13 Telltale Signs Your Partner Doesn’t Like Your Family

Last Updated on February 14, 2024 by Lifevif Team and JC Franco

Family and Friends

Have you ever found yourself wondering if your partner actually likes your family? It’s a tricky subject to approach. If you think about it, who is going to be completely truthful about how they really feel about their other half’s family members if they aren’t particularly fond of them? Maybe it’s time to put your detective hat on and figure it out! There are a few telltale signs that your partner is less than enamored with your flesh and blood relatives. 

It certainly seems a little complex getting your partner to like your family, doesn’t it? Some might say that it should just happen naturally, and that it’s sort of a red flag if your partner and family members are not good friends. I would caution against such thinking. Perhaps your partner and family members are just very different people.

It’s sometimes difficult to read someone else’s feelings and mood; that’s why it’s difficult to determine whether to approach the topic with a partner or not. But when it seems like your partner doesn’t like your family, there’s bound to be some awkward feelings, resentment, or hurt. Below are common signs that a partner doesn’t like the “in-laws”

Does your partner like your family? The following 13 behaviors might say no!

1. Lack of interest in communicating with your family.

Whether your partner and your mom/dad are best friends or not, your partner should still put in some effort to communicate with your family. If your partner never makes an effort to message your parents or your siblings and sort of excludes him/herself from communicating in general with them, it could mean that your partner simply doesn’t like them.

2. Sometimes mean or belittling comments sneak out of your partner’s mouth.

Watch what your partner says about your family to other people. Perhaps you are out with friends, and the topic of your family comes up. You make a joking comment about how pedantic your mother can be, and suddenly a disparaging or sarcastic remark is made by your partner. Check how often this happens and if their comment seems genuine or jokingly, as it could be a rather big sign that your partner doesn’t like your parents. 

3. Your partner never asks how your family members are doing.

If you speak on the phone often with your family, you might expect for your partner to ask how the conversation went or how they are getting on. If your partner never enquires if your family is doing well, it’s probably a sign that they don’t care much or that they don’t particularly like your family in the first place. 

4. Important dates (birthdays) are ignored.

If your sister, mother, brother, or father has an upcoming birthday and your partner outright ignores it, it could be a sign that he/she doesn’t like your family. When a birthday rolls around, a partner should be keen to make contact and send on good wishes. If not, it could be a sign. 

5. Your partner lacks empathy towards your family’s troubles.

If a person doesn’t like someone, they very rarely feel any sort of empathy when hard times go their way. If your partner doesn’t seem concerned or phased by hardships that befall your family, you might want to consider if he/she likes them or not. Check to see if it appears as if your partner actually cares about what happens to your family. 

6. Your partner seems distant and disconnected when around your family.

How your partner is when around your family is a big telltale sign. When you spend time together with your family, how does your partner behave? Does your partner get involved in the conversation? Does he/she spend most of the time on the phone or looking bored and detached? If your partner is shy but still makes an effort to participate, that’s a good sign. If your partner is completely distant when around your family, it might be a bad sign. 

7. They haven’t connected, or at least tried to, on social media.

When you have been with the same partner for quite some time, it is only normal for the family to connect. If your partner makes an effort to add your family members to his/her social media account, that is a good sign. If your family members have extended invites that are ignored by your partner, that’s a sure-fire sign that things aren’t quite right.

8. Your partner isn’t too keen on spending time with your family. 

couple is having a quarrel

Monitor how your partner reacts when you recommend spending some time with the family. When you make time to see your family, what does your partner do? Does he/she come along, or does he/she make plans to do something else while you are with your family? You wouldn’t want to spend time with people you don’t like, so it stands to reason that your partner will avoid spending time with your family, if she/he doesn’t like them.

9. There’s general upset or awkward vibes when you choose to spend time with your family. 

If you decide to go to a family barbecue, does your partner get upset and give you the silent treatment? Does he/she seem to be unhappy that you want to spend time with your family? Watch this type of situation carefully. It could mean that your partner doesn’t like your family and doesn’t want them in your lives. 

10. Your partner seems to dread family holidays and get-togethers. 

When family holidays are planned, does your partner get excited, or does he/she behave as if it is a chore to go along? Even if you are going to the best destination in the world, you won’t be able to feign happiness if someone you don’t like is going along. See how your partner reacts to the idea of a family holiday/vacation. 

11. There’s no warm greeting from your partner when your family arrives to visit.

A lot can be told about the relationship between two people in the way that they choose to greet each other. All you have to do is watch carefully at the interactions between two people. When your family comes over to visit, what does your partner do? Does she/he get up and hug everyone and offer tea or coffee? Or does he/she retreat to the bedroom and hideout for the duration of the visit? How your family reacts to the arrival of your family can tell you a lot. 

12. Your partner doesn’t seem too keen to introduce your parents to his/her parents.

If you are in a serious relationship with your partner, your parents will need to meet at some point along with any other immediate family members. If your partner seems resistant to introducing your family to his/her family, it could be a sign that they don’t quite like your family. 

13. Your partner’s mood seems to change around your family. 

family relations

If your partner goes from a happy and elated mood to down and sullen when your family shows up, it’s a sure-fire sign that they aren’t too happy about them being around. This could be because they don’t like them. 

All things considered

It’s tricky managing the sensitive relationship between two sets of people. Just remember that your partner doesn’t have to love your family in order to be a good partner for you. However, he/she should show courtesy, respect, and kindness towards your family, regardless. 

If you feel that your partner displays one or more of the above warning signs, take the time to approach the topic with sensitivity and with caution. Speak to your partner about your thoughts and avoid accusations. You never know; you could just be reading the situation wrong.

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This article was co-authored by our team of in-house and freelance writers, and reviewed by our editors, who share their experiences and knowledge about the "Seven F's of Life".

JC Franco
Editor | + posts

JC Franco is a New York-based editor for Lifevif. He mainly focuses on content about faith, spirituality, personal growth, finance, and sports. He graduated from Mercyhurst University with a Bachelor’s degree in Business, majoring in Marketing. He is a certified tennis instructor who teaches in the New York City Metropolitan area. In terms of finance, he has passed the Level I exam of the CFA program.