There’s a popular song you might know called “Rude.” The song is sung by a young man who wants to marry his girlfriend who asks her father for permission. When he’s denied, however, he calls the father rude and says he’s going to marry the daughter anyway. In the song, the couple is going to get married with or without the approval of her father. But is elopement really the best solution for them?
A recent study by H. Colleen Sinclair at Mississippi State University provides an answer for the couple in the song.
Should she disregard her father?
Based on Sinclair’s research, probably not. She found that the more our friends and family approve of our relationships the more likely we are to experience love, commitment, and trust in them. So, disregarding the father’s lack of approval and eloping might lead to a rocky relationship.
Should they immediately break up the relationship?
Just because the girl listens to her father doesn’t mean she needs to immediately end the relationship with the man she loves. Sinclair suggests that when friends and family disapprove of a relationship, we should take notice, but we shouldn’t let them entirely decide the future of the relationship. Allowing others to interfere leads to decreased trust and increased criticism for couples.
So if we want to listen to our family, but not let them control our relationship decisions, who do we turn to for outside support?
Who should they turn to?
Outside Perspective from Social Support
When we’re in the early stages of a romantic relationship, we often think the world of our partner (a.k.a. infatuation), which might cause us to ignore some of their red flags. Our friends and family, however, are more likely to pick up on these warning signs. Therefore, those couples who have social approval are probably happier because there are fewer risks for the relationship to begin with.
When your social network disapproves of your partner, take the opportunity to look at your partner more objectively. By doing so, you may be able to see your partner’s flaws more clearly and make the choice for yourself about what you can and can’t handle in your relationship.
Sharing the Joy
Another study found that how our friends and family react to events in our life affects how we feel about the event. If something good happens in our life, like beginning a new relationship, and someone else expresses their excitement for us, we are more likely to remain happy about the event. However, if the person we share the news with acts indifferently or even negatively, we begin to feel less excited. If our friends and family disapprove of a new relationship, we might start to feel negative about the relationship ourself.
When we don’t have social approval of our relationship, we should try to figure out why. It may be that a particular friend or family member has some personal barrier to sharing our joy with us. For example, perhaps a disapproving father is just worried that you are too young to be making a decision like getting married, so he has conflicted feelings about a proposal. Talk to those who disapprove and share with them why you’re so excited about the relationship. Help them get through their barriers. If you can’t, it may be helpful to revisit reason number 1.
The couple in the song may find that their relationship with her father is hurt by an elopement. The best course of action is for them to seriously talk with him about his concerns and try to share their joy with him.
In addition to seeking social approval, try taking our RELATE assessment here to see if there may be relationship weaknesses you should consider in deciding the future of your relationship.
Read the original article here.