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Parents Explain How They Really Decide Whether They Like Their Kid's Significant Other Or Not

Parents Explain How They Really Decide Whether They Like Their Kid's Significant Other Or Not
Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

There is little more nerve wracking than the first time someone introduces their partner to their parents.

For everyone involved.

Both halves of the couple worry that the parents will judge their every move, disapprove of the partner's choice of profession, or decide that they aren't good enough for their son or daughter.

Making both the child and significant other wish more than anything that they knew what was going through the heads of the parents.


Redditor Umikaloo was also curious to know what parents are thinking the first time they meet their children's new partner, leading them to ask:
"Parents of reddit: How do you feel when your kid brings back a girlfriend/boyfriend? How do you decide whether you like them or not?"

If They're Happy, I'm Happy...

"It's not up to me to like them, it's up to her. If she does, then I do."

"I care that my daughter is, safe, happy, motivated, handling her own business."

"Apart from that, I'm just enjoying watching her experience things, and hoping she includes me in some of that."- Mahhrat

It Can Be Just As Nerve Wracking For Them.

"Met my daughter's boyfriend the other day.'

'First boyfriend."

"She’s 17."

"He’s 18."

"I must admit I was a bit nervous and I remember very well being 18 and what I was thinking/wanting, but had a word with myself to be welcoming and warm and to treat him as an equal, my daughter's friend, and therefore my friend."

"Anyway, he’s a nice young man so it’s all good."

"But to answer your question I guess if he’s nice I’ll like him if he’s a d*ck I won't."

"Either way as far as my daughter is concerned I’ll like him."- dou8le8u88le

watching you meet the parents GIFGiphy

Just Give It Time

"I come from a middle class Indian immigrant family and my parents were never cool with us kids having boyfriends."

"So when at the age of 25 I brought my boyfriend home, they were a bit hesitant and took a long time to open up to him."

"My mom went all mother-in-law mode and felt she had to keep up appearances."

"If he came over and she was laying on the couch, she would get up and act all formal."

"The first day he met my dad, I asked my dad afterward what he thinks of my boyfriend, his response was 'don't lose him, that's all'."

"Now he comes over and hangs out with them without an ounce of formality."

"They all have little inside jokes with him, my siblings included."

"My parents went car shopping and I didn't get to go so my dad asked if the boyfriend and I would go take a look at the car one day after work."

"They just really wanted him to check it out too, which felt so special to me because they value his opinion and he's part of the family now."

"I never would have imagined that my family would welcome him like this."

"Melts my heart."- annnabear

Parents Have A Way Of Surprising You

"Not a parent, but this was my experience with my mother when I was a teen."

"So, as a teen, my mother pulled me to the side and gave me the 'gay talk'."

"You know, the ''I'll still love you even if you were gay' talk."

"I asked her why she thought I was gay and she said it was because I never bring any girls to the house."

"Guess what I did within the next few days?"

"I brought a girl in the house."

"Guess what my mother did?"

"She kicked her out and gave me a lecture on how inappropriate it was to bring girls to the house."

"Yes, it makes no sense."- Mr-Klaus

family guy no girls allowed GIFGiphy

Young, YOUNG, Love

"My 4yo daughter introduced me to the 5yo neighbor kid as a bf."

"She told me he's really good at running fast and he appreciates snails as much as she does."

'Needless to say, this is a keeper."- LittleMissEmmet

What Does This Even Mean?

"My daughter just started dating."

"She was mortified when I picked them up and asked if everything was Gucci."- raynbowz13

Just Be Polite, And Wait It Out...

"My daughter, 13, wanted me to meet her first 'real' boyfriend."

"I was nice and pleasant, but I knew it wouldn't last cause he was all looks and no brains."

"Of course, as jr high relationships go, it was about a 2 month ordeal."

"I think all parents should try and be cordial, unless the person feels like a serial killer or something."- littlecakebaker

Ariana Grande Couple GIF by Justin BieberGiphy

That Feeling

"I have always instinctively known within seconds of meeting them. I've liked all but one of my son's partners, and the one I didn't feel right about was the one who screwed him up."

retailface

"I’ve given my daughter the best advice I can give her and she’s leaps and bounds better at relationships than a lot of older adults I know (she’s nearly drinking age where we’re from)."

