Introducing your new bae to your parents is a pretty big milestone for most couples. But before doing so, there are some topics to talk about with your partner that will ensure you both are adequately prepped for the occasion. There's a pretty big chance that both you and your boo are going to be a bit on edge going into the first-time family introductions, but try your best to relax — there's no need to implode from the anxiety of it all.
At the end of the day, it's important to remember that most parents just want to make sure their child is with someone who appreciates, values, and respects them. Easy peasy, right? Well, kind of. The fact of the matter is that your parents are definitely going to be judging your boo (again, to make sure your partner is someone who will treat you well), and like the saying goes, you don't get a second chance to make a first impression.
Because of this, the best way to make sure the first meeting goes smoothly — or at the very least, doesn't leave your fam with a bad taste in their mouth — is to be certain that your partner is filled in on any need-to-know info that'll make getting along with your family easier. Avoiding any potentially stress-inducing surprises by covering the following topics means that you and your partner can focus on having fun and integrating them into your family dynamic.
Depending on how you and your boo met, there is a chance that you might not want your parents to know the full details — like how your best friend dared you to do the splits on the bar before offering a body shot to your now-significant other.
If you initially told your parents a couple of white lies here and there to keep the story of how you met parent-friendly, no worries. But, you're definitely going to want to make sure your partner is filled in on what you told them to avoid any awkwardness.
Now, more than ever, differing opinions when it comes politics can turn out to be a major source of tension with just about everyone. If your SO is a staunch liberal and your parents lean to the right, then this is definitely something that should be discussed with your partner beforehand.
According to best-selling author and relationship expert Susan Winter, you might want to "prepare your SO to avoid the land mines by sticking to congenial topics." She continues, "Nothing's worse than having a political fight at the dinner table."
Although there is no reason your partner should have to outright lie about their political views when asked, if it's a touchy subject with your family, then you might want to suggest your boo avoids harping on anything that could lead to an ugly disagreement.
Similar to politics, differing religious beliefs could cause some tension if not handled carefully. Any particular religious leanings that might affect how your parents will view how your partner conducts themselves should be talked about in as much detail as necessary before making introductions.
If tension starts to heat up, try shifting the conversation to something your family and your partner have in common instead. "A first meeting isn’t the time or place to focus on differences as much as it is to find commonalities," says dating expert at Relationship Advice Forum April Masini.
Even if your parents aren't the traditional type, it's never a bad idea to remind your partner to use Mr. and Mrs. until a more relaxed relationship has been established. "Don’t presume familiarity that isn’t called for," suggests Masini. "Take it slow and get to know them over time, not all in one visit."
Also, if you're planning on spending the night, be sure to check in with your parents to confirm that you're all on the same page when it comes to sleeping arrangements. If your family is more conservative, then "prepare your partner for the inevitability of sleeping in your little sister's bedroom or on the couch," says Winter.
Introducing your significant other to your family can be totally nerve-racking, but as long as you make sure both parties are prepared, things are much more likely to go smoothly.
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