Post # 1
You all tend to give really great advice and I could use some now. I’m 31 and have had a series of disastrous relationships in my 20s. I got married at 19 to a military guy and our relationship was very rocky. He was verbally abusive, narcissistic, and had a gambling addiction. My family saw even though I did my best to keep our issues to myself, and out of a combo of shame and pride I stayed married for 6 years when I really should have gotten out within the first year. I was determined to make it work but ultimately he wasn’t and it was very hard to let go, and I ended up paying alimony.
Anyway, I moved to a new city to get a fresh start and a year later I met someone else who I really fell hard for. Looking back he had many of the same traits my ex husband did – very outgoing, into himself, and very controlling. But I did love him and we worked well together. After a year of dating, I moved states to be with him, and within 4 years we bought a home and I took him to meet my family on the west coast. As soon after they met, he started acting very differently and I suspect was cheating on me with his female BFF. So I moved out and moved on but it is so embarrassing because I feel like both my relationships really exploded and I think it’s made my family very skeptical of my ability to date the right guy.
in fact just the other day, my dad told me that I should stay single, travel the world, and live for me. I have no problem being alone or single but I’m also 31 and young and would love to meet the right person and settle down, I kind of feel like my family thinks it’s not in the cards for me. Anyways, it’s been almost a year since my last relationship ended and I met someone who treats me like a queen. He listens to me, he is compassionate, caring, career and money minded like myself. We actually used to work and volunteer together for a year with kids in foster care and I so did not see this coming.
He has already told me that he loves me, and has introduced me to everyone important in his life including his family, and has asked if we could go to meet mine this year around the Christmas holidays. Bees, I feel so torn, I don’t want him to pay for my past mistakes but I feel like my family is so over me dating that I’m not sure they’d give him a fair chance and idk what to do. It’s bad. He doesn’t have my baggage as he has never been married before. I’ve only ever brought two guys home my ex husband and my ex boyfriend but because I live far away and I see my family every few years it feels as though I bring a new guy everytime and they’ve hated the last two.
i can use some advice on what to do here. My new guy is very different and very loving and open, and I fear he’ll see me not taking him to meet my family as him not being a priority in my life.
Post # 2
I know what you mean. I’ve had tons of boyfriends and I’m sure they thought “oh here comes another one”. Ultimately they’ll want you to be happy. You can introduce him AND take things slowly. You’re not marrying him this instant so you can be happy and chilled and enjoy his company with your friends and family as it suits.
Post # 3
I think you should introduce him and just take it slow. Do not move in within anyone or get married until your with them for about 3 years. Also you could do relationship counseling to make sure it is a right fit.
Post # 4
All you can do is just let them meet, and prove to them through your continued relationship that you’ve got it right this time. If it lasts, they’ll eventually see that their opinion about you is wrong.
Post # 5
I think you should let them meet him. Christmas is still a good way off and if you’re still together then, it’s not like it’s someone you’ve just started dating. If you talk to them about him they might assume he’ll be like the others, but hopefully meeting them will allow them too to realise that he’s different!
Post # 6
While I don’t know them, I don’t think they’re ‘over you dating’. Your family likely just wants to see you with someone who treats you well. They don’t want you hurting! Don’t sabotage this relationship because of your past. You’ve learned from it, that’s what is important.
Post # 7
I think you are being way too hard on yourself. You were married once, very young, and had one relationship that you wisely called off. That’s not exactly evidence you will never meet the right man or a reason not to invite a nice guy home for the holidays.
Post # 8
I think am easy way to “introduce” your new gut to your family is to frequently talk to your family about him. Include him in phone calls or FaceTime conversations. Casually let your family know he’s a good guy by gradually easing into things. Then take him home for Christmas. If they already “know” him from conversations, phone calls, and you talking him up over the next several months, things should go smoothly.
Post # 9
sortawaitingbee : Do they expect you to marry every guy you date? The whole purpose of dating is to get to know people, weed out the ones you don’t want to spend more time with, and then from the ones you like spending time with, either keep seeing them or choose one to settle down with. If people married everyone they dated, there would really be no need for dating. You’d just say “we’d like to date, so therefore we will get married.” That’s not how it works.