"That’s not to brag though as a lot of what I told her was don’t do the same dumb sh*t I did. Well that and to always know her worth."

"The moment someone makes her feel less important than they are they get the boot."

"She doesn’t try to fix people she dates. You are who you are and if you’re not right then oh well (a direct quote)."

"Honestly it’s something she said to me once that helped me be better off when dating (married now)."

"I’d made the remark that I hadn’t understood some sappy things people do when they’re in love."

"She looked me dead in the eyes and said “That’s because you’ve loved but never been in love.” She wasn’t wrong and as much as I sometimes hate to admit it she rarely is."

"That caused me to examine the relationship I was in under closer scrutiny than I ever had before."

"My husband today is the most amazing husband and father we could have asked for but never realized (until now) that we deserved."

Buttercup_Bride

Give Me A Reason Not To

"Not a parent so I called my mom. She stated and I quote:"

“I like all of them until they give me reason not to. Then I never tell you whether I like them or not, so I don’t influence your own judgement. I cannot choose for you, although sometimes I wish I could.” - Mrs. UnappreciatedSon

UnappreciatedSon

Act Natural

"It's about respect, if she treats him right, and compatibility."

"On the other end, not her dad, but my girlfriend's roommate is this old grizzled marine dude. She told me that he liked me because I didn't try to get him to like, which apparently most people do. I was just myself and acted naturally, which he appreciated. Just be yourself and the people that will like you will like you, and the people who won't won't. But always be respectful."

HippyKiller925·

Principals

"My stepdaughters boyfriend came into MY house and we were talking about computer games and he had the audacity to tell me why red dead 2 was better than god of war. IN MY HOUSE!! But respect to the lad for that, he stuck to his principals and a year later still argues with me about gaming stuff."

teksti-tv666

Same Brand of Weird

"My eldest is 15, and boys in high school can be....gross. The way they speak to girls (and girls to boys) is just so far out of line it makes me ill. But her boyfriend is respectful to her and her family. Most importantly they're the same brand of weird. They facetime 19 hours a day I swear, but yesterday they had an entire conversation about penguins both using the same weird fake Russian type accent. He's her safe place and without very good cause, I'd never get in the way of that."

EmptyBobbin

Blown Out of Proportion

"Here's my dad's take. He liked my ex-BF at first because he was initially polite and friendly, and I was very happy with him. However, my dad started to notice red flags later on and his opinion of him changed. For example, when we came back to my place from a day trip, he had sulked because I didn't show the enthusiasm he wanted about his favorite landmark. My dad told him that he should forgive me, but he still would not stop whining. My dad later told me that his reaction was blown out of proportion. Basically my dad would decide whether or not to like any guy I bring home based on the way he treats me."

"Edit: I did not show zero interest in what my ex liked. I just wasn't as over the top excited as he wanted me to be."

smalldoggobigpupper

Reflection of Parenting

"I love to meet his girlfriends. In a very self-serving way, I think his ability to attract charming ladies reflects the quality of my parenting."

"On one hand, I like whoever brings joy to his life. On the other hand, I prefer to be around polite and well-spoken people. A bit of nervousness on her part indicates that meeting me is important to her."

3MTAE

It's ingrained in parent's DNA to worry about their children.

And all parents have an idea of how they want their children's lives to turn out.

Hence their immediate trepidation when they bring their first significant other home.

Of course, their trepidation doesn't always come from a place of judgment, but rather a place of sadness.

As the first partner is a bittersweet reminder that their children aren't children anymore.

The Weirdest Animal Facts People Know

Reddit user FunChemical3182 asked: 'What is the weirdest animal fact you know?'

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Michael Jerrard on Unsplash

People accumulate facts throughout life on a wide variety of subjects.

Some are mundane while others are weird, wild or wonderful.

One subject a lot of people focus on is animals. Most people have a favorite animal that fascinates them that they want to know all about.

