Signs Your Boyfriend's Family Doesn't Like You (39 Clear-Cut Signs)

Last updated on May 13, 2024 by Michelle Devani

One of the early signs of a serious relationship is meeting your partner's family. Nevertheless, while you may be struggling to leave a good impression with your looks, conversation, and mannerism, gaining the love of your future in-laws is never going to be a guarantee. It is possible that despite all your efforts, they may still not like you. 

You see, being unliked by a partner's parents, especially during the first few meetings, is not uncommon. However, it becomes a problem if you have spent months or years with the guy, and things don't seem to be changing. Perhaps their reason for dislike could be that they misinterpret your body language and words due to environmental and cultural differences. 

Unfortunately, despite being almost impossible for a person to change their behavior when they are unaware of what they are doing wrong, your boyfriend's family may not be willing to be upfront and honest about their feelings towards you. As such, you must take it upon yourself to pick up on the signs. On that note, here are 39 subtle and not-so-subtle signs that your boyfriend's family doesn't like you.


39 Signs Your Boyfriend's Family Doesn't Like You

1. They do not want to meet you

Undoubtedly, every girl likes to view their boyfriend's family as their future-in-law, or even better, an extra family. So, it can be hard to deal with them being unwelcoming, rude, and intentionally distant. If your boyfriend's family seems to be purposely avoiding you, it means they do not like you and do not want to spend their precious time around you.

Admittedly, this hurts and can make you want to retaliate by avoiding them. However, you should avoid paying them back in their coins. Instead, you might want to consider finding a middle ground or shared interest to enable them to connect better with you.

2. They withhold praise and compliments

Even the most confident woman on earth enjoys receiving a compliment or two now and then, and these compliments mean much more if they come from people they look up to and respect, like your future in-laws. Therefore, when your boyfriend's parents never praise or compliment you, it can be a sign that something is awry about their feelings towards you. 

For instance, a family who is thrilled about you dating their son will want to make you feel good and comfortable around them, and one of such ways is by appreciating the good in you. So, if you have been in a relationship for a significant amount of time and his family never compliments you, it means they do not like you.

3. They never buy you gifts

Holidays come and go, and no gifts from your boyfriend's family? Well, that's a sign that they either do not like you or consider you a long-term girlfriend. 

Perhaps, you should consider getting them presents during holidays and their birthdays or send messages and call at the very least. These actions can help warm up their hearts towards you and move them towards reciprocating the love.

4. They mispronounce your name

One of the easiest ways to show disrespect and disregard towards a person is not caring to know how to pronounce their name correctly, and this might be the line your boyfriend's parents are treading. 

On the one hand, they may find your name difficult to pronounce, but on the other hand, if your name is short and straightforward, they do not care to learn the correct pronunciation, so they choose to stick to their version, not minding if it upsets you or not. This is a sign that they do not care about you.

5. They leave you out of conversations

When it comes to feeling lonely amid people, it's usually because we are left out of the conversation, or we cannot relate to what is being said or done. However, when you are with people who care and love you like your boyfriend's parents should, it is only right that they try to carry you along in their conversation.

This could mean providing backgrounds to throwback stories to enable you to catch up or let you in on the inside jokes, which draws you closer into the family. Therefore, if it seems like his family isn't doing any of this but continues to carry on conversations like you aren't present, it means they do not like you.

6. They don't include you in family photos

It is not out of place to start as the new girlfriend who takes the family pictures during the Christmas or Thanksgiving holidays. However, when it's been about three years or more, and you are still stuck with this role without anyone suggesting you join in on the photos, it is a sign that your boyfriend's family isn't fond of you.

The chances are that they do not want you in the photos because they do not support your relationship or want it to be long-term. So they are hoping that when you eventually break up, there won't be any reminders of your existence in their family.

7. They talk about their past relationships in front of you

Except if you are in your teens or early twenties, chances are your boyfriend had ex-girlfriends that his family knew about, and perhaps there was one or two which your family loved. Nevertheless, this does not give them the right to disrespect you by talking about them in your presence. 

When your boyfriend's family makes side remarks that refer to his ex-girlfriend or consistently ask after her in your presence, it is an indication that they believe she is a better fit for him than you. In this case, don't let their discussions faze you. Instead, pay attention to your boyfriend's reaction and act like it doesn't bother you. 

