When to Meet the Parents

BY ALYSSA MCCANN // NOV.12, 2013 //

One night you’re meeting at a party. Before you know it, you’re eating dinner with her family!

With the holiday seasons coming around the corner, many new couples are wondering if they should take their relationship to the next level: meeting the parents.

Meet The Parents 1Yes, it makes me cringe, too. Awkward and nerve-racking, meeting the parents is never easy. But following these steps helped me, and they just might help you as well.

  • Know what you want to do after college (or pretend you do), because you will likely have to field the question
  • Socialize with everyone when you meet the family; try to get to know everyone
  • If your significant other has a brother or a sister, hang out with them. Their opinions of you also matter
  • Be sweet to family members; show them that you actually care. For example, clean up after them or give them a compliment.

There are lots of other tips out there. The biggest question comes before all of that, though. WHEN do you know you’re ready to meet the parents? My opinion is when you and your partner feel comfortable enough with each another, and when you also feel that your relationship is meaningful enough to share it with family members. Not everyone you date falls into that category!

For college-age guys and girls, avoid the family meet and greet if you’re simply in the “talking” stage of a relationship. The “talking” stage was invented by our generation, and it’s the stage in which you’re simply getting to know someone without committing to anything more. I will never understand it.

But my best advice is to wait it out. You can express to your family there is someone you are seeing, but hold off on a formal meeting until you’re truly confident in the health of your relationship.

Dating someone is hard enough. Having your family constantly asking about the person you’re dating is even harder. Make sure you’re ready for that kind of commitment.

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