When you’re dating someone should you date their whole family too? This is one of the most common questions in couples therapy and counseling because family plays a major role in the success or failure of a relationship.
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I must also state that there is no fixed solution or approach towards this question or phenomenon. Should you date your boyfriend or girlfriend’s family too? This is because it is relative i.e families differ, personalities differ, societal frameworks differ, so there is no generalized solution but only a situational solution.
This being said, some people today, guys or ladies date their girlfriend’s or boyfriend’s family including extended family, they develop an intimate relationship with their boyfriend’s family members, attend all family functions, add all family members on Blackberry Message, WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat or whatever social media channels you can think of. They go to their boyfriend’s house to do chores. They go and help their boyfriend’s mom and sisters tie Gele (A cultural head tie common in western Nigeria) and cook for them, travel to Ogun, Ondo, or Imo State for a distant uncles 50th birthday party. They may even go as far as calling their boyfriend’s cousin to dish out relationship advice and such.
One has to wonder if all these acts are beneficial to the growth and prosperity of a relationship? Are these acts necessary? Are you giving people the right to interfere in your relationship?
In my opinion, I believe you should not date your boyfriend’s or girlfriend’s family too, of course have a cordial relationship with them but don’t involve them in the day to day activities of your relationship because they are going to bring their own experiences, expectations and requirements into your relationship and sometimes even tell you how to manage your life or affairs.
Extraneous variables in psychology always needs to be reduced or controlled to get an objective result. Besides a relationship should be between two people not three, four, or five people. It is best to make your own mistakes so that you learn first hand from them rather than having an external source (i.e your significant other’s family) telling you how to run your affairs.