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How to Tell Your Parents You're Dating Someone They Hate
Just because you adore him, it doesn't mean your parents will.
While your parents may not agree with your choice of partner, their acceptance of your new lover is fairly important. A study published in the "Journal of Social and Personal Relationships" in 2008 showed that families got on better if in-laws accepted a new partner, especially if that acceptance was verbally expressed. It is never easy to break difficult news to anyone, but mentally rehearsing how you will do it and following certain steps can make it easier for you to manage the situation.
To minimize the stress of telling your parents you're dating someone they despise, consider ahead of time how you may feel while delivering the news and what your parents' responses might be. Prepare yourself for any emotional outbursts and think of how you could best answer questions they may ask. It is normal for you to have negative feelings when telling your parents something that may upset them, so be prepared to feel upset and consider how you will cope with that.
Set the Scene
When you need to break the bad news, show respect for your parents by giving them the time and space to process the situation. Make sure that you tell them the worst somewhere that you won't be interrupted. Find somewhere quiet and private and turn off your phone and anything else that might interrupt you. Sitting face-to-face, with no physical barriers between you is a gesture of openness. Sitting also relaxes the body more than standing up, so both you and your parents should be less tense.
Mind Your Language
When delivering news that your parents will be less than delighted with, it is vital to watch exactly what you say and do. Keep body language intimate and genuine, maintaining eye contact at all times. A warning shot in the form of “I've got some difficult news to tell you” can help your parents to brace themselves. When you've delivered the news, don't round your conversation off with any hostile phrases, such as “And that's that,” which will only get your parents' backs up.
Manage the Fall-out
When the deed is done, you will have to deal with the reaction from your parents. They may feel many different emotions, ranging from shock to anger to sorrow to disbelief. If their reaction is silence, and you're not sure how they feel, ask them. Make statements which validate their feelings, such as "I understand this is upsetting" or "I can see you are angry". Allow your parents to express their fears and concerns fully. It is only when these emotions have been cleared out of the way that they can consider practically how to deal with the situation.