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Woman's BF of Three Years Refuses To Meet Her Parents, Wonders If He's Gaslighting Her

A natural next step in a relationship is involving blood family. Even if they can be a source of stress, it really has stuck itself in our society as a rite of passage. So what do you do when it's looking like your boyfriend of 3 years doesn't want to take that step?

u/spammymonkey laid out the situation for us:

My (26F) boyfriend (28M) refuses to meet my parents. We have been dating for three years.

So I've been dating this guy for three years and you'd think we would already make the step to meeting each other's families. I will also add that we have been living long distance for about two years but I see him for extended periods of time about six times a year.

I haven't met his family yet. He hasn't met mine. Everytime I bring up the topic he gets defensive and refuses to do so. He's normally a pretty private person.

His reasoning is that he likes to spend time with me as an escape from all the other people he has to talk to in his job. And meeting my parents is disturbing the status quo. Is this normal? I'm thinking of ending it but I'm having a really hard time. I would like to be mature about the whole situation, and have tried to talk to him but he doesn't want to.

TL;DR boyfriend of three years doesn't want to meet my parents and he refuses to talk about it.

Here was some of the advice she got.



There are 2 scenarios here:

  1. His family is abusive or something along those lines and isn't really big on the whole meeting the family ordeal
  2. He's keeping you secret and doesn't want people to know about you (not saying he's cheating or something but I have seen those instances)

Either way he needs to give you a proper reason. Relationships are about compromise. He should be willing to meet your family for you but you don't have to see his family if he doesn't want.

So communicate with him basically.



Hmm. This is tough not knowing more about the situation. My gut reaction is something is up. I have a friend where this happened- his girlfriend just never brought him around her family and they were together for years. She had a medical emergency and when he called her parents to tell her, they had no idea who he was. Turns out she had another boyfriend and that's why she never told her parents about him.

I think his reason is bs- this is life and you gotta talk to people. "Disturbing the status quo" is some crap too. There is something fishy going on here, and I would tell him that he needs to explain himself or you're done.



he likes to spend time with me as an escape from all the other people he has to talk to

That's not what a relationship is meant to be. A relationship isn't an escape from real life, it is a part of your life. A partner is someone that joins you for family events, for social events, maybe even work functions. Your boyfriend doesn't see you like this. Maybe he has another girlfriend, maybe he doesn't, but either way, he sees you as something separate to his life. And that's not fair. You are more than just a hobby to provide him with stress relief. You are someone who wants to comingle your lives together, which is 100% normal after 3 years!

Time to be done with this relationship. It's not going anywhere.



So everyone's jumping to the idea that you're his side piece or at best someone he sees as a casual fling which, yeah, does sound very possible.

But even if that's not true, this is a really reasonable dealbreaker! I couldn't deal with it, and I'd absolutely dump him if I were you. My boyfriend is a bit resistant about family stuff (his family history is...complicated), and even that gets tiring for me to deal with sometimes, although I understand and respect where he's coming from and he does come with me when it's important.

I hope he'll eventually become more open to joining me for family stuff, but I'm 100% okay if he doesn't because he's still there for the big stuff. I could never build a life with someone who refused to even meet my family, and after 3 years that's what you're doing. So who even cares if he has a secret wife or whatever? If your parents are important to you, and he refuses to even discuss meeting him, cut him loose.




Umm. I would recommend reading your post and your answers as another person and think about what advice you would give your friend if she came to you with this issue.

It seems that he doesn't see a future with you, which is why he refuses to answer your question about the future. If he says no future since you are only a temporary thing for him, then you will break up with him, but if he gives no answer and strings you along, then he can get laid in the meantime and then dump you when he is ready to find the person he wants to settle down with.

Thats why he hasn't introduced you to family. No point in going through all that for someone that will be a free agent soon.



It's fine if he sees you as an escape and doesn't want to disturb the status quo, but unless that's the way you want your relationship to remain then I think it's time to bail. He's basically telling you that he likes to date you but doesn't ever see the need to go further or do more... which is fine for some people and doesn't make him a bad person, but it may mean you're incompatible if you want more than that. And if you do want more than that, then go find that because you're not going to get it from him.



