The Tension of Family Dinners

When a person is old enough to begin seeking a partner in life, their family is often involved in how they find and relate to another person. One of the tensest times is when they find someone they believe is perfect, and they bring them home to meet the family at dinner. Everyone is nervous, and the tension can cause gaffs and mistakes to be made. This is a normal part of introducing a new partner to the family, and everyone expects the tension to subside after a few meetings. When the family does not warm to the new partner, the tension will persist.

Where the Tension Begins
There are many times when a person chooses someone their family does not like in the beginning, and it creates tension between the two. The person whose family objects can feel they are caught in the middle, and they can feel resentment or anger toward everyone involved. Their partner might believe the family is being unreasonable, and this causes them to try avoiding the family as much as possible. When it is time to have dinner with them, the tension begins well before the meal is cooked. Partners in this situation feel tense before the gathering because they are aware of the issues that might arise, and they are concerned that it will get worse as time passes. It creates not only personal tension, but the partners might find it building between them every time they are expected to attend a family dinner.

Digging into the Issues
For many families, there are concrete reasons why they do not like a new partner. Some of them feel the person might be trying to use their loved one, and others see the match as unviable. They want to help their loved one to avoid being used, abused or hurt by an outsider. It does not matter what the issue is that they see, they need to look rationally at their objections before expressing them. While it might be one small issue that can be easily corrected, it might also be very complex and unsolvable. The issues must be addressed or tension will continue to build between all parties.

Solutions and Compromises
For a person involved with someone who does not get along with their family, compromise might be the only solution they can find. They might leave their partner behind when they attend family gatherings, or they might bring them along on holidays only. This will still cause tension within the relationship, and the family will generally resent it as well. Many people find the problem solves itself over time, and they simply wait out both parties until they can compromise on their issues.

There are no guarantees that a family will like or even love someone a member chooses as a partner, but they can find ways to get along. The ability to compromise on their own wants and needs will help the couple’s relationship, but simply being stubborn about the issue will cause their loved one the most misery. Getting along with outsiders might be difficult, but doing so can ensure they become a cherished new member of the family.