I remember growing up and watching TV how bringing a girl home was a big deal. It was especially so during holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas. Actually, no, it wasn’t a big deal.
It was a HUGE deal.
This woman had to be someone that I was strongly committed to (dare I say, the one?) and wanted to not only show her to my family for their approval, but also to share a very important part of my life with her. You really don’t reach that level of a relationship until you two meet the parents. That’s what I was led to believe.
After bringing very few women (can definitely count on one hand…with a few amputated fingers) home to meet my parents over the course of a decade, I’ve realized a few things that have changed my perspective on meeting the family.
What’s the big deal? It’s your parents. No offense but it’s not like you’re a part of the First Family. Sure, this person you are bringing home is more than your friend, but you know what? If your parents are cool, they are going to treat them just the same and it won’t mean anything different. So what’s the big deal? Yes, I understand that it varies across many cultures but I am only speaking from the one I’ve been a part of where dating can be perceived these days not only as a sport, but also a disposable product.
The true difference in when you actually meet the parents is relative. If I am in a relationship for one month or for nine, it’s not going to change the effect that my family meeting my significant other will have on my relationship. If my parents hate her, well, it just means that we may have some rocky ground ahead. My parents’ support of whom I am with is important to me. Period. On the flipside, if my significant other can’t stand my loud, crazy and fun uncle and he’s my favorite uncle, the outlook of the relationship will not be good since as long as I’m with my family, my uncle will be there.
The actual meeting of the family is relative. Sure, I’d love for my girl to love my family and vice-versa. But even still, it has played no true effect on whether or not I wanted to stay with her. My family will always be there and so will my girl, if she so decides. And if feelings are strong enough, there will be a possibility of a co-existence despite the disagreement. Yes, that statement is more of an E & O belief, but one that I have employed and has worked in previous relationships (and let me be clear here: the breakdown of my previous relationships had everything to do with the actual relationship and nothing with my family and their getting along with her).
So am I telling you that it’s better to get it out of the way sooner than later? No, not really. Am I telling you to disobey your family values and beliefs? Absolutely not, not unless they don’t coincide with yours. What I’m really saying is meeting the family is not that big of a deal and as someone who values his family more than anything in life, I have NO problem in sharing what I value most with anyone else. It’s just a more intimate situation because your significant other inherently feels a state of heightened emotional connection.
I am a huge fan of this state.
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