8. They are uninterested in what you do

Many people take pride in what we do, and to a large extent, we enjoy having conversations about them or educating people about the significant contributions we make to society. As such, having your boyfriend's folks not care about what you do or even ask what you do at the very least can be disheartening and a red flag.

Asking what a person does is a general question people ask during a first meeting, so having your boyfriend's relatives not ask or support your career is a sign that they do not care about you.

9. They blame you for his distance

they blame you for his distance

Perhaps your boyfriend is a mummy's boy who spends a lot of time with his mom, but being in a relationship has caused a slight change in his schedule and excessive visits. This can cause your boyfriend's mom to have a grudge against you. 

You see, it is not abnormal for a mother-in-law to feel like she's in competition with her daughter-in-law for her son's attention. So if it feels like you are getting negative vibes from your boyfriend's mom, this could be her reason. Perhaps, you should consider inviting her for events, so she doesn't feel an immediate withdrawal from her son or consistently bug your boyfriend to call and visit home regularly.

10. They avoid intimacy

Physical and emotional intimacy is vital to any relationship. Therefore, the willingness to spend time and have a conversation with someone means that you want to have a relationship with them. 

Where your boyfriend's relatives avoid sitting close to you, embracing you, or holding you, it means they are repulsed by you and possibly hate you. You see a rub on the back, a hug, or even a handshake can go a long way to make a person feel welcomed. So if your partner's family isn't doing any of these, it means they do not like you.

11. They scrutinize everything you do

Does it feel like your in-laws are always looking over your shoulder, controlling or monitoring your every move? This kind of behavior can make you feel uncomfortable as it is a clear indication that they do not trust you or your intentions. 

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While you shouldn't pretend to be who you aren't, you must also avoid situations and circumstances that will give them more reasons to doubt you.

12. Your achievements are undermined

Every parent loves to brag about their son and take pride in his achievements. So at the start of your relationship, it is normal if it seems like they are always trying to equate your achievements to your boyfriend's or make him look superior. It's most likely something they are doing unconsciously.

However, this attitude becomes a problem when you have been dating your boyfriend for a while but still find yourself struggling to get their attention and impress them. It could mean that they see you as incompetent and incapable of accomplishing great things.

13. They judge your decisions

When dealing with in-laws that hate you, it can feel like the critics are never-ending, and maybe it's true. That's because such a family will believe they know everything better than you do, from how you clean your home to how you dress and how you choose to raise your kids.

Therefore, if it feels like regardless of what you do, your boyfriend's fold is never satisfied, it means they dislike you and would prefer it if you weren't with your boyfriend. 

14. They do not laugh at your jokes

Some people are naturally funny and do not have a hard time making people laugh. If you are one such person, you would think making your future in-laws laugh would be easy, but it seems not to be the case. 

Their unwillingness to laugh at your jokes even when you have told your best ones means they do not care about your goofy antics or jokes. Perhaps you should consider a different approach towards being friendly, like complimenting them and asking follow-up questions to show that you care.

15. They make a big deal out of your mistakes

Does it feel like your boyfriend's family always makes a big deal out of all your mistakes? Or do they hold onto the bad first impression they had of you and refuse to see that you have changed? This is an obvious sign that they do not like you. 

Their short temper and unforgiving nature indicate that they do not like your presence. In some cases, it may not even be that you have made a mistake. It could be them over exaggerating situations, being overly sensitive, and making it a mission to talk negatively about you.

16. They keep suggesting new girls to him

Some parents can take the level of disregard and disrespect they have for their son's partners by attempting to hook them up with new people as though they are still single. This shows that not only do they consider you a bad fit for their son, but they also do not acknowledge you as his boyfriend.

While you may not be able to control your boyfriend's parents' or siblings' actions, you should consider telling your boyfriend how it makes you feel. If he loves you, he will take a firmer stand beside you and ask his family to back off.

17. They criticize your looks

As ladies, we are not strangers to being judged by our appearance, from our outfit to hair, body, and face. As a result, negative comments about our looks can hurt and cause us to question our self-esteem. 

