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When in a relationship should you introduce your partner to your family?

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
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So you've been dating a new guy/girl for a while now, and your relationship is getting pretty serious. As the summer approaches, you're feeling loved up and happier than ever, so you decide to invite your partner to your upcoming family gathering.

He/she agrees, and you get a sudden rush of cold feet. You're thrilled to be in love and show your new bae off to the family; but also hesitant thinking about all those characters and family stories.

What kind of questions might you ask yourself, or things would you consider before that all-important milestone?

How might you go about introducing your partner to your family?

There's no one-size-fits-all answer to tell you when or how. Would be interesting to get your input on this; feel free to get stuck into discussion :hyper:

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    When it came time for my bf to meet my family, I was actually completely fine! Before it all went down, though, I did check in with myself to see where I was on the emotional/mental continuum of things.

    I asked myself why I didn't seem too bothered about this major event in our relationship; it surely wasn't for lack of excitement at being in something serious! I wasn't nervous because I knew then (as I know now) that my boyfriend is a genuinely good guy, and I was proud of that. I had no idea how the event was going to unfold -- you can't plan for those sorts of things, can you? -- but I knew that all he had to do was be himself, and everyone would take to him.. just as I had when we first met. :)

    This may sounds super dorky, but I had a few "topics of interest" prepared for when it came time for introductions. :yes: I took stock of who my bf was going to meet, and what similarities or mutual interests they had, just to make sure conversation flowed.

    Before it all went down my bf and I had a conversation about what topics were off-limits. We weren't about to mention all those times we had to sneak seeing each other past curfew. And there was to be no talk about sleeping arrangements. The general rule of thumb was to keep things light and fun.

    I also suggested that if he found himself in an awkward moment of silence the best thing he could do is to get curious. Asking questions is not only a great way of getting to know your would-be extended family, it also takes the edge off all the attention focused on you.

    When you bring someone home, your loved ones get the sense that the gesture is significant. It's a sign of respect! I respected my partner and our relationship enough to let him meet my nearest and dearest, and I respected my family enough to let them into my personal life. It's a real big honor all around. My family respected that I was ready to bring someone I cared about into the fold, so they made it super easy for my bf to feel comfortable and self-assured.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Every couple moves at a different speed. I got to know her parents a month in, which was really soon, but she is very tight on family. She met mine about 3 months in, which is still somehow early for me, because I am quite loose with my family and she hasn't seen them since (that was about 2 months ago) while I have met her parents 3-4 times and they don't even live in the same state.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I didn't see family introductions as a big thing in my current relationship, he still lives with his parents so I met them the first time I went to stay with him. I was in a university flat so it was a bit longer before he met mine, but he got along way better with my family than I did with his! I think a lot of it was differences in attitude based on social class - his family are pretty well off so were nice, but kinda judgemental at the same time. Then he came to see mine and loved it because they're all very talkative, open, and just generally a bit weird and crazy!

    It is a worry though, especially in a long term relationship, I mean we're planning to move in together in a month and definitely both agree that this will be a very long term thing. It's difficult knowing that his family don't really approve of me since I live in a council house (despite the fact my mum is doing her masters degree right now), but that's just one of the things you have to live with in a serious relationship.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    abizoey wrote: »

    It is a worry though, especially in a long term relationship, I mean we're planning to move in together in a month and definitely both agree that this will be a very long term thing. It's difficult knowing that his family don't really approve of me since I live in a council house (despite the fact my mum is doing her masters degree right now), but that's just one of the things you have to live with in a serious relationship.

    ​Hi @abizoey Congratulations on moving in with your partner! This must be such an exciting time for the both of you!

    Thanks for sharing your worries about what his parents may think about you. It can be very tricky navigating yourself around relationships, especially with the parents of significant others. Whether they are right or wrong, fair or unfair, people will have their opinions! That is definitely a hard pill to swallow. But at the end of the day, opinions are only opinions, and they have no real bearing on who you are as a beautiful, extraordinary person.

    Every once in a while I'll have misunderstandings with my brother's girlfriend, where I end up feeling like I constantly have to defend myself when I shouldn't. It is super frustrating, and it creates a lot of tension between me and her and me and my brother! Recently, though, I've come to terms with acceptance: accepting who I am as a person, where I come from, and at the same time accepting who she is and what story she brings to the table. Doing that has, wierdly!, made me appreciate my sis-in-law as a person and I can tell her world's being opened up by this same experience.