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Content Warning: Mental Health, Suicide, Domestic Violence

We all know that we technically can't make anyone else do anything, and we certainly can't "fix" other people. Other people will only change or do something if they choose to; the only person we can really control is ourselves.

But some people really love to try, often to hilarious and terrible results.

Already cringing, Redditor Dapper_Algae6280 asked:

"People who entered a relationship thinking 'I can fix them,' how did that go?"

Time for an Upgrade

"There is a weird thing that happens when you 'fix' someone. They tend to think if you liked them broken, then they deserve better than you now that they are better than they were."

- TheRealLifePotato

"As horrible as it sounds, to have a happy, emotionally healthy relationship you need two happy, emotionally healthy people. If you want to be in that sort of relationship, you need to fix yourself first."

- inactiveuser247

"This right here. After three sh*tty relationships in a row, I realized this is a me problem. I took a few years off from dating to reflect and really learn to see red flags and understand myself so I wouldn't make that mistake again."

- MikoSkyns

No More Spark

"My now ex had PTSD, depression, and a variety of other issues she claimed. After two and a half years of dating (being my first and only relationship), she became more social, less suicidal, and overall happier as a person."

"She decided to cheat on me with someone else due to 'lack of communication' and us 'no longer having a spark". The irony."

"For context, we were 17 at the time, in high school, and I worked full-time hours with initiatives to hang out, which were refused. Red flags everywhere."

- elteragxo

"Your situation is eerily similar to mine, what the f**k?"

"I met a girl with mental and emotional issues and decided to fix them through a healthy relationship. She recovered and found someone else because 'the spark was gone.'"

- Aimlessdrifter8778

Misery Loves Company

"Now we are both broken."

- Brave-Butterscotch76

"The same thing happened to my sister-in-law. She married a very negative and miserable guy while saying 'he will get better' or 'we’re working on it,' and now she’s a very negative and miserable person."

- Moreofyoulessofme

Getting to Watch a Partner Grow

"At first we were only f**king. I don't know if I ever thought I could fix her, but I did fall in love with this beautiful lady with severe anxiety, depression, and trust issues after being in a domestically violent relationship."

"We were f**k buddies for about six months and I got a glimpse of her issues but I still went ahead and asked her to be my girlfriend The heart wants what it wants."

"We dated for a year and a half (two years since meeting), and I actually got to see her at her worst a few times, but I was finally able to get her therapy with a great psychiatrist and treatment, this is when I asked her to move in with me. We've been living together for six years."

"Four years ago, she had the worst breakdown I've seen. She went full-on paranoid, wall-scratching nervous, she was even doubting me and my motives to be there. It was a very difficult week, and she left the house and went to her mom's house in the middle of the night."

"Eventually, her therapist was able to get a hold of her and get her back to her senses. Her doctor then suggested that I also should go to a counselor or at the very least we should do couples therapy so we had strong bases for our relationship and we did."

"I now look back and won't change her for anything in the world, she has grown so much, and she glows right now. I now see her smile and it's glorious. She's achieved a great position too and it's amazing just to see how much happier she looks."

- Spiritual-Narwhal666

Not a Match

"I fixed what I wanted to fix, but that still didn't make us right for each other. In the end, I think she's in a much happier place than she could have been, so I think it was worth the time invested."

"We were wrong for each other, but at least we both came out better positioned to receive the happiness that would come to us later."

- MrWeb20

In Their Nature

"A couple of months into the relationship, I fixed him."

"After some irritation, he stopped peeing on the carpet. Now, my cat still brings mice, but I guess, that's just his nature."

- mobileJay77

The Importance of Boundaries

"I don't know if I would say that I 'fixed' her (and I wasn’t trying to), but I definitely taught my last ex the importance of being able to set boundaries and to stop going out of her way to please people who consistently hurt her."

"Eventually this would lead to us breaking up, but I have no regrets. I have issues of my own that were wearing her down and she did what she had to. Same rules apply. We’re both better off because of it."

