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How to Tell Your Parents About a Long-Distance Relationship

by Lauri Revilla, studioD

Getting your parents on board with the idea that you are in a long-distance relationship can seem like a challenging task. Although a long-distance relationship can raise some concerns for them, lying or hiding it will only create more conflict. It is important that you are honest when disclosing your relationship to your parents. If done in a positive and caring manner, they are more likely to support you and accept the relationship.

Plan to have a conversation with your parents regarding the relationship as soon as possible. Avoid waiting or keeping the relationship hidden as this will only create suspicion and can cause hurt feelings. Pick a time when your parents are available and in a pleasant mood. Find a private place where you can all talk without interruptions. Prepare yourself for the conversation by practicing deep breathing, meditation or other relaxation techniques. Your conversation is more likely to go well if you are in a relaxed state.

Be honest when communicating with your parents about your long-distance relationship. Avoid hiding important facts or providing them with vague information about your partner. Often, a lack of information can create concern and lead your parents to oppose the relationship.

Find ways in which your parents and your partner can get to know each other. During your conversation, you can suggest that your parents join you two for a video chat, or they can befriend your partner on their social network. Create opportunities in which they can develop a close relationship, despite the distance. Give them a specific time frame of when they will be able to meet him. Make it a point to schedule activities that include your parents when your partner is visiting.

Give them the opportunity to share their concerns and perspective. Long-distance relationships can be challenging, and your parents are likely to express concern. In the article "Take an Early Lead. Success Starts With These 6 Phrases," Susan Heitler, who holds a doctorate in clinical psychology, recommends asking "How do you feel?" or "What do you think?" when dealing with difficult topics to allow others to share their perspective. She encourages using a phrase like "Yes, I agree that ..." to show that you understand your parents' viewpoint. And you can share your own perspective with phrases that start with "At the same time, I ..."

About the Author

Lauri Revilla has been writing articles on mental health, wellness, relationships and lifestyle for more than six years. She moved to San Antonio, Texas, from Mexico in 2006. She holds a Master of Science in Psychology from Our Lady of the Lake University.

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