KRISTOFF: Hi, Singlestalk. I fell in love with my princess the first time I saw her back when we were in college. She comes from a prominent family in the city. Because of her travels, she has a great perspective on world affairs. Conversations with her are just splendid. I am a law student on full scholarship, working as a financial adviser at the same time. My family is buried neck-deep in debt because of dad’s failed business years ago. Then the pandemic. We’re barely making ends meet. Her parents never approve of me. They can be subtle about their dislike. But occasionally, they can be blunt. I am not rich. How can I be more suitable to one day marry their one and only princess?
DJ: You are a good person. Yes, you. Reading through your email, I can tell that you’re smart, hardworking and capable. Man, why would your princess be with you and stay with you if you are not lovable in her eyes? She’s too young to keep you as a pet or a boy toy. Maybe it’s your style, your humor or your tenacity but she loves you. Isn’t that what matters most? Parental disapproval adds zing to romantic comedies. But off-screen, I know it’s far from cute. It may be because parents have a certain picture of someone who their child should end up with, whether it’s tied to socio-economic status, stability, career or other life choices. They have years of experience and wisdom. You don’t have much control over that. But you have full control on your response.
Find out how you can earn their trust. Perhaps, it’s not your financial status they have a question mark on. It might be because you take a million selfies. Seriously, they’re just probably jealous that their princess is spending more time with her prince. Remember that both you and her parents are important to her. As long as they’re reasonable, be ready to take the needed steps. If they invite you to gatherings, for example, show up even if it makes you uncomfortable. Don’t shy away from chatting up grandma at the dinner table. Let them get to know you and why their princess is deeply in love with you. And don’t ask her to choose who is more important to her. There is no single right answer to that question. She will make her own choice if and when the right time comes.
Always keep your composure, no matter what they say. It can be hard to listen if they say something you disagree with. However, fighting back will not help them come around. Keep in mind that almost every parent has his or her daughter’s interest at heart. Avoid making a big deal of negative comments like what they think about your ripped acid-wash jeans for instance. And don’t make negative comments too, about her mom’s neon lycra leggings, for example, in retaliation. Besides, keeping your cool will make you even more patient which will come in handy one day when you’ve already committed to stay true to the promise to love and to hold, for richer or poorer, for better or worse.
Continue to demonstrate that you’re a good influence. Keep working smarter on your dream of becoming a lawyer, and in your job as a financial adviser. Always present yourself well when they’re around. Wear something unmistakably professional. Whether it’s slacks or denim, just look like you care. And don’t chew the pork belly with your mouth open like an exposed garbage truck, or suck the bone marrow like passing the bar exam entirely depends on it. Her parents might wonder what other body parts you disrespect.
I don’t think your case is lifted straight out of a Ben Stiller movie in which your GF’s dad is powering up the polygraph every time you’re heading over to their house. Just be the best of who you are and who you can be. Eventually, reassuring them that you love, and are taking good care of their princess might win them over. Otherwise, nothing is lost. You’ve become the best possible version of yourself. You are a working scholar making ends meet. You are worthy of love and respect. You’re capable of great things, too. Believe you are so. Act if you are so. And watch the world rise to meet you.