If your boyfriend's family makes it a habit to criticize your looks, particularly features beyond your control, it means they are deliberately trying to hurt you and do not care about how it makes you feel. They probably want you to think less of yourself and feel insecure.

18. Conversations are kept short

conversations are kept short

Forced conversations, one-word responses, and no follow-up questions from your boyfriend's parents are all signs that they do not have any interest in getting to know you. 

In some instances, they can purposely steer conversations away from you to make you feel alienated and uncomfortable in their presence. This is a form of emotional manipulation to ensure that you don't get comfortable with the family.

19. They never ask how you are doing

When your parents call, they most likely ask about your boyfriend, how he's doing, and sometimes ask to speak with him. However, when it comes to his parents, they do not seem to care about how you are doing - they do not ask after you, let alone request to speak with you and say hello.

It is understandable if you feel hurt by their actions because it shows that his family disapproves of your relationship. Nevertheless, if they never ask to say hello to you, you can initiate the conversation from your end or make it a point of duty to check in on them at least monthly.

20. They bombard you with personal questions

On the other spectrum of acting indifferent towards you, another way to know that your boyfriend's family doesn’t like you is that they pry you for personal details about your life. From your previous relationships to your career history and your family - they want to know it all, not minding if it makes you feel uncomfortable.

In some cases, relatives like this can go the extra mile to investigate you without your consent or that of your boyfriend, all with the hopes of finding something that they can use to discredit you.

21. Your boyfriend doesn't want to introduce you

Common knowledge among ladies is that if a man hesitates or refuses to introduce you to his family, he does not like you enough or does not take you seriously. While this has some truths to it, it is always good to leave room for doubt as there is also the possibility that he is worried about his parent's behavior.

The truth of the matter is that your boyfriend understands his family better than you, and he can read that they do not like it, so he was worried about conflict and believes the best solution is to keep you away from them.

22. Your boyfriend worries about leaving you alone with them

The next sign in line to your boyfriend not wanting to introduce you to his family is him not feeling confident about leaving you alone with them. Suppose you find your man behaving this way or being fidgety whenever you suggest going to visit his family on your own. In that case, the chances are that they do not like you, and he is worried that they might behave in a way that will jeopardize your relationship.

In situations like this, it's always best to clarify from your boyfriend why he is always nervous about being alone with his family. This will enable you to see things more clearly and adjust your behavior accordingly.

23. They don't invite you to family events

It is the third year and third family reunion in a row, and your boyfriend's family has somehow forgotten once again to invite you. They also failed to invite you to his father's birthday party and cousin's wedding to make things worse. At this point, it's obvious they are not forgetting but choosing to leave you out of family gatherings.

It goes without saying that if they liked you, at this point, you should have been integrated into their family dynamics. So their constant forgetful excuses are a facet to mask their true feelings of dislike and towards you.

24. They don't trust you with tasks

When you have been around your boyfriend's relatives long enough, it is only normal to expect that they will let their guards down and begin to trust you with simple tasks like babysit or watch the pets for a few hours. However, you should worry if there is still no change, despite being in the relationship for some time.

Probably his family doesn’t like you enough to trust you with tasks. Perhaps you should consider dropping subtle hints that indicate you are capable of these tasks. This will show them that you are trustworthy and ready to help.

25. They leave you out of the inside jokes

Inside jokes or in-jokes are private jokes that are understood only by members of a particular group, community, or family, as in your case. Therefore, when your partner's family continues to crack inside jokes in your presence without explaining, it is a sign that they do not like you.

The chances are that they are making deliberate attempts to ensure that you feel alienated and get the message that you are not welcomed in the family. 

26. They avoid speaking directly to you

Does it ever feel like your boyfriend's parents love to talk about you as though you are not in the room? It is strange behavior that can easily make you feel insignificant. In most cases, when people do not speak directly to you, it's because they are uncomfortable with you. So they will ask your boyfriend questions like 'what will your girlfriend have for dinner?' or 'Is X okay if I borrow you for a minute?' instead of asking you directly.

This can be a sign that they do not want to engage or have any semblance of a conversation with you, and these types of actions can make things feel awkward. To avoid uncomfortable situations like this, answer the questions they ask your boyfriend about you directly to them as this will force them to address you finally.

