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How to Tell Your Parents That You Have a Boyfriend

by Sarah Casimong

You've got a great boyfriend, but your parents are still out of the loop. Letting them know that you have someone in your life can be awkward if you've never really opened up about your love life, or nerve-wracking if you are not sure how they will react to the news. Take the time to mentally prepare for this conversation and have a plan ready to ensure that you deliver the news in the best possible way.

Select an appropriate time to have the conversation in person with your parents. Choose to break the news when they aren't busy, so they can give you their full attention, the Boys Town National Hotline advises in, "How to Talk to Your Parents" on Your Life Your Voice. A better time to drop the news may be after dinner when they are both relaxed and unoccupied, instead of telling them on the phone while they're on their way to work. Also consider their moods. If one or both is stressed or anxious, they may not be open to hearing about your boyfriend at that moment.

Be clear, respectful and get to the point. Say something like, "Mom and Dad, I'm dating a really nice guy named Dave. I think you will like him." If you are feeling nervous or awkward about the conversation, you can preface the sentence with an acknowledgement of how you are feeling, according to a Teens Health article, "Talking to Your Parents -- or Other Adults," reviewed by child and adolescent psychologist D'Arcy Lyness. You can say: "Mom and Dad, I am kind of nervous to tell you, but ..." or, "I have some really exciting news that I can't wait to share with you." After expressing yourself, try not to take too long to get to the heart of the subject.

Give a good impression when they ask questions. Your parents will want to know more about the guy you are dating, so be prepared to fill them in on the basics: his name, age, occupation, personality, family life, hobbies and interests. When presenting information about your boyfriend, play up his positive points while still being honest. Let them know how happy he makes you or how funny he is. Be sure to mention any common hobbies or interests that your boyfriend and parents may have.

Tip

  • Write down the conversation points and practice ahead of time if you think you will be nervous.

Warning

  • Your parents may not respond to the news as you hope. They may not be happy about your dating, or they may give you advice about your love life that you do not want to hear. If so, respond assertively but respectfully, says Don Gabor, founder of Conversation Arts Media, in his book, "How to Talk to the People You Love." Respectfully acknowledge that you know they have concerns regarding your love life, but assertively state that it is your relationship and that you are going into it with what you think are the best decisions for you. Still, try to understand their point of view.

About the Author

Sarah Casimong is a Vancouver-based writer with a Bachelor's degree in journalism from Kwantlen Polytechnic University. She writes articles on relationships, entertainment and health. Her work can be found in the "Vancouver Observer", "Her Campus" and "Cave Magazine".

Photo Credits

  • Hongqi Zhang/iStock/Getty Images