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People no longer seeking approval of family, friends when it comes to their partners – survey

57% of respondents expressed willingness to end a friendship with someone who did not approve of their partner. 

We no longer need the approval of our friends and family on our significant others.

This is according to a survey done by Dating.com – part of Dating Group, the company behind over 40 online dating sites – which found that 57% of respondents expressed willingness to end a friendship with someone who did not approve of their partner. 

“For many, finding a partner that meets your needs can be a very challenging task. Because of this obstacle, which can feel insurmountable, many daters feel as though they need to hold onto a good relationship when they have one – even if it looks imperfect to other people in their life. This can lead to conflict with friends and family if everyone is not aligned,” said Maria Sullivan, VP of Dating.com. 

Other key survey findings include:

  • 71% of respondents reported that their friends’ opinions have little to no impact on their choice of whether or not to pursue a romantic partner.
  • 54% of respondents reported that they believe the disapproval they experienced from a friend or relative was a result of jealousy.
  • Men are far less concerned with getting approval than women are. In fact, 45% of male respondents said they would wait up to six months before mentioning a serious relationship to their parents.
  • 92% of respondents noted that if they were to seek relationship approval from anyone, it would be from their mom.

“While there has been an uptick in daters who are unbothered by their friends’ and family’s thoughts on their relationship, there are still people that are experiencing turmoil without the acceptance they need,” said Sullivan.

“If this is the case for you, there are steps you can take towards resolving this conflict. These can help you make peace with the situation and begin rectifying the relationships between your partner and your other loved ones.”

Sullivan’s tips for dealing with a lack of approval on your partner include:

Give it time.

If you do find yourself trying to ease tensions between your friends/family and your significant other, don’t try to make them spend time together until it gets better. If it’s going to happen, it will happen naturally in time – and pushing them to get closer might actually drive them further apart. This might not happen overnight, so be patient and allow both parties to come around. 

Try to identify the cause of conflict.

If those who truly care about you don’t care for your date, try to get to the root cause of their disapproval. You’ll need to know the cause if you want to work towards a solution. If your family or friends don’t have valid reasons behind their disapproval, it can certainly leave you feeling frustrated and alienated. 

Set boundaries.

When it comes to protecting your relationship, it is important to set clear boundaries on the opinions you’re willing to hear from your friends and family. If you’re feeling safe and happy in your relationship, yet the people in your life are being critical of it in an overly vocal way, make it clear that there is a line they should not cross when it comes to sharing their opinions with you. At the end of the day, it is your relationship, not theirs. 

Get an outside opinion.

It may be helpful to get an outside opinion from someone that’s not as involved in the day to day. Hearing constant negative feedback can be a lot to handle and can disorient you from the reality of your relationship. Consider talking to a therapist or truly neutral party who can help you better process how you’re feeling or understand where your friends and family are coming from with their comments.

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