Why Won’t Our Daughter Introduce Us to Her New Boyfriend?

Our only child is 33 and unmarried. We have a good relationship with her. She lives 30 minutes away from us, and we see her frequently. She met a man three months ago, and he has now moved in with her. The problem: We would love to meet him and become part of their lives together, but she says she is not ready to introduce us yet. We have tried to set up various opportunities to meet him, but she refuses. She says it’s not him, it’s her. She wants the encounter to be “perfect” and is anxious that it won’t be. I feel hurt! We try to avoid talking about him, but he soon becomes the elephant in the room. She says she’s an adult, and it’s her decision. Should we respect her privacy? She seems happy.


My guess here — based on a thousand years of watching parents and children at odds — is that your daughter sets great store by your opinion, and she may feel that you have been critical of her in the past. This doesn’t mean you have a bad relationship, but it may account for her delaying the moment of inevitable judgment when you meet the boyfriend. Or she may be uncertain of the new relationship herself and not want to hear your opinions about it yet.

I may be wrong, of course, but even so, the smarter move here would be to reframe your question. Not: “How can I strong-arm an introduction from my daughter?” But instead: “How can I support her choices and happiness?” I recommend trying to make her feel safer. Because at the ripe old age of 33, she doesn’t need your permission to date anyone.

So, turn down the heat; there is no elephant here! The next time you see her, say: “Honey, introduce us to your boyfriend whenever you feel comfortable. No pressure!” You may also advance your cause by being upbeat and nonjudgmental about other areas of her life — not that you aren’t already. (Just be careful about unnecessary criticism.)

Credit…Miguel Porlan

Thanks for Having Me! Sorry in Advance for the Yelp Review.

I was at a small dinner party where the hostess served a first course that I despise: cold cucumber soup. I thought I might gag on it. A friend suggested that the hostess should have offered me something else when the issue became obvious. I didn’t think fast enough to claim a food allergy. I felt bad, but what to do?

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