Dealing with Disapproving Families in a Long Distance Relationship

When you told people you were in a relationship that is mostly based online, you may have experienced some unpleasant or unsupportive reactions. You might have even avoided telling people all together for fear of that reaction. However, an unavoidable situation in most LDRs is having your family know about your relationship and experiencing the range of responses that may not be as supportive as you’d hoped. For some LDR couples, they are faced with complete disapproval of their relationship by their family and it creates an unfortunate strain between loved ones.

One of the most important things to do in this situation is listen and communicate! You may not want to, or feel you’ll never be listened to, but understanding where this disapproval is coming from may help you deal with the opposition and maybe eventually diminish this issue from your life all together.

So the first thing to ask yourself is, do I understand why they don’t approve of my relationship? Whether it be valid or just completely unfair, once the reason is known, the approach you take is going to be much more clear and decisively made.

Why does my family disapprove of my relationship?

  • You’re underage and, in their eyes, they still have a say in the big decisions you choose to make.
  • You’re of age but still living at home. Therefore, still at the mercy of their input and possible judgements.
  • They simply don’t understand online relationships, making it difficult for them to trust that it’s real.
  • Personal reasons such as culture, religion, money, tradition etc.

What else should I consider before breaching the subject with my family?

  • Do they disapprove of me being in a relationship or is the issue specifically the distance?
  • Am I happy and confident enough in this LDR to defend it at every turn?
  • Is there a legitimate and reasonable cause for their disapproval?
  • What am I willing to sacrifice to please my family, if anything?

How can I approach my family about this topic?

  • Educate them on long distance relationships and online culture.
  • Stay calm. If you are acting in an impatient and irritable way, it’s likely they will view and treat you like their child, not an adult.
  • Listen to what they have to say. Despite what we sometimes may think, our parents will often have some decent advice based on experience of their own.
  • Speak well of your partner and the positive ways they have contributed to your happiness.
  • Express your expectations for this relationship, and find out what theirs are so you can best understand each others viewpoints.
  • If you all feel comfortable enough to do so, invite them to interact with your partner on Skype.

Every individual relationship is unique and dealing with different issues. So whatever it may be, try to remember that you are ultimately in control of your life as long as you are able to support yourself.

It is often a sad reality that some families never approve of such relationships, and this is something that we have to be aware and ready for when we decide to involve our families in our long distance relationship.


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About Tianna

Tianna is a 23 year old from Australia. She works part time as a business administrator, but spends most of her time on music and writing. She has been in an LDR for almost 4 years.