27. They cancel plans randomly

they never speak of a wedding

While canceling plans is not wrong in its entirety, it sits at the intersection between showing up for yourself and showing up for those you love. As such, when people cancel plans, we should judge them based on their reasons and actions afterward. 

If your partner's relatives are constantly canceling plans with you without valid reasons or a plan to reschedule, it is a subtle sign that they do not care about you. In other words, you are not important to them, and as such, they don't care about your schedule and are hoping you get the message that they are disrespectful on purpose

28. They talk behind your back

Sometimes, as children, we do not realize that our parents hate our partners, and it could take our partners pointing out their behaviors for us to see them for what they are. If your boyfriend is constantly reporting to you supposedly 'funny' remarks his family members made about you while you were in your absence, you might be in this situation.

On the other hand, it could be his younger siblings or nieces and nephews giving you the tea of what goes down when you are not around; after all, kids are known to say the darndest things. For instance, 'mummy says you are a gold digger' or 'daddy says he doesn't think you will last. Are you dying?' These comments are apparent signs that they hate you.

29. They try to tear you down in front of your boyfriend

It doesn't matter who is talking negatively about you; whether they are your friends or your partner's relatives, it still hurts. However, what's worse is when this is done in front of your boyfriend. 

Suppose your boyfriend's relatives make it a duty to criticize you in front of your boyfriend and never have anything good to say about your looks, career, or even your relationship. In that case, it can only mean that they are deliberately trying to hurt you and ruin your relationship. 

30. They reveal your boyfriend's complaints about you

 On the other end of publicly tearing you down are the relatives who act passive-aggressive by keeping you close enough to hurt you. Like telling you the negative things your boyfriend says about you to hurt you, but they make it come off as advice or 'chit-chat.'

You see, many people view their families as their number one support group, so it's not unusual that they would turn to them to rant about you when things are going rough in your relationship. Nevertheless, if his family members make it a habit of coming to you with these stories, it is a breach of trust and an intentional attempt to damage your relationship by sowing seeds of doubt in your mind.

31. They give backhanded gifts and compliments

I know I mentioned earlier that one of the signs that your boyfriend's family doesn’t like you is the absence of gifts and undermining your achievements, so it's understandable if you find this sign contradictory. However, the point here is the undertones that these give and compliments carry.

For instance, instead of congratulating on a job well done, they might say something along the lines of how they expected much less or are surprised you got the job done. Another example would be them giving you specific gifts that in some ways address an issue they have picked on about you. It could be gift cards to particular clothing stores because they question your dress sense or skincare products because they think you have terrible skin.

32. They don't have your number

It might seem far-fetched but having the phone number of your son or sibling's boyfriend is a way of acknowledging them and their position in the family. Therefore, if you have been in the relationship for a long time and his family members do not have your number, despite spending holidays and a considerable amount of time with them, it could be a sign that they do not like you.

What's worse, they still have contacts of his exes or a particular ex-girlfriend. It means they are not confident in your relationship and are simply holding their breath, waiting for it to be over.

33. They do not attempt to know your side of the family

There comes a time when your family and your boyfriend's family must meet. This could be at family events or planned hangouts, and the aim is to form a bond with both families and strengthen your relationship with your boyfriend. 

However, if his family remains hesitant about meeting your family, it could be that they don't like you or consider you to be a long-term figure in your boyfriend's life. After all, if they are looking forward to your relationship blossoming into a marriage, they wouldn't want to miss the opportunity to meet your family and their future in-laws

34. Boundaries do not exist when it comes to you

Toxic people always seem to have a problem with boundaries, let alone know when they are overstepping. So if your boyfriend's relatives are exhibiting this sign, it's because they do not like you or care about your opinions. For instance, if you live together with your boyfriend, they could show up unannounced, stay longer than you would like them to, and try to boss you around. 

They believe what belongs to your partner belongs to them, and your feelings do not matter because, in their world, you are insignificant and perhaps, a temporary figure. When faced with a situation like this, you should consider talking to your partner about setting firm boundaries and ensure that he communicates them to his family.

35. They are controlling

One reason why your boyfriend's family doesn’t like you could be because you are uncontrollable and do not conform to their expectations. You see, controlling people find outspoken people problematic and will do anything and everything to pull them down or bend to the rules.

