It can hurt when your parents do not like your boyfriend, despite how happy he makes you. Continuing the relationship could be a challenge, especially with the pressures of your parents’ disapproval. While some of their complaints may be petty, do not always write off their concerns. Some of their worries may be worth paying attention to.
The man you take home to meet the family may be your subconscious way of rebelling against your parents, according to “When Your Parents Hate Your Boyfriend” on MomLogic by Wendy Walsh, a clinical psychologist. As you become a young adult, it is normal for you to separate yourself from some your parents’ ideas, opinions and expectations. If you feel your parents have been controlling throughout your childhood, you may carve out your own separate identity by choosing somebody completely opposite to the romantic partner that they had in mind for you. This is a way of showing your parents that you are an individual, separate from them, and make your own decisions.
Judgments and Prejudice
Just because you are dating someone who does not fit your parents' expectations does not always mean you are looking for conflict. Your parents may have unfair judgments and be prejudice against certain types of people -- of a different ethnicity, social class or religious background -- which prevents them from seeing the positive characteristics that you see in your boyfriend. Although their intentions may be to protect you, their fears about changes and differences in the world stop them from accepting your boyfriend as a person. The family identity could be created around these prejudices, making it hard for them to see differently, according to "When Your Parents Disapprove of Your Partner" by psychologist and marriage therapist Marie Hartwell-Walker on PsychCentral.
They Think He Falls Short
Your parents may disapprove of your boyfriend if they think he is not supporting you enough, financially and emotionally. The study "The Evolution of Parent -- Offspring Conflict Over Mate Choice" published in “Evolution & Human Behavior” in 2013, found that parents place importance on how much they see your partner is providing for you. If they find they have to provide the resources that your boyfriend fails to provide, they will feel that he is not good enough for you. This goes for what your parents perceive as emotional support as well as financial support. The study also found that children looked for a partner who was physically attractive, smelled good and made them laugh. Parents, on the other hand, prioritized family background and social class in their child's partner.
The Gut Feeling
Your parents may get a bad feeling about your boyfriend. They might call it parental instinct or a gut feeling. Usually, the feeling does not come from nowhere, and he may show signs that set off alarms such as being possessive or jealous. When caught up in a relationship, you may not be able to see the warning signs that an outsider may see. Your parents may be genuinely concerned about your well-being, if they sense your boyfriend is dangerous and could cause you harm.