    I'd have to say that your relationship with your partner is a sacred space, that no one outside the two of you should be able to penetrate. This is about you and your partner. And this is your time to be happy! Perhaps once they see how good for one another you and your partner are, how happy you make each other, they will let go of their biases and realize they are of no consequence? The most important thing is to focus on building your relationship with your partner. Everything else will (hopefully) fall into place. Best wishes for you and congratulations again!! :heart:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Really cool to read about all your experiences - thanks for sharing! :hyper:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    My boyfriend had seen my mum before in the shop where she works but he was first properly introduced to my parents on the day of my birthday. We were friends beforehand and we got finally got together a week before my birthday (I know - my birthday and our anniversary stand 7 days apart). Back to the main point… I was nervous about my dad meeting him as I’ll always be his ‘little girl’ and it has been hard for him to see me mature into a woman.

    However, my boyfriend surprised everyone – even the brother and sisters of my dad. They make so many jokes with each other and talk about this, that, and everything. My mum says that he is the best man in the world for me. So I could not be happier.
    We went to the same primary school and he was in the year above me. We never knew each other personally but we did know of each other. We attended different high schools, but then attended the same college and university. It was at college when we got talking and began to know each other more. We also shared some of the same friendship groups.

    We knew we liked each other since college but I was too scared to do something about it. I still was up until the point of first year of university where he asked me out several times. It is the best thing I have ever done though when I finally said yes.

    There has been an occasion where my parents may have had disagreements with my boyfriend but this happens. When your parents know how happy you are, sometimes they will leave certain things aside and focus on your happiness. Especially when your boyfriend and parents just want the best for you.
    It is crazy to think that there are so many things and people that link us together so I think that made it a little less scary for me. My brothers have known him or years and his family members and they’ve always spoke highly of him.

    Regardless of mine and my boyfriend’s growing up together in different parts of our education and social life, it would still have been the way it is today if he crossed my past in some other kind of way.

    I think that everyone’s’ relationships are different and their stories of how they meet and fall in love are also different therefore, the time at which you introduce your girlfriend/boyfriend to your family is entirely up to the two of you. You’ll have a feeling of when you think it is best to do so.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Tasha wrote: »
    ... I was nervous about my dad meeting him as I’ll always be his ‘little girl’ and it has been hard for him to see me mature into a woman. ...

    However, my boyfriend surprised everyone – even the brother and sisters of my dad. They make so many jokes with each other and talk about this, that, and everything. My mum says that he is the best man in the world for me. So I could not be happier. ...

    There has been an occasion where my parents may have had disagreements with my boyfriend but this happens. When your parents know how happy you are, sometimes they will leave certain things aside and focus on your happiness. Especially when your boyfriend and parents just want the best for you.

    I think that everyone’s’ relationships are different and their stories of how they meet and fall in love are also different therefore, the time at which you introduce your girlfriend/boyfriend to your family is entirely up to the two of you. You’ll have a feeling of when you think it is best to do so.

    @Tasha, thank you so much for sharing the story of how you and your bf met/got together. :love: I love hearing a good 'how did you meet story' and I am super happy for you and your relationship!

    When you were nervous about your dad meeting the bf, how did you handle it? Did you talk with each of them beforehand? If so, what did you discuss? Unfortunately for myself, my father passed before I had the chance to introduce him to my significant other. It's a shame because of all the guys I brought home to meet the 'rents, there weren't that many!, my current partner is definitely the cream of the crop and I would have liked to know my father's thoughts and perhaps have his 'blessing,' so to speak.

    Since introducing your bf to the rest of your family, have you noticed your relationships growing stronger? I know for myself after I introduced my bf to my mother, I felt like she could connect with me on a slightly different level, almost in a woman-to-woman sort of way? I think that's a pretty incredible experience! And, my bf adores my mother (I wouldn't have it any other way!), and that makes me feel all the more confident in my belief that my guy's a good'un. I sort of couldn't believe how next level my relationship felt after everyone met each other -- and I am not at all the type to get all up in arms about cliche milestones.
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