- TylerTexas10

Happily Ever After

"She fixed herself and I fixed myself with each other's support, and we are living happily ever after, it seems, with ongoing work on ourselves and our relationship."

- DonPronote

An Uncommon Ending

"I didn’t fix them. But I tried my hardest to be patient and supportive while they fixed themself. Sometimes I was better at support than other times. Sometimes they were better at fixing than other times."

"It ended up being worth the patience. Things have been great with us for years now. I know this isn’t the normal outcome though, and I feel incredibly lucky."

- I_Invented_Frysauce

A Little Help from Our Friends

"Usually I'm the one people try to fix.. I think the repeated attempts definitely helped me. Now my current partner gets to enjoy the previous hard work."

"...I think I just got tired of hurting the people who love me and fixed myself, though."

- addrien

All Their Idea

"You can't fix anyone. You can only fix yourself, but if you really want to try and fix someone, you have to make it seem like it's their idea."

- BuhrZap

A Helping Hand

"I don't think you can fix anyone. You can only help them fix themselves, which is very different."

"If someone is actively trying to fix themselves, and you can actually be the person to support them through it, then it can work, but it could also not work."

"I do think there should be a distinction between the two. I mean, trying to fix someone is a bad idea, but if you like someone and are willing to support them in their journey to fix themselves, it's probably not the worst idea in the world."

- brooksie1131

Lesson Learned

"It went so well that they managed to cure me of the desire to 'fix' anybody."

"I’ll toss you a life preserver if you’re trying to save yourself. But I’m not jumping in the water with anyone so they can drown me on their way out."

"People who need to hit rock bottom in order to better themselves will use you to soften their landing if you let them."

- GlobalPermit5428

Best Friends Forever

"It went well but it didn’t work out."

"So we kind of fixed each other we were both at very weird points in our lives and we only dated for about one and a half years. We didn’t need a romantic partner but we did need a friend in each other."

"We’re both in better places now and the best of friends. We both want each other to be part of our lives just not as lovers."

"All and all, I say we got the best outcomes in our lives."

- CODMAN627

So Worth the Investment

"He was an Uber driver with only a high school diploma."

"I married him anyways and bankrolled his education because he was fun as f**k to be around, was the smartest person I’ve ever met, and loves me like I’m the only woman on Earth."

"Now, he’s a computer engineer and we are landlords together and have bought investment properties. We are very happy together."

"Partners work together to create success. I think selfish people ask, 'what’s in it for me?' Marriage is about selflessness."

"I’m glad I sacrificed for his education. His mind would be wasted otherwise and he’s a genius."

- BabyElephantWalks

In most of these cases, the situation went poorly after a Redditor tried to change someone, and for good reason. If that person isn't ready or doesn't want to be fixed, it's only going to damage the relationship.

There's also something to be said about unconditional love. If you don't want to date the person exactly as who they are right now, why are you even trying to date them?

If you or someone you know is struggling, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988.

To find help outside the United States, the International Association for Suicide Prevention has resources available at https://www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres/

Guy at the gym
Anastase Maragos/Unsplash

Tough guys put on a facade that indicates to others that they always know what's going on.

But their confidence doesn't always match their intellect, which is probably why they cover their insecurities by walking around and trying to show everyone who's really the boss.

If that's the case, they should keep their mouths shut because not everything that comes out of their mouth needs to be heard.

Yet, it can be amusing to everyone else.

Curious to hear examples of these, Redditor PrototypeShadowBlitz asked:

"Reddit, what is the stupidest thing you've heard from the 'alpha male' community?"

You might find these guys at a bar.

The Dude Must Be Hungry

"Had a run in once with a group of young lads about something in a bar and one of them said we are top of the food chain bro and you will be the prey."

– insertitherenow

"'Whatever, mall ninja" -proper response."

– TheEighthLord

If The Shoe Fits

"That they were an alpha male."

– I_Have_A_Name37654

"The use of 'Alpha Male,' unironically is every indication that you're dealing with a child's understanding of manhood."

– 88Dubs

Brat Pack

"Me and my bros are all alpha males."

