Hi, Carolyn: Years ago, right after college, I had a boyfriend who was disliked by most of my loved ones. Levels of objection ranged from slight to significant, and it caused friction with my family and in my social circle. He eventually dumped me, and with distance and perspective I saw that he was obviously a terrible match for me — and one who treated me poorly in public, which is why people disliked him so much.
Now I’m in my mid-30s and have a lot more confidence in my judgment, but I find myself in the same situation again. My mom, my siblings and two of my closest friends do not like my boyfriend of about a year. He is very kind to me, but he has a polarizing personality — a little sarcastic, mostly in a self-deprecating way — and they’ve each told me in so many ways that they hope we don’t end up getting married.
I feel comfortable making my own decisions, but I keep returning to the memory of that past relationship, which it turned out was a total mess that everyone could see but me. To make my question very simple, how can I tell whether everyone’s objections to my boyfriend are worth a hard look?
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