So you think it’s time to stage an introduction between your love and your family. The question is, when is the right time to make it happen?
The decision to introduce your partner to your family is never an easy one. This is a big step because you are bringing someone into the core of your life. Unfortunately, there is no golden rule that would apply to all relationships, but there are a few signs that will tell if you are ready for this next step:
1. You’re prepared to defend your partner’s character. A good relationship will have some ups and downs. And at some point or another, his or her character will be called into question. While most times the criticism may be unfounded, Rachel Sussman, a licensed New York City therapist, and relationship expert says you need to be able to defend their character and explain why you believe what you believe about them.
2. You’re in a committed relationship. You should wait until you are in a serious, committed relationship, which usually takes at least four or five months. The ideal time is when both of your lives are stable enough so that if things go south with either of your families, it won’t negatively impact your life too much.
3. You are mutually exclusive. When you have been dating for a while, and you feel confident about your relationship, it means that you both have made it clear that neither of you is dating anyone else.
4. Your partner has met your friends. If you’ve introduced him or her to some of your friends, it might be time to do the same with your family. It shows that they know more people in your life, and it’s a good indicator that they’re ready to meet their potential future in-laws.
5. You talk about future plans. When you start talking about what you want for the future, it means that you want this relationship to last. If you know where you want this relationship to go, then there’s no doubt that both of you will meet each other’s parents and families sooner or later.
6. You feel comfortable around your partner. Another thing is that you have to feel comfortable around your partner. If you’re not comfortable in front of them, then it’s going to be difficult for your parents or family members to accept them into the family. This is why if there’s something wrong with your relationship, you need to work through it before introducing him/her to the family, otherwise it will seem like the relationship isn’t stable or strong enough, and that’s what might turn off your parents.
7. Are your parents ready? You can’t wait for your parents to meet him/her, but you have to consider if they’re ready. If they have formed a negative opinion about your partner beforehand, it’ll be harder for them to like him/her after meeting them in person. If they don’t know much about your partner, they will form an opinion based on their first impression of them, so it’s important that you sit down with your parents and tell them about your partner and get their opinions before the first meeting.
8. Avoid holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas. For some people, the holidays are the perfect time for this kind of introduction. There’s something about the holidays that makes everyone feel warm and cuddly, so it seems perfect for introducing your partner to your family. But there are several reasons why this might not be the best idea. First of all, there is already a lot of stress around the holidays. Everyone is trying to figure out what they’re going to do over Thanksgiving or Christmas and how they’re going to manage everything. Adding in a new person who doesn’t know the routine can be very stressful, even if it’s someone as wonderful as your significant other. You don’t want them to feel like they have to fill in any awkward pauses with the conversation at dinner or answer questions about themselves at an inappropriate time. It might feel like your family is interrogating them, and that’s because they might be!
Don’t forget to check out our article on dealing with jealousy in a relationship.