I suspect he's hiding you for some reason, or he has a poor relationship with his family and isn't really big on the whole family thing in general. No matter the reason, if you want a partner who is family-oriented then this might not be the guy for you. After three years in a relationship, things are usually getting pretty long term serious and not communicating his thoughts about this to you is quite frankly unacceptable. Imagine potentially attending family holiday gatherings on your own forever while he does his own thing.

I dated someone about five years who was the ladder. He met my parents maybe 2-3 times, and would make excuses for why he needed to go home early and to not attend family events with me. He also avoided spending time with his own family on holidays. It just wasn't important to him, even though it was extremely important to me.



I am very sympathetic to someone not wanting you to meet their parents, as long as they explain why. People have different relationships with their parents. My partner only met my parents a week before we moved in together.

However, if you want them to meet your parents, and you express that it is important to you, it is really not normal or ok for your partner to refuse (barring extremely unusual circumstances).



For all you wrote, I still don't have any sense of who he is. He works, included you in work functions, and you see each other now and then. What kind of person is he, what does he hope for, what are his friends like, do you imagine future things together?

He sees you as an escape: What, like a relief valve for his real life, instead of someone he wants to bring into that life? Can you find out what he's "escaping" from? Family expectations, his main girlfriend, or having to grow up?

He is very private, doesn't share much: Maybe his family's intrusive, maybe he doesn't have a lot of thoughts to share, maybe he doesn't want deeper connections?

Not wanting you to meet his family: Could be they don't have a good relationship. Or they'll assume it means he's serious about you, but he isn't and wants to put off telling you.

It might ease his mind to tell him that meeting them is off the agenda for now. What's more important is if he'll tolerate talking about your future, what his family's like, etc. Normal things.




Yes, it's weird as hell and a red flag for a number of reasons. It's not normal to want to keep everyone in their own place separate from anyone else in your life. This speaks to, at best, emotional or psychological issues that he should be addressing in therapy. At worst it means he's doing things that he feels he needs to hide from a variety of people, so he keeps everyone compartmented away so no one will compare notes or trip up his careful narratives.

And even if it's not anything sinister like another woman or the fact he has something big to hide from you and lots of people, even if it's that he doesn't see you as anything but Ms. Right Now instead of Ms. Right until she comes along, the fact is you cannot have a full relationship with someone who sees you only as an "escape." You should not be placed in the same category as a bottle of booze or an entertainment center or a fun night out to get away from things, which is kind of what his description and insistence of your role has placed you.

It's also really kind of controlling in a very disturbing way. I mean, if he didn't want you to meet his parents due to some trauma I can understand that. But you still have a partner who at three years feels comfortable enough to tell you at least, "hey, my parents are abusive POS that I want nothing to do with, so we are not meeting them. Ever." BUT he also does not want to meet your parents and by the sounds of it also avoids meeting anyone else in your life and vice versa.

There is something wrong here. You're the secret he feels he doesn't have to share and he never will by the sounds of it. It's time to go unless you enjoy the relationship equivalent of being hidden in the attic.



Sooooo how is your relationship supposed to move forward? Have you talked about the future? Marriage? And it's been 3 whole years? "He doesn't want to talk cuz he talks at work" he's just not gonna talk about anything at all???

He's not communicating. And totally pushing it off. Sounds like he likes the box he put you in in his life. If this is a relationship you want, go for it. But if you want to be more involved with your partner's life/family, this may not be the right partner.



I once dated someone who was extremely private about his family. His parents didn't know about me, and he only talked to his dad. He bashed his family to me and said he would never go back to visit with them.

I found his dad's Facebook page after the fact. There was a photo of my former significant other with a girl he'd brought to meet his family recent to that time.




Late to the party here but to second a lot of other commenters, this does ring some alarm bells for me. As many here point out, he may have justifiable reasons for not introducing you to his family, however what really strikes me is that he has not met your family (I get the impression this is something you have tried to facilitate). Regardless of his issues with his own family, he should have made the effort to meet your family at your request before now, and this shows a lack of consideration that concerns me.



