Move Over, Carrie: Approval

November 23, 2013

Move Over, Carrie is a witty, whenever-I-feel-like-it series of The Unreal Life
where I talk about the sociology behind relationships. 
No pictures, no GIFs--just writing. 
If you're new, you can check out the first Move Over, Carrie here

It's safe to say that M has gotten more invitations from my friends than I have. This week alone, he has been invited to a birthday party, a housewarming party and a holiday party. His schedule is gettin' a little full. And in only one of these invitations did I say, "Yes, it is actually important to me that I meet this person."
"And what if I don't want to?" he said. 
"Excuse me?"
"What if I say no? Are you going to force me?"
"Why should I have to force you? If this person is important to me, and I'm important to you, 
wouldn't you just want to go and meet them?"
"I want a relationship with you, not your friends."

Which leads us to today's topic. When it comes to meeting friends and family, what's your "approval process"? How much approval is really necessary? 

I was getting drinks with a friend who sat and grilled me about M for an hour. As I've explained before, M and I come from extremely different socioeconomic backgrounds. The friend asked me, point blank, if I would be ok introducing him with his current job title to my friends. 

And it just struck me as odd. This idea that he should have to pass anyone's approval but my own. I've heard it argued that you should introduce your boyfriend to as many friends and family as possible because they "know you better than you know yourself." And to that, I say bullshit. No one knows me as well as I know me. And if the reverse was true and I could honestly say "My Dad/Mom/Sister/Best Friend knows me better than I know me"...then maybe I'm not ready for a relationship. But no one knows my inner thoughts and desires but me. Plain and simple. And for them to think that I am incapable of vetting my potential boyfriend myself is slightly offensive. It implies that I am incapable of being both romantic and rational, in a relationship and individual. Sure, lust clouds lots of things. But when the lust falls away, you better believe I am more than capable of vetting my own potential boyfriend. 

And regardless of what your friends say...I think we all know that when push comes to shove you're going to do what you want to do. We've all been through high school. You're going to date that bad boy, kiss that other one and potentially marry a nerd who everyone secretly rolls their eyes at. So what's the point? What's the point of putting everyone through that approval process?

I've also heard it said that it's necessary for friends and family to approve because "they're the ones you'll be spending the most time with." Again, I call bullshit. From watching what I know of my sisters and other married friends...the majority of the time is spent one on one, alone, as a couple. It's not constant dinner parties and barbecues. 

So I guess in the end, I wonder why we choose to let other people make our approvals for us. Shouldn't our approval be the only one that matters? Because in the end, we're the ones held responsible. If this relationship goes terribly awry, I can't point to one of my friends and say "but you approved!" It's my actions, my responsibility. How would things change if instead of first meetings being this awkward strain of approval withholding or giving, they were celebrations? Congratulations, Autumn has really, truly found you to be someone who could mean a whole effing lot to her which must mean you're very smart, caring, responsible, loyal and loving. Because we know Autumn will never settle, and therefore we don't need to make you run the gauntlet. Welcome, have some cake. 

What role do you let your friends and family play in picking your potential husband? 
Is there someone who's approval you absolutely must have?
What motivates your desire for approval?

 photo signature-16.jpg


  1. What an interesting post it actually really made me think about why we all feel this compulsive need for others approval of our significant other! I'm single at the moment but I know from past relationships when I've wanted everyone to approve of my choices and they haven't I've started to question why and what was wrong with my relationship or boyfriend. In some cases there had been damn good reasons and it turned out those who doubted were right so I do think that sometimes we aren't looking for approval but maybe for those who love us to see if there is something we're not seeing. Does that make sense?
    In the case of my best friend (used to be boyfriend of a year and a half) he still comes to me with any new girlfriend and I'm the test they need to pass - this makes for a stressful situation for all concerned and I've asked him why he does this and his answer is your opinion means a lot to me and if you don't love her I don't think she'll be for me. I told him that he has to make that choice for him and not on what me or his family think his love shouldn't be dependent on someone else's opinion.
    I hope M has a fab time at whichever event he chooses to attend with your friends and family and that everyone embraces him - but I hope it's because of who he is inside and not their judgement of your relationship.

  2. The idea of needing approval from family dor a relationship strikes me as old fashioned. To me, it's more about how those closest to you interact with him.

    Example A: I was a freshmen in college when I first met my boyfriend and his home was hours away. I made a point, before the semester ended, to invite my parents out ro to meet him. This was so they would be be comfortable having him visit us or letting me see him. At 19, I had no car. Going anywhere required my parents letting me take the car. Life was just easier if theu knew who he was.

    Example B: with the same boyfriend, I had friends who liked him and who didn't. Some even qanted me to break up. That's not important. So long as they can tolerate each each other when thwy have to be together - like my my birthday party - I'm good. It's easy enough to hang out with them separately.

    So, no. You need no ones approval, but I think it's also important for the people you love to be able to tolerate each other, if only for your sake. That need goes both ways, though. I don't think he should shy away away from meeting the important people in your life.

  3. As long as the person I'm with is kind and people recognize THAT then I don't care about all of the little things that they might not approve of. We're all different and therefore we're all attracted to different things. As long as the person you or I or anyone is with doesn't HARM them in any way then I don't think it's anyone else's business.

  4. I totally agree with your post! You really don't need anyone's approval in life. Granted, it's wanted, so we strive for it because we want people to be happy with us. But then we're not happy, so that's not always good. You don't need anyone's approval just your own.

  5. Although it's great to have your family and friends approve of who you're dating, I really believe if they were you're true friends, they would be happy for you. Unless the relationship is life-threatening, or harmful, no one has the right to judge someone on their race, orientation, religion, or even their employment.

    Definitely a thought-provoking post. Move over Carrie Bradshaw, Autumn's here.

  6. When my current fiancé and I first started dating my friends didn't think he "was good enough for me" because of his job. No other reason that that. He has to wear a uniform and drive a company truck all day, so to my friends that made him "someone not to get serious with" I'm so glad I didn't listen to my friends because I would have missed out on getting to know the man who I quickly realized was the man of my dreams. Now that we are engaged my friends have come around and decided he was good enough after all. Listen to your heart and no one else. After all, you're the one going home with him, not your friends.

  7. Great post.... I always listen to what my friends say... sometimes more than I think I really should. You know what you need to do and what makes you happy!!!

  8. I appreciate my friends and family's advice but I do what makes me happy in the end.


    Visit my blog to see to see what I'm thankful for in this week's edition of Sunday Social!

  9. my brain doesn't comprehend this.
    mainly because shitler and i have been together for 13 years and i don't know what it's like to intro him to the meaningful people in my life because he's just like always been there.


Your comments make my day! Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts.

Hayley Larue Design