With the holidays approaching, many new couples will be faced with an awkward question: how soon is too soon to meet your partner’s family? While our matchmakers generally recommend waiting at least a few months before taking that giant leap, there really is no one-size-fits-all answer. Some couples report a great experience introducing their significant other to family members after only a few dates while others need a year (or two) to make that kind of commitment. Our matchmaking agency has a quick guide to help you decide if this is the right time to take the plunge:
You are exclusive
Try not to introduce your date to family members if it hasn’t been explicitly stated that you are exclusive. After all, family members get attached to dates, too! It would be more than a little embarrassing to explain that the relationship wasn’t serious enough for your mother’s new favorite to stick around.
You’ve already met each other’s friends
Meeting each other’s friends is a great litmus test to see how your date interacts in social settings and whether they get along with “your kind” of people. It’s nice to know that you can double date or invite your partner to social events with the knowledge that everyone will have a great time.
Talk about the future
Nothing should be off limits with your partner – including plans for the future. If your date discusses their career, housing arrangements or future children, the conversation should include both of you. If your partner still talks about these things as if they are single, it might be time to reevaluate the direction of the relationship.
You’re okay with the tough stuff
Talk to your date about tough topics like whether you want children, if you have any religious affiliations, or whether political leanings would get in the way of productive conversation. Decide in advance how you would handle it if you caught someone flirting with your significant other or if one of you felt bored in the relationship. If you have a game plan it can be a lot easier to face tough situations together when the need arises.
You’re out of “big steps”
By the time you meet each other’s families, you should have already exhausted all other “big steps” in the relationship. These often include (but are not limited to) your first date, first kiss, first holiday together, or, for some couples, moving in together. Meeting each other’s families should feel like the next logical step – not something either of you is pressured into.
Before introducing a date to your family, there two important steps everyone must take:
- Brief your family on your date
- Brief your date on your family
You are the primary source of information for both your date and your family until they meet each other in person, so set a positive expectation right from the start. Tell your family how great your new date is and be sure to mention all the nice things they have done for you recently. Similarly, give your date a few key facts about each family member. If your date and Uncle Ned both enjoy the same TV show, they might have something to talk about. The more talking points your date has, the more comfortable they will be. You might be surprised at the common ground your date finds with your family all by themselves, too!
Research shows that the more important someone is to you, the more their opinion of your date will matter. This is great if your whole family approves of your new date, but also consider what you will do in the event that your favorite family member disapproved of the relationship. Would you stay with that person? Would you try to reconcile the two? Evaluate all the options before making a decision.
The real concern happens if your date is uncomfortable introducing you to their family. Some of the most common reasons a person would not want to introduce a date to family are lack of commitment to the relationship or fear of disapproval. The fact that you are thinking about meeting each other’s families speaks to the strength of your relationship and indicates that you’re headed in the right direction.
Are you ready to find that special someone your family will actually be excited to meet? Contact our matchmakers today and experience the white glove service offered by one of the nation’s most professional matchmaking agencies.