Jill Goldson: When friends and family don’t like your partner

“Approval from our social networks will cancel out the problems of family and its cultural disapproval. But if we are to believe the social research, we ignore disapproval from friends as well as family, both at our peril. Perhaps Romeo and Juliet would have had a “happier ever after” if they had only had a robust group of friends, despite their feuding families, to support their choice of partner? In the end we have to balance out our independence and our response to the social network. The need to be independent is very different from the need to defy.”

We might say our feelings are the only ones that matter but the truth is that our romantic connections are embedded in our broader social lives. Photo / Getty
Photo / iStock

We all tend to seek social approval – even if we say we don’t. A career change, a new house, or the purchase of that rather expensive pair of shoes; it’s nice when our friends and family approve of our “heart stopping” decisions.

But it pales into insignificance when the people we love, friends and family, actively disapprove of our partner.

Was it their sense of humour that was wrong, the accent, or maybe their past history? The way he held his fork, perhaps?

Or might it be that those who care about you love you so much that they feel your partner isn’t good enough for you? Or are they jealous? Even if we say we don’t care, the fact is most of us consider a battery of questions if we feel those we love don’t approve of the one we love.

But think of Romeo and Juliet, those famous star crossed lovers with their feuding families.

Read more: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/lifestyle/news/article.cfm?c_id=6&objectid=11622590

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