– SonOfDadOfSam

"I was skiing one time and rode the lift with a guy that said, 'I don't feel no pain. I live with 5 roommates and none of us feel any pain.' Okay, bud. That's a really interesting coincidence."

– NicPizzaLatte

They sure thrive on making sexist comments.

Contagious Femininity

"A coworker said, 'I don't spend too much time with my girlfriend because I'll become too feminine.'"

– Lazy_Natural6154

"FELLAS IS IT GAY?!"

– aliebabadegrote

Sexist Categorization

"I have been called a beta for saying that my wife makes more money than I do. She works in a more lucrative field and is more educated than I am, so it makes perfect sense that she makes more than I do."

"So I came back, and this post has really blown up. There's just a few things I want to clarify."

"1- I have only ever been called a beta online."

"2- I work full-time in project management. I have a master's degree. I have a 6 figure salary."

"3- My wife has a PhD and works in finance. She also has a 6 figure salary, it's just a higher salary than my own."

"4- I'm sorry to anyone who might feel as though my original post misled them."

– ExaminationDouble240

It's Teamwork

"A real man would be proud of his wife for achieving success, and not fall for that sort of insecure bullsh*t."

"It's not a contest, that's the real joke here. Good on you for seeing the big picture."

– Mrbeardoesthethings

Do these roles about parenting sound familiar?

Childish Things Are Too Girly

"Real men don't take their kids trick or treating is one that I heard recently."

– constructionguy89

"Related. Guys who brag about not changing diapers, not playing 'girly' games, etc. Essentially guys who brag that their only contribution to fatherhood is money and masculine things like fishing or football. Even then some of them brag about not paying a lot of child support to prove they didn't let the system take advantage of them."

"I can't imagine a life so empty my only accomplishment worth bragging about was being a terrible parent."

– Green7000

This Woman's Work

"I was told that taking care of my kids is woman's work. Apparently it's concerning that I try to spend so much of my free time with them. Oddly enough the meatheads at my grappling club think it's sweet I occasionally have my daughters' hair clips on and nails painted."

– MrFunktasticc

People discussed rules in the bedroom.

Never Submissive

"That a man is turned off when their wife/girlfriend seduces them, because if she wants sex and shows it she is a sl*t, also making the man the submissive one…"

– kamalaophelia

Stifling Emotions

"Not the whole community, but was cuddling with a guy once and could tell he was trying not to get emotional over something that was bothering him. He said, quite literally, 'it's not alpha male behaviour.' I told him that I liked that he showed emotions sometimes, and he looked disgusted by the fact that I pointed it out."

– LambLifts

In high school, a classmate who was on the football team said I was a "sissy" for listening to classical music.

The other classmates laughed at me, which was hardly surprising since all of the guys on our unbeatable football team were considered stars on campus.

This kind of mockery was a typical day for me.

I can laugh at their idiotic comments now but back then, I don't know why I ever let them get under my skin.

Man standing behind large flowers
Quinn Buffing on Unsplash

We've all done things, or in some cases, regularly do things that others might consider weird.

Even so, we often feel no shame or embarrassment and embrace how unusual these habits are, and take our friends teasing or laughing at us for doing so in stride.

Sometimes, however, we might not like to advertise some of our unusual habits or actions and make every effort to keep them a well-guarded secret.

As raised eyebrows are much easier to take than blatant judgment from friends and peers.

Redditor Key_Nectarine_1969 was curious to hear all the weird things people have done which they still keep under lock and key, leading them to ask:

"What’s the weirdest thing you’ve done that you could only tell people anonymously?"

The Devil [Dogs] Is In The Detail...

"All throughout middle school, there was someone who tucked unwrapped Hostess Devil Dogs into the toilet paper dispensers in the bathrooms, so that when you pulled some toilet paper out, the devil dog would fall out into your hand."

"We had to have an assembly about it."

"That person... Was me."- bejeweled_sky

Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time

"Was drunk at an escape room with coworkers."

"It was an extreme one where you are handcuffed the entire time."

"I decided in my drunken state that it would be bada** to dislocated my thumb and slip off the cuffs like the movies."