However, before you conclude on this as a sign, make sure you look out for other signs that they are controlling and educate yourself on the best ways to handle such people.

36. They never speak of a wedding

they never speak of a wedding

Every parent's wish is to train their little boy and watch him grow to become an independent man, get married, and start a family of his own. So, if your partner is stable financially and emotionally but it's pretty clear that his parents avoid talking about weddings, then there's a cause to worry. 

This is a sign that his family disapproves of your relationship and doesn’t think you are 'the one' for their son, so the thought of you getting married to him makes them uncomfortable. Perhaps, you should consider having a conversation with your partner to know the root of their concerns, as this will help you understand what areas of your life you need to work on and improve.

37. You get 'weird vibes' around them

Sometimes, people are not upfront about their feelings, so you will have to count on their behavior to reveal the unspoken words they harbor, and other times, it's your instincts that do the telling. For instance, you may notice that your partner and his friends always compliment his mom for being friendly and warm, but she seems the opposite - cold and distant when you are around her.

Her display of a frigid attitude could signify that she doesn't like you or disapproves of your relationship. In this case, try to be patient and continue to show kindness towards her with hopes that she will appreciate them someday and warm up to you.

38. They still make attempts to reunite him with his ex

This is probably one of the most disrespectful and obvious yet unspoken ways to know that your boyfriend's family dislikes you. While it is not unusual to find that his ex-girlfriend is still close friends with his sisters or mom, they probably dated for a long time. However, what's disrespectful is them inviting her for family outings, knowing that you will be there.

If this happens to you, it's safe to say that they are out to draw blood and embarrass you while at it. So, to ensure that they don't win, avoid rewarding them with a reaction. Instead, you keep your cool and act unbothered.

39. They are upfront about their feelings

Sometimes, people mask and wrap their feelings under jokes, laughter, and advice, making it hard for a simple-minded person to fish out the underlying message. For instance, imagine you are shopping with your boyfriend's mom, and you show a preference for one style over another. She passes off a comment like, 'this is why I don't take styling advice from you, you are too materialistic and over the top with your style.' 

While she might have said this as a joke and during a casual activity, it could imply that she doesn't like your sense of style or your view on life. Take it seriously and address it if need be.


How do you know if your boyfriend's family doesn't like you?

An obvious sign that your boyfriend's family doesn't like you is that they will be passive-aggressive towards you, offer you backhanded comments, say hurtful things behind your back, and find ways to jeopardize your relationship.

What do you do when your boyfriend's family doesn't like you?

Many people believe that avoiding their boyfriend's family is the best way to handle things if they don't like you. However, this is a wrong approach as you will be making things uncomfortable for your partner and giving his family more reason to detest you and the relationship and hold false impressions about you. Instead, tactically confront the problem. Be true to who you are and honest in your feelings, but remain kind in your behavior.

How do you tell if your boyfriend's family likes you?

A family that likes you will first and foremost want to ensure that you are comfortable around them. As such, they will invite you to family outings and events, try to stay in touch, let you in on private jokes, and include you in everything from vacation plans to family photographs.

Can a relationship work if you don't like the family?

While getting along with your partner's family can make relationships a lot easier and more enjoyable, not everyone receives this blessing. So if you find yourself not to be on good terms with your boyfriend's family despite all attempts to fix things in the relationship, don't be so quick to spell doom for your relationship as it can still work.

How do I fit in with my boyfriend's family?

I can relate to the pressure of meeting your boyfriend's family and struggling to make them like you and fit in. Nevertheless, don't put too much pressure on yourself. Instead, be confident in who you are, be open to learning new things, be kind, ask questions, and engage with them. This way, your relationship will blossom naturally.

In Conclusion

Family relationships are a lot to handle sometimes. So while you may be hoping to have a good relationship with your boyfriend's family, you must also understand that not everyone will like or respect you. Hopefully, this list will help you identify signs of a family that does not like you to enable you to know how best to relate with them. If you enjoyed reading this list, don't forget to share it and leave a comment behind.

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Michelle Devani
My name is Michelle Devani, and I've been helping people with their relationships since 2003. In 2017 I decided it was about time I started a blog on the topic, and since then more than 2 million people worldwide have read my relationship advice. Drop me a comment below to let me know what you think.

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