He could be extremely shy and anxious/insecure?? No doubt I think a 28 year old in a 3 year committed relationship should have enough courage to have met them at least a few times, but it is a pressure situation for some if he feels like he needs to impress them especially because procrastinating this long could add more tension. Just trying to provide a logical counter argument here because I see a lot of people getting carried away I think with out a strong feel/ base of knowledge regarding this relationship that has gone on for over 1000 days. I too am greatly removed from the situation, but felt the need to say something because I have been mistaken as toxic in my relationship before when really I was unable to show vulnerability due to my insecurities.



Whether or not anything "fishy" is going on, if he's refusing to meet your family after three years, he's just not that into you. By that, I mean, he's not looking for anything more serious with you and if you want something serious you should look elsewhere.


People Reveal The Weirdest Thing About Themselves

Reddit user Isitjustmedownhere asked: 'Give an example; how weird are you really?'

Let's get one thing straight: no one is normal. We're all weird in our own ways, and that is actually normal.

Of course, that doesn't mean we don't all have that one strange trait or quirk that outweighs all the other weirdness we possess.

For me, it's the fact that I'm almost 30 years old, and I still have an imaginary friend. Her name is Sarah, she has red hair and green eyes, and I strongly believe that, since I lived in India when I created her and there were no actual people with red hair around, she was based on Daphne Blake from Scooby-Doo.

I also didn't know the name Sarah when I created her, so that came later. I know she's not really there, hence the term 'imaginary friend,' but she's kind of always been around. We all have conversations in our heads; mine are with Sarah. She keeps me on task and efficient.

My mom thinks I'm crazy that I still have an imaginary friend, and writing about her like this makes me think I may actually be crazy, but I don't mind. As I said, we're all weird, and we all have that one trait that outweighs all the other weirdness.

Redditors know this all too well and are eager to share their weird traits.

It all started when Redditor Isitjustmedownhere asked:

"Give an example; how weird are you really?"

Monsters Under My Bed

"My bed doesn't touch any wall."

"Edit: I guess i should clarify im not rich."

– Practical_Eye_3600

"Gosh the monsters can get you from any angle then."

– bikergirlr7

"At first I thought this was a flex on how big your bedroom is, but then I realized you're just a psycho 😁"

– zenOFiniquity8

Can You See Why?

"I bought one of those super-powerful fans to dry a basement carpet. Afterwards, I realized that it can point straight up and that it would be amazing to use on myself post-shower. Now I squeegee my body with my hands, step out of the shower and get blasted by a wide jet of room-temp air. I barely use my towel at all. Wife thinks I'm weird."

– KingBooRadley


"In 1990 when I was 8 years old and bored on a field trip, I saw a black Oldsmobile Cutlass driving down the street on a hot day to where you could see that mirage like distortion from the heat on the road. I took a “snapshot” by blinking my eyes and told myself “I wonder how long I can remember this image” ….well."

– AquamarineCheetah

"Even before smartphones, I always take "snapshots" by blinking my eyes hoping I'll remember every detail so I can draw it when I get home. Unfortunately, I may have taken so much snapshots that I can no longer remember every detail I want to draw."

"Makes me think my "memory is full.""

– Reasonable-Pirate902

Same, Same

"I have eaten the same lunch every day for the past 4 years and I'm not bored yet."

– OhhGoood

"How f**king big was this lunch when you started?"

– notmyrealnam3

Not Sure Who Was Weirder

"Had a line cook that worked for us for 6 months never said much. My sous chef once told him with no context, "Baw wit da baw daw bang daw bang diggy diggy." The guy smiled, left, and never came back."

– Frostygrunt


"I pace around my house for hours listening to music imagining that I have done all the things I simply lack the brain capacity to do, or in some really bizarre scenarios, I can really get immersed in these imaginations sometimes I don't know if this is some form of schizophrenia or what."

– RandomSharinganUser

"I do the same exact thing, sometimes for hours. When I was young it would be a ridiculous amount of time and many years later it’s sort of trickled off into almost nothing (almost). It’s weird but I just thought it’s how my brain processes sh*t."

