk before you approach your family. Do you want their advice? Their approval? Or do you just want to know what they think about your new relationship? Once your goal is clear, it is easier to steer the conversation in the direction that you want it to.
Try and predict what your family will ask and what they might be worried about. Do know that your parents will always want what’s best for you. It will help a lot if you could put yourself in their shoes and understand where their concerns are coming from.
Your parents will want to make sure that your partner is really who he says he is and that you do not fall victim to any malicious acts. Even if it is not possible to meet him in person, they will want to at least have a chat with him via Skype. You can also tell how sincere your boyfriend is based on how willing he is to help ease your parents’ concerns.
Jot down how you could address their worries and questions once you have anticipated what they will ask you. Create a list with two parts – one listing the questions that could come up and the other with the best response you can think of.
Once you have this list, take some time to rehearse it and feel free to edit and improve it as you go. Just like having a script for an important speech, this list could provide you with the confidence you need and keep you calm when you are talking to your family.
Write down how to introduce your boyfriend to your parents. Describe him in detail and talk about general things like where he is currently living at, what is his job, his age, etc. Also, talk about more personal things like what your boyfriend likes to do – if he has any special skills or anything else that could paint your boyfriend in a clearer light for your parents.
It will also help to tell your parents how you met him. Add in a thing or two about what you like about him and what made you want to commit to the relationship even when you knew it would be challenging.
Seek advice from other people that you trust. It will be good to hear what other people who are close to you think about this. Their perspectives could be similar to your parents’ which could help you anticipate your family’s concerns better.
Make sure that you keep an open mind about this and be prepared to receive different kinds of opinions – both positive and negative. The key is to understand why other people who care about you think the way they do and do not reject negative feedback immediately.
Talking about your boyfriend to your parents
Find a suitable time to have a long and serious talk with your parents. It might not be the best time for the big conversation if they are feeling tired or in a bad mood. Timing is very important, and you will need to find a period of time where your parents are not in a rush to do something else.
If it is particularly difficult to get some private time with them spontaneously, then you should plan in advance. Choose a time that is the most convenient for everyone so they will be prepared to set some time aside for you. Although you should not rush into something so important, you will want to have the conversation as soon as possible because the longer you wait, the more difficult it will be to talk to your parents about it.
Choose a suitable place to have the conversation. If you think sitting down face to face at home with your parents might create tension, you can ask them to go out for a walk. However, make sure that you are in a reasonably quiet place when you are having the talk to minimize any distraction.
Begin by talking about long distance relationships in general to set the tone of the conversation. Keep it light and casual while you find out what is your family’s opinion about long distance relationships. This could help you strategize the best way to bring up the topic of your new boyfriend.
Bring up the topic of your boyfriend gently and do not just drop a bomb on your parents unexpectedly. Steer the conversation from general long distance relationship small talk to something more personal. You can start by telling your family how you have met someone and explain to them why you care about your boyfriend. You should be as open and honest as possible with your parents without getting emotional.
Truly listen to what they have to say and even if their initial reaction is not what you have hoped for, try and convince them to see your boyfriend through your eyes without being defensive. Remember, your parents will be much more inclined to listen to you if you extend the same courtesy to them too.
Make sure that you hear their opinions out before responding and never interrupt them. Should the conversation get too emotional, it might be a good idea to take a break so that everyone has a chance to calm down. The last thing you want is for the conversation to escalate into a heated argument.
You might need more than one talk to convince your parents that you have made the right choice. As your relationship develops, continue sharing with your parents. You could ask them what their concerns are and address them accordingly. Continued communication is very important to get your parents on board with your long distance relationship.
Show them how mature you are and that you really have thought things through. Let your parents in on your future plans with your boyfriend and show them your commitment to the relationship. If your boyfriend has influenced you positively in important aspects of your life like work or school, let your parents know about that too.
Talking about a boyfriend whom you have only ever met online
If you have never met your boyfriend in person before, you will need to tell your parents about that. This is probably one of the hardest situations to be in because your parents will be very worried about your safety. Their concern will be well-founded too since people can easily pretend to be someone they are not behind a computer screen.
Go into detail about how you met your boyfriend with your parents, especially if the idea of falling in love through social media and online platforms might seem foreign to them. Show them the site where you met and tell them how it works.
Assure your parents that you are aware of safety issues when you become involved with someone you have never physically met before. You can share with them what your plans are when you meet your boyfriend for the first time in real life. Make sure that it is in a safe and public place, better yet, meet in your hometown where your parents can meet him too. You might feel that you know your boyfriend very well, but you can never be too careful when it comes to something like this.
Explain how you communicate with your boyfriend to your family. You can even show them some messages that you have exchanged with your boyfriend to prove that you are very transparent with them. Tell your parents how often you talk to your partner and at this point, you can start making plans for your parents to meet your boyfriend via Skype.
The big introduction
Find a time that is suitable for everyone to meet online via Skype. Although it might not be easy, especially if your boyfriend lives in a different time zone, it is certainly possible considering how important the meeting is.
Tell your parents about your boyfriend as much as possible before the meeting so that they are well prepared. They might also feel more at ease if they think that they know a lot about him. You can also tell them that they could make a list of questions to ask so that the conversation will flow naturally without any awkward moments.
Choose a neutral and quiet place for the introduction to happen, like at home or at an office. For the first introduction, you might want to leave out any sensitive subjects that might cause any party to feel uncomfortable.
Make sure everything is working well before the talk. Setup and test your microphone ahead of time. Ensure that the internet connection is stable and fast. Not only do you not want to waste everyone’s time by fixing your microphone, but bad-quality video chats could also make the situation unnecessarily awkward.
Offer to schedule the next meeting while you have everyone together. Your parents will need more time and contact to get to know your boyfriend and one talk will not be enough. If you have any siblings, you could include them in your next Skype chats too.