What to do when your family and friends hate your significant other

One of the most enduring criticisms of the royal family is that they come across as unrelatable. Perhaps it's the palatial homes or the whole face on the banknotes thing, but either way, they seem out of touch.

All that's changed in recent years, with the younger generation determined to be viewed as down-to-earth, accessible. And it's worked a treat. Kate and Will seem pretty normal, if not dull. The kind of couple you dread getting stuck next to at a wedding, where you don't know many other guests. "Oh sorry, and what did you say you did for a living?"

And now Prince Harry is taking relatability to a new level as he faces one of the most universal problems of all time: What to do when your family hates your partner? 

The Markle sparkle

Ever since Harry started dating Meghan Markle, you could tell the rest of the royals were 100 per cent keen. Here was Meghan...an actress! From Canada! Who has probably never even played polo! 

Despite this, Harry persevered; fast forward through a big wedding, little baby and we arrive at the wonderful portmanteau, #Megxit. 

Harry and Meghan's recent announcement that they're quitting his family and moving to Canada was big news. Confirmation that in the battle between loved ones and the one he loves, Harry picked the latter. As frontpage editors jostled for the best pun - Her Royal Bye-ness! Pass The Duchy, Rebel Without a Crown - I received an excited text from my friend, Sally: 

"Thank you, Harry, for solving my problems! Maybe Steve and I will do a Megxit? " 

Ninety-nine problems but Steve ain't one

Sally had used the holiday break to bring her new boyfriend, Steve, on a family trip and it had been a total (Markle) debacle. Her father had asked if Steve 'was a phase, like when you did that marathon?' while her two brothers told her Steve had to go. 

Since then Sally had felt that it was inevitable that eventually, she would tell Steve to leave (must be a pun in that?), the only problem was, she quite liked him. On the trip, Steve was the calming outside influence when her family left her frustrated. Each time Sally's father baited her, Steve encouraged her to laugh instead of lash out.

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"I enjoyed our bedroom debriefs about my strange family more than the time I spent with my actual family," Sally said. 

Tricky terrain

Much like the Windsors, Sally's family is full of weirdos. But because she had only known Steve a few months, did loyalty have to lie with the bloodline? Well, if you're anything like Harry, not really. 

But Sally and Steve don't have the option to release a passive-aggressive media statement before mic dropping it to Canada. So instead she remains paralysed by indecision, family feud or seeyoulater Steve? 

Myself no stranger to dating ladies loathed by my nearest and dearest, I know how tricky it can be to navigate this terrain. So in the interest of helping a prince (and you commoners), here are a few ways of making sure you pick the right side, whichever that may be. 

Choose your fighter

Phone a friend

This is the ideal time to bring in a neutral party. A close friend should feel comfortable enough to confirm your fears that yes, your family are batshit crazy. However, if your new lover is the liability, you can be sure a good pal will point that out. 

Evidence over emotion

Emotions will be running high with these types of decisions, so it's a smart move to stick to the facts. 

My friend Gabrielle was less-than-impressed when her little sister brought home a bloke who described himself as an 'unemployed Crypto entrepreneur.' How many red flags can you fit in one description? 

Gabrielle tried to give him the benefit of the doubt, but when she saw how much her sister was changing, she stepped in. Gabrielle presented her with a list of all the ways she was compromising herself to be with this guy. Once it was written down, her sister could block out the noise and see for herself. 

Gut instinct 

Warren Buffet once said "when you have that gut feeling, you have to go with it, don't go back on it" and he's worth $90 billion, so I'm not about to disagree with him. Old mate is right though, as with so many weighty decisions in life, trust your gut. 

Ultimately, as Harry is finding out right now, once you've made your call, prepare for a little shade from whichever side you decide to ditch. During the Queen's annual Christmas message, she was surrounded by happy snaps of the family, but there was no picture of Harry, Meghan, or their son Archie. Icing out an infant, that's cold. 

But when your happiness is on the line, the stakes are never too high. Harry has sacrificed a lifetime of public funding (and boring openings, and tedious small talk) to follow his heart, even if it leads away from his home. And if that's not relatable, I don't know what is.

After continually being told to "use his words" as a young boy, Thomas Mitchell took that advice on board and never looked back. Since then his words appeared all over the place, including in the Sydney Morning Herald, Time Out, The Huffington Post and GQ. Thomas spends his days observing the unique behaviour of the Australian male, while trying not to overstay his welcome at the local cafe.

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Had a partner who didn't quite click with the crew? Share your experience in the comments section below.

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