Dear Richard Madeley: My partner’s parents don’t want to meet me

Young man looking at phone, his mother kissing him and father looking at them - Getty
Young man looking at phone, his mother kissing him and father looking at them - Getty

Dear Richard,

I am a man of 53. For almost five years now I have had a lovely relationship with a guy who is now 27. He is drama-free, loyal, loving, fun, and wonderful in many ways. He has met my friends, parents and children lots of times, and I have met some of his friends. 

There is just one ‘but’. His parents know he’s in a gay relationship but they have never asked him if he wants to bring me to meet them and he has never suggested it. He says they just don’t talk about it when the three of them are together (which is only every now and again as they live a fair distance apart). 

I would like to take things further as we are so perfect for each other but I feel that this is holding us back. It has made Christmas hard as we always spend it apart. Any ideas?

— Tom, via

Dear Tom,

I’m not entirely sure what the real issue is here. By ‘take things further’, I’ll assume you mean marriage, or at least cohabitation. Why do you need your partner’s parents’ permission or approval for this? 

Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that they are in total denial about their son’s sexuality, regardless of what he may or may not have told them about it, and vehemently against his relationship with you. 

You’d still marry or move in with him, wouldn’t you? (At least I hope you would!) Of course, it would be much better for everyone if they were on side and in your joint corner – but you have no control over that either way, Tom. 

So I think you should propose to the love of your life, or at the very least suggest moving in together or whatever ‘taking things further’ means to you. Assuming he says ‘yes’, then I suggest writing a warm, friendly letter to his parents – with his knowledge and permission – introducing yourself to them. Extol their son’s virtues. Say how much you’d like to meet them, how much you’ve heard about them.

In other words, Tom, seize the agenda. Don’t be passive any longer. Start the ball rolling now, and who knows, maybe you’ll all be spending next Christmas together.

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