– Kolkeia

If Only

"Even as an adult I still think that if you are in a car that goes over a cliff; and right as you are about to hit the ground if you jump up you can avoid the damage and will land safely. I know I'm wrong. You shut up. I'm not crying."

– ShotCompetition2593

Pet Food

"As a kid I would snack on my dog's Milkbones."

– drummerskillit

"Haha, I have a clear memory of myself doing this as well. I was around 3 y/o. Needless to say no one was supervising me."

– Isitjustmedownhere

"When I was younger, one of my responsibilities was to feed the pet fish every day. Instead, I would hide under the futon in the spare bedroom and eat the fish food."

– -GateKeep-

My Favorite Subject

"I'm autistic and have always had a thing for insects. My neurotypical best friend and I used to hang out at this local bar to talk to girls, back in the late 90s. One time he claimed that my tendency to circle conversations back to insects was hurting my game. The next time we went to that bar (with a few other friends), he turned and said sternly "No talking about bugs. Or space, or statistics or other bullsh*t but mainly no bugs." I felt like he was losing his mind over nothing."

"It was summer, the bar had its windows open. Our group hit it off with a group of young ladies, We were all chatting and having a good time. I was talking to one of these girls, my buddy was behind her facing away from me talking to a few other people."

"A cloudless sulphur flies in and lands on little thing that holds coasters."

"Cue Jordan Peele sweating gif."

"The girl notices my tension, and asks if I am looking at the leaf. "Actually, that's a lepidoptera called..." I looked at the back of my friend's head, he wasn't looking, "I mean a butterfly..." I poked it and it spread its wings the girl says "oh that's a BUG?!" and I still remember my friend turning around slowly to look at me with chastisement. The ONE thing he told me not to do."

"I was 21, and was completely not aware that I already had a rep for being an oddball. It got worse from there."

– Phormicidae

*Teeth Chatter*

"I bite ice cream sometimes."


"That's how I am with popsicles. My wife shudders every single time."


Never Speak Of This

"I put ice in my milk."


"You should keep that kind of thing to yourself. Even when asked."

– We-R-Doomed

"There's some disturbing sh*t in this thread, but this one takes the cake."

– RatonaMuffin

More Than Super Hearing

"I can hear the television while it's on mute."

– Tira13e

"What does it say to you, child?"

– Mama_Skip


"I put mustard on my omelettes."

– Deleted User


– NotCrustOr-filling

Evened Up

"Whenever I say a word and feel like I used a half of my mouth more than the other half, I have to even it out by saying the word again using the other half of my mouth more. If I don't do it correctly, that can go on forever until I feel it's ok."

"I do it silently so I don't creep people out."

– LesPaltaX

"That sounds like a symptom of OCD (I have it myself). Some people with OCD feel like certain actions have to be balanced (like counting or making sure physical movements are even). You should find a therapist who specializes in OCD, because they can help you."

– MoonlightKayla

I totally have the same need for things to be balanced! Guess I'm weird and a little OCD!

Close up face of a woman in bed, staring into the camera
Photo by Jen Theodore

Experiencing death is a fascinating and frightening idea.

Who doesn't want to know what is waiting for us on the other side?

But so many of us want to know and then come back and live a little longer.

It would be so great to be sure there is something else.

But the whole dying part is not that great, so we'll have to rely on other people's accounts.

Redditor AlaskaStiletto wanted to hear from everyone who has returned to life, so they asked:

"Redditors who have 'died' and come back to life, what did you see?"


Happy Good Vibes GIF by Major League SoccerGiphy

"My dad's heart stopped when he had a heart attack and he had to be brought back to life. He kept the paper copy of the heart monitor which shows he flatlined. He said he felt an overwhelming sensation of peace, like nothing he had felt before."



"I had surgical complications in 2010 that caused a great deal of blood loss. As a result, I had extremely low blood pressure and could barely stay awake. I remember feeling like I was surrounded by loved ones who had passed. They were in a circle around me and I knew they were there to guide me onwards. I told them I was not ready to go because my kids needed me and I came back."

"My nurse later said she was afraid she’d find me dead every time she came into the room."

"It took months, and blood transfusions, but I recovered."