If you’ve had two serious relationships and both were unpleasant, I say that means you need to date more, not less. More people, I mean. It sounds like you get too vested in one person too soon, then you stick with them because … “well, he’s my BF, so……” No. Date a bunch of people. If one of them disrespects you or reveals a trait that you would not be able to live happily with for the rest of your life, stop seeing that person. The very first time. Don’t ask them to change, don’t secretly hope they’ll change, just take them out of the rotation. If you’re dating a few people, you’ll barely notice one is gone, and you can add a new one to make up for it. It doesn’t have to be a big dramatic ordeal. It’s not a failure to date someone for a while and then decide it’s not working. It’s only a failure if you continue dating them once you realize you’re not happy. If you realize you’re not happy and stop dating that guy, you’ve successfully made room for more happiness in your life.
Has your family given you reason to believe they’re “over your dating” or is it possible that you’re projecting your own feelings onto them? (ETA: Your dad’s advice sounds like dadly advice to me, not a critique or proof that he’s “over” you dating. He wants to see you happy and that begins with knowing yourself and being happy with yourself and by yourself. My advice about dating a lot of people would actually come in AFTER you’re already happy with and by yourself, so I think your dad’s advice is sound.)
Post # 10
I think they’re probably encouraging you to be single because they feel like you get swept away in your romances and aren’t living up to your own potential, and because you’ve historically chosen the wrong guys and it sucks for them to see you with men who aren’t treating you well. However, if this one really is different, then you have nothing to worry about. They’ll like him because he’s different. They’ll be able to see that, I promise.
I do relate though because, while I’ve never been married, I’ve dated a few jerks who I’ve introduced to my family. They’ve met 3 of my exes at this point, and it’s embarrassing in a way to have to explain each breakup – it does feel like a failure even though those relationships all ended for good reasons and I’m better off without them. I do worry slightly that when they meet my SO (we live across the country from my family) they’ll take our relationship less seriously because I’ve been in a number of serious relationships than if this was the first guy I was taking home. But whatever! Most of us don’t marry the first guy we bring home to mom, and that isn’t a big deal. The important thing is that you’re happy. In the end, they want the best for you, and if they see that this guy is adding to your life rather than being the drain that the others were, I think they’ll be supportive.
Post # 11
Thanks for the advice and I don’t think I’m projecting my dad has specially used my grandma as an example who didn’t date at all after it went sour with my grandfather. But I don’t have kids and I’m still young and I don’t want to cut myself off from dating because I’ve made a few mistakes. I did learn from my last relationship that I needed to cut things off sooner, and stop dating guys with potential (which was my biggest flaw). I started looking for people who shared similar interests, values and were of a similar socio-economic status, and spent time in therapy sorting through my own issues.
It was only after doing that, that my friend who I happened to really admire as a person expressed interest in me, and we started seeing each other slowly. He had turned out to be wonderful and I have been putting the breaks on the relationship so that we can continue to get to know each other but he’s coming from a different life experience with not as much baggage and he told me he knows what he wants, and I guess I’m just afraid that I’ll end up caught between my family telling me one thing, and this new guy who sincerely wants to incorporate me into his life. I won’t be moving in with him or anyone else before marriage been there done that, learned from it, and he respects my desire to take things slow but I don’t want him to feel as though im hiding him either. Truthfully me friends have all met him and really like him and respect him but I have yet to even mention him to my family…
Post # 12
sortawaitingbee : How long have you been dating the new guy? And how old is he?
Two failed relationships is hardly a lot of “baggage”, you need to stop thinking of yourself that victim-minded way. Especially at 31! That’s pretty old to have had only two significant relationships, actually. You’ve hardly dated! Maybe your family is encouraging you to be single for a while because they think you too easily lose yourself in your relationships? Otherwise their position is totally illogical and you shouldn’t put any stock in what they’re saying.
If things are getting serious with your new boyfriend and you’re already planning to spend Christmas together, it’s time to start mentioning him to your family, like, yesterday. Depending on how long you’ve been dating, I think it’s disrespectful to your boyfriend not to have already mention him to your family. Stop worrying so much about what your mom and dad think, and focus more on what you and your partner want.
And yeah, if you refuse to introduce him to your family this Christmas that’s a pretty clear message that he is not a priority in your life. Your boyfriend should rightly start rethinking the relationship if his 31/32 year old girlfriend of 9+ months doesn’t want him to meet the parents. Super sketch.
Post # 13
We’ve only officially started dating in February but he’s been trying to September 🙂 and, he’s four years younger. I’ll start talking about him and hopefully it will be ok. My family can be very judgmental.
Post # 14
I think starting to talk about him so they get used to the idea of him is a good idea. Also if you can include him on phone calls as someone suggested. I live far from family, but my SO tries to talk to my parents on skype a little if I call them and he’s around. It definitely helps, even though they still barely know him.