There’s nothing more exciting than realizing your relationship is finally getting serious. When you picture your future, you start to see this other person sharing it with you and all of a sudden you have butterflies filling your stomach. We all know that the first step so signifying that your relationship is getting pretty serious is introducing your partner to your family. If your partner has already been introduced to your friends then you’re pretty familiar with the feelings of all the nerves.
Meeting the family is slightly different, and there’s a bit more pressure. The stakes are high, and the expectations are even higher. The good news is that it’s pretty unlikely that the meeting is going to go terribly because hopefully, everyone will be on their best behavior. Having a harmonious first meeting is certainly a step in the right direction. So before you decide for certain that your partner is ready to meet the fam, make sure you’re both equipped to deal with the following phases.
Having a new relationship grow to the point where you’re down to introduce them to your family can definitely incite some major feels. Your head will start racing with questions such as, what will your parents think of them, and will your siblings approve? So many questions, and so many pre-thought out answers can make for a ton of anticipation. But the high of knowing that your partner is on the same page as you, commitment-wise and that they’re ready to take this next step is truly exhilarating.
The Self-Induced Panic
Shortly after the pumped-up excitement of deciding it’s time for your bae to meet your family, all of the possible things that could go wrong will suddenly be at the forefront of your mind. What if they don’t get along? What if your family’s interrogating questions send your new bae running for the hills? While only time will tell, it might not be a bad idea to have a pep talk with your partner before the big day. Give them a heads up on what to expect and find out how they feel about it.
Once the date is set and everyone’s on board, it’s time to get down to business. By this point, your partner probably knows a decent amount about your parents and your siblings. If, however, you are tacking on their meeting to a holiday where the extended family will be present, then you’re probably going to want to bust out the flashcards if your family is as huge as mine. It’s also probably going to be a good idea to make sure your bae is fully prepped on any conversation topics they should avoid, like politics or religion.
The Awkward Initial Introduction
At this point, the nerves are probably sky-high. Everyone is full of anticipation and a bit on edge. Handshakes may awkwardly turn in to hugs but hopefully, the stiffness will dissipate as the evening wears on, with the help of some wine. But, if you both are going to be drinking make sure you keep it to a minimum so that you can avoid things getting messy and your significant other not making a good impression.
The Final Outcome
There will come a time during the course of the evening when the general consensus will become pretty clear. Relax, because more often than not, even if your partner isn’t your parent’s favorite or vice versa, all your family wants is for you to be happy. And all a good partner could want out of their first gathering with your family is to not be grilled too hard and to feel welcomed. Chances are, the minute your family sees that smile on your face, they’re going to welcome your partner with open arms.
Obviously it’s totally normal for things to feel a bit awkward in the beginning, but honestly, everyone will be feeling much more comfortable and relaxed during round two so start getting excited about the next family dinner!