Take Me Back

"Overwhelming peace and happiness. A bright airy and floating feeling. I live a very stressful life. Imagine finding out the person you have had a crush on reveals they have the same feelings for you and then you win the lotto later that day - that was the feeling I had."

"I never feared death afterward and am relieved when I hear of people dying after suffering from an illness."



The Light Minnie GIF by (G)I-DLEGiphy

"I had a heart surgery with near-death experience, for me at least (well the possibility that those effects are caused by morphine is also there) I just saw black and nothing else but it was warm and I had such inner peace, its weird as I sometimes still think about it and wish this feeling of being so light and free again."


This is why I hate surgery.

You just never know.



"More of a near-death experience. I was electrocuted. I felt like I was in a deep hole looking straight up in the sky. My life flashed before me. Felt sad for my family, but I had a deep sense of peace."



"Nursing in the ICU, we’ve had people try to die on us many times during the years, some successfully. One guy stood out to me. His heart stopped. We called a code, are working on him, and suddenly he comes to. We hadn’t vented him yet, so he was able to talk, and he started screaming, 'Don’t let them take me, don’t let them take me, they are coming,' he was scared and yelling."

"Then he yelled a little more, as we tried to calm him down, he screamed, 'No, No,' and gestured towards the end of the bed, and died again. We didn’t get him back. It was seriously creepy. We called his son to tell him the news, and the son said basically, 'Good, he was an SOB.'”



"My sister died and said it was extremely peaceful. She said it was very loud like a train station and lots of talking and she was stuck in this area that was like a curtain with lots of beautiful colors (colors that you don’t see in real life according to her) a man told her 'He was sorry, but she had to go back as it wasn’t her time.'"


"I had a really similar experience except I was in an endless garden with flowers that were colors I had never seen before. It was quiet and peaceful and a woman in a dress looked at me, shook her head, and just said 'Not yet.' As I was coming back, it was extremely loud, like everyone in the world was trying to talk all at once. It was all very disorienting but it changed my perspective on life!"


The Fog

"I was in a gray fog with a girl who looked a lot like a young version of my grandmother (who was still alive) but dressed like a pioneer in the 1800s she didn't say anything but kept pulling me towards an opening in the wall. I kept refusing to go because I was so tired."

"I finally got tired of her nagging and went and that's when I came to. I had bled out during a c-section and my heart could not beat without blood. They had to deliver the baby and sew up the bleeders. refill me with blood before they could restart my heart so, like, at least 12 minutes gone."


Through the Walls

"My spouse was dead for a couple of minutes one miserable night. She maintains that she saw nothing, but only heard people talking about her like through a wall. The only thing she remembers for absolute certain was begging an ER nurse that she didn't want to die."

"She's quite alive and well today."


Well let's all be happy to be alive.

It seems to be all we have.

Man's waist line
Santhosh Vaithiyanathan/Unsplash

Trying to lose weight is a struggle understood by many people regardless of size.

The goal of reaching a healthy weight may seem unattainable, but with diet and exercise, it can pay off through persistence and discipline.

Seeing the pounds gradually drop off can also be a great motivator and incentivize people to stay the course.

Those who've achieved their respective weight goals shared their experiences when Redditor apprenti8455 asked:

"People who lost a lot of weight, what surprises you the most now?"

Redditors didn't see these coming.

Shiver Me Timbers

"I’m always cold now!"

– Telrom_1

"I had a coworker lose over 130 pounds five or six years ago. I’ve never seen him without a jacket on since."

– r7ndom

"140 lbs lost here starting just before COVID, I feel like that little old lady that's always cold, damn this top comment was on point lmao."

– mr_remy

Drawing Concern

"I lost 100 pounds over a year and a half but since I’m old(70’s) it seems few people comment on it because (I think) they think I’m wasting away from some terminal illness."

– dee-fondy

"Congrats on the weight loss! It’s honestly a real accomplishment 🙂"

"Working in oncology, I can never comment on someone’s weight loss unless I specifically know it was on purpose, regardless of their age. I think it kind of ruffles feathers at times, but like I don’t want to congratulate someone for having cancer or something. It’s a weird place to be in."

