1. “When are you finally getting married?”
There’s nothing quite like being asked this question in front of the entire holiday gathering or worse, right in front of your boyfriend. Can you say awkward? This question really hits a nerve if you yourself are wondering when the heck your guy is going to propose (grrr).
So why does nearly every parent on the planet ask their adult children this question? “Part of it is a parent’s role to see their children through to a good, satisfying, happy relationship,” says Sbarra. “You almost think it’s the end of your parenting work.” Parents may fear that their adult child won’t find someone who will take care of their son or daughter after they’re no longer alive. In other words, they ask because they care. Adds Sbarra, “adult parents know the value of finding a good partner whether they themselves are married or divorced.”
How to handle it: It’s all-too-easy to blow up at the nosy person asking you about your marital plans. Take the high road rather than tossing out a sarcastic comment that will make the next six hours go by painfully slowly. “I would start with the assumption that it could be an innocent question where they weren’t trying to demean you or make you feel like an old maid,” says Kubiak.
If you’ve only been dating for six months and your family is bugging you about whether this is “the one,” be honest. “Say, ‘I don’t know,’” suggests Sbarra. “‘It’s too early for me to say. I’m just seeing where this goes right now, but I really like him or her.’ The important thing is to not respond by saying, ‘Why are you always doing this to me?’’’
If you’re not yet ready to get married, try saying, “Marriage is a very important decision and many people I know did not think it through well enough and regretted it later on,’” suggests Kubiak. “’While I would like to be married, I want to make sure it’s the kind of relationship that’s going to last. I want to make the right decision and be in the right place.’” That should shut them up since it’s hard to argue with taking your time with making a huge life decision.