Q: My parents disapprove of my boyfriend — what should I do?

A: Find out why!

Are they concerned about how he treats you? Does he disrespect them — or you? While nobody is perfect, if your parents are concerned about his character, you might want to take a step back and think about if their worries are valid and if so, is that something you can deal with? If it is a minor issue like he talks too much and gives them a headache but you don’t mind his chatter, they’ll just have to deal with it? Or are they worried that he’s dangerous? As much as I love the Belle/ Rumpelstilskin story-line in Once Upon A Time, a happily ever after for them can only exist in a fairy tale.

Find out if their concerns relate to how they feel your relationship will impact on them. Are they concerned your boyfriend is lazy or incapable and they’ll be asked to support him? Are they worried he will not be around for the long haul and they’ll be asked to step in to help you if it doesn’t work out as hoped? These are reasonable concerns and if they are involved in your life it is only fair to think this through.

On the other hand, maybe they don’t like him because he doesn’t fit in. Maybe they’re all jocks and he’s into poetry? Or he’s really into hunting and they are vegetarians? Money, position, status…Differences may seem endless, but doesn’t that also add to the spice of life? It’s really easy to love someone similar to you…but opening one’s heart to loving someone so very different forces us to stretch our hearts and grow as human beings.

— Yael Levy, author of Brooklyn Love

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