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‘Why don’t my parents like my boyfriend?’

‘Why don’t my parents like my boyfriend?’

Kyle is 24 and in his third year of school, majoring in entrepreneurship. He says he’s  always respectful to Lisa’s parents, but that they don’t seem to like him in return.  This is causing stress with his girlfriend, Lisa, who he’s been dating for a year.  Lisa says her parents don’t approve of him because they feel he’s unmotivated and doesn’t have any real plans for the future.  She’s wondering what she can do to get her parents to like Kyle better.

My Advice:

Lisa, I would say the same thing about Kyle if I was your dad!

He’s got to grow up here and start making some definite plans for the future.  Kyle, if you want to win over Lisa’s parents, this is what you have to say. Tell them you are going to work hard to provide for Lisa, and be specific about how you’ll be working.

Calling yourself an entrepreneur comes across as very arrogant and it doesn’t really mean anything except maybe that you like to take risks—which is not something most parents want to hear.

Most schools don’t have a degree called entrepreneurship, so this strikes me as disingenuous. Why not call yourself a business major instead? This will come across as much more professional. Until you prove to the world that you can start your own business and be successful, you should avoid calling yourself an entrepreneur.

It’s more honest to say you’re a student in business school and have clear, specific career goals in mind.

As a parent, I don’t need you to be the smartest guy in the world, but I do need to know that you’re going to give it 100 percent.

Effort is no. one in any parents’ eyes. So if you want their blessing for a partnership with their daughter, try being honest with yourself, first, and then them.  Even if you’re not sure yet which direction you want to go in, being humble and admitting that, while still explaining your broader goals is going to go a long way toward improving your relationship with Elizabeth’s folks.

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