Is it time to meet the parents?
20 Oct 2020 LIFESTYLE
By: Natasha Archary
Time. Why are we so fixated with the concept of the proverbial ticking clock? Could it be that we know there’s an end and we’re working against that? Trying to get in as much as there is to life before the sand runs out.
We place so much stock in timing, that every aspect of our life is measured and structured to the last ticking second. Our relationships are no different. We keep track of every detail. From when you first met, to the first time you became an exclusive couple. Noting down anniversaries for every minute milestone. But there’s one huge step in a relationship that may weigh heavily on timing – introducing your significant other to your parents or meeting their folks.
How do you know if it’s time?
Most people reserve an introduction to their parents for partners with who they see a possible future with or at least a strong relationship. You don’t take every guy or girlfriend you’re dating home to meet your parents unless you’re okay with your parents knowing how often you change partners.
Especially not if your parents are the conservative type. A meeting between your partner and your parents should be reserved for when you see your relationship progressing. When you start to develop real feelings and things get to the point you want a committed relationship.
But if your parents are the laid-back type and you have an open-door policy where you can share all the details of your life then this may not apply to you.
Bringing up the parent talk
If the timing is right and you both feel the same, broaching the subject of the parent meeting will come naturally. Don’t push your partner if they’re not ready or it may be interrupted as something you just want to get out of the way.
If it happens, it should be because you built your relationship towards this goal. That someday, meeting the parents would occur. When you do bring up the introduction to parents, pay attention to your partner’s body language, and listen to any concerns or reservations they may have. It’s important to make them comfortable with your intention and if they’re not entirely feeling it, to give them time to come around.
Talk to your parents
Before you arrange the introduction, speak to your parents about your relationship and share how much your partner means to you. This sets the foundation for the interaction between your folks and the person you love.
It may help your partner feel more at ease with the meet-and-greet, knowing that you have already spoken about him/her and that your family is aware that there is a special person in your life.
Remind your family that your relationship is still under the construction phase and that they should avoid making things awkward by prying too much. They should aim to take an interest in your significant other and not the details of your relationship.
Also read: How to survive meeting the family
All in all, meeting the parents is one of the relationship milestones to reach but it shouldn’t be the be-all and end-all of your relationship. If the meeting doesn’t go well, you should unpack that with your partner and discuss what that means for your relationship openly.
You don’t want to go into the meeting with your mind already set on calling it quits if your family doesn’t like your partner. Instead, you should have a solution to ease any tension from the encounter.
Is your relationship salvageable after meeting your parents? Or will your partner just not fit in no matter how hard you try? Identify the problem areas that can be fixed and work on them as a couple but ultimately, the decision to love your partner should not be picked apart by anyone.