– LizardofDeath

Unleashing Insults

"I remember when I lost the first big chunk of weight (around 50 lbs) it was like it gave some people license to talk sh*t about the 'old' me. Old coworkers, friends, made a lot of not just negative, but harsh comments about what I used to look like. One person I met after the big loss saw a picture of me prior and said, 'Wow, we wouldn’t even be friends!'”

"It wasn’t extremely common, but I was a little alarmed by some of the attention. My weight has been up and down since then, but every time I gain a little it gets me a little down thinking about those things people said."

– alanamablamaspama

Not Everything Goes After Losing Weight

"The loose skin is a bit unexpected."

– KeltarCentauri

"I haven’t experienced it myself, but surgery to remove skin takes a long time to recover. Longer than bariatric surgery and usually isn’t covered by insurance unless you have both."

– KatMagic1977

"It definitely does take a long time to recover. My Dad dropped a little over 200 pounds a few years back and decided to go through with skin removal surgery to deal with the excess. His procedure was extensive, as in he had skin taken from just about every part of his body excluding his head, and he went through hell for weeks in recovery, and he was bedridden for a lot of it."

– Jaew96

These Redditors shared their pleasantly surprising experiences.


"I can buy clothes in any store I want."

– WaySavvyD

"When I lost weight I was dying to go find cute, smaller clothes and I really struggled. As someone who had always been restricted to one or two stores that catered to plus-sized clothing, a full mall of shops with items in my size was daunting. Too many options and not enough knowledge of brands that were good vs cheap. I usually went home pretty frustrated."

– ganache98012

No More Symptoms

"Lost about 80 pounds in the past year and a half, biggest thing that I’ve noticed that I haven’t seen mentioned on here yet is my acid reflux and heartburn are basically gone. I used to be popping tums every couple hours and now they just sit in the medicine cabinet collecting dust."

– colleennicole93

Expanding Capabilities

"I'm all for not judging people by their appearance and I recognise that there are unhealthy, unachievable beauty standards, but one thing that is undeniable is that I can just do stuff now. Just stamina and flexibility alone are worth it, appearance is tertiary at best."

– Ramblonius

People Change Their Tune

"How much nicer people are to you."

"My feet weren't 'wide' they were 'fat.'"

– LiZZygsu

"Have to agree. Lost 220 lbs, people make eye contact and hold open doors and stuff"

"And on the foot thing, I also lost a full shoe size numerically and also wear regular width now 😅"

– awholedamngarden

It's gonna take some getting used to.

Bones Everywhere

"Having bones. Collarbones, wrist bones, knee bones, hip bones, ribs. I have so many bones sticking out everywhere and it’s weird as hell."

– Princess-Pancake-97

"I noticed the shadow of my ribs the other day and it threw me, there’s a whole skeleton in here."

– bekastrange

Knee Pillow

"Right?! And they’re so … pointy! Now I get why people sleep with pillows between their legs - the knee bones laying on top of each other (side sleeper here) is weird and jarring."

– snic2030

"I lost only 40 pounds within the last year or so. I’m struggling to relate to most of these comments as I feel like I just 'slimmed down' rather than dropped a ton. But wow, the pillow between the knees at night. YES! I can relate to this. I think a lot of my weight was in my thighs. I never needed to do this up until recently."

– Strongbad23

More Mobility

"I’ve lost 100 lbs since 2020. It’s a collection of little things that surprise me. For at least 10 years I couldn’t put on socks, or tie my shoes. I couldn’t bend over and pick something up. I couldn’t climb a ladder to fix something. Simple things like that I can do now that fascinate me."

"Edit: Some additional little things are sitting in a chair with arms, sitting in a booth in a restaurant, being able to shop in a normal store AND not needing to buy the biggest size there, being able to easily wipe my butt, and looking down and being able to see my penis."

– dma1965

People making significant changes, whether for mental or physical health, can surely find a newfound perspective on life.

But they can also discover different issues they never saw coming.

That being said, overcoming any challenge in life is laudable, especially if it leads to gaining confidence and ditching insecurities.