"It wasn't."

"We got kicked out, my coworkers were weirded out and I had to go to the hospital."

"I quit a few weeks later."

"White collar wasn't for me."- Grotesque-penguin

The Bread Of Heaven

"Stole over 1,000 wafers from church because I really liked the communion wafers & didn’t know where else to get them."

"I felt really blessed & cursed for a long time."- hALLIEcinate

catholic the exorcist GIFGiphy

Retracing Steps...

"Once I got off the subway in NYC and I was super early for an appointment."

"So I picked a random guy and just followed him on foot for like 30 minutes, pretending I was like a private detective or something."

"Always kept about a half block behind."

"He turned this way and that, and eventually went into a building I had lived in 9 years earlier."

"It was weird, and so was I."- OKsurewhynotyep

Hygeine Be Damned...

"I found a dead rat in a field when i was younger and kissed it bc I wanted to say goodbye."- qeleia

exercise push up GIFGiphy

Bad Decisions Have A Way Of Getting Back To You...

"We got super drunk and ate a ton of spicy food in New Orleans."

"Back at the B&B, the food started to come out the back side."

"I was sitting on the toilet sh*tting bricks of fire."

"At that moment, the booze decided to hang a u-turn."

"The trash can was out of reach and I couldn't risk standing up from the toilet for even 5 seconds."

"The closest receptacle was the bathtub."

"I managed to turn in such a way that I could keep shi*ting in the toilet while projectile vomiting into the tub."

"Both ended up clogged, and there was no plunger."

"I had to call the owner to explain that I had destroyed both their toilet and their tub simultaneously."- HoopOnPoop

Things Best Left To Professionals...

"My partner is weirdly prone to cysts."

"I had to drain a 3 inch cyst on her back (thankfully she had a dr's appt the next week), then multiple other little cysts on her legs and chest."

"I never told her to her face but that first giant cyst literally haunted me, the amount of pus and blood I saw....good heavens."- SleepyBiologist

uruguay spot GIF by sargentoPezGiphy

At Least A Lesson Was Learned...

"When I was walking to school one morning, I saw a kid (7-8 yo?) kicking a dog."

"I ran over & kicked the kid and asked him how it felt."

"He ran off and no one saw."

"Still not sorry."- sneezyailurophile

All Creatures Deserve Love

"I was extremely socially isolated as a child and tried to make friends with the coyotes who lived in the woods by our home."

'I caught one in a snare and fed and kept her."

"I wanted a friend."- letthetreeburn

That's What Friends Are For...

"My wife and her best friend pick me up from a frat party black out drunk."

"Then they helped me take a sh*t on the toilet, wiped my a** and then gave me a shower and put me to bed naked."

"Don’t remember any of it."- nc3100

Party Love GIF by Chris CiminoGiphy

Not The Right Kind Of Manure...

"One time I went outside at like 2AM and put the garden hose nozzle into my butthole and sprayed some water into it, then farted it out onto the lawn."

"Basically gave myself an enema with a garden hose."

"I did this because I was bored."

"My neighbour saw me and told my dad (lived at home at the time)."- WaspsInMyGoatse

A Little Fantasy Now And Then...

"When I was younger I joined an international dating site that I figured was a scam."

"Put a black square as my picture and gave myself a fake name, and then looked through their users."

"And after about 10 minutes I had like a 100 messages."

"Most of them were messages telling me how handsome I was or how these women fell in love with me at first site."

"Now I knew it was a scam but when ever I felt down or got rejected for a while I would pop back on the site and read a few messages."

'Yeah it’s kinda cringy and probably pathetic but it made me feel better."

"I would just turn off that logical part of my brain that knew it was a scam for awhile and just pretend I was this popular and desirable guy."

"And it honestly got me through the day sometimes."- Demonking3343

dating app GIFGiphy

If anyone says they've never done anything they're ashamed, or at the very least less-than-proud of, in all likelihood, they are lying.

Or, more likely, they understandably want to pretend that it never happened.

Which might be a little easier than harboring a secret.