8 People Reveal When They Told Their Extended Family About Their Partner

by Jamie Kravitz

Navigating a new relationship can be tricky, especially when it comes time to tell your family about the new person in your life. The point at which you choose to talk about someone you're seeing depends on your family dynamic, how serious the relationship is, and your own personality. Even if you are a private person, you'll likely tell your parents eventually. But what about your extended family? With grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, how do you know when to tell your family about your relationship? If you don't talk about it, they'll probably find out through your immediate family members or your social media. Seriously, my mom doesn't even know how to copy and paste, but she has somehow figured out how to watch every single one of my Instagram stories. It's ridiculous.

If you're casually dating, it can be awkward to bring up someone new to your family every few months. Of course, it matters how close you are to your extended family, how often you talk to and see them, and how inquisitive (read: nosy) they can be. I asked eight people about their own experiences with this situation, and they told me when they think it's appropriate to talk to your extended family about someone you're dating. Responses ranged from one month to six, but almost everyone agreed that you don't need to do it until you're pretty serious about the relationship.

This guy thinks you should see the relationship going somewhere before you tell your extended family.

I waited around a month, just so I could make sure it was going to last before I told them about it.

— Andrew, 21

This girl says to do it within a month of when you make it official.

It's tough, because no one wants to commit anymore. You could think you're in a relationship with someone for months and they could consider it 'just talking.' I've told my family about guys who later decided they weren't ready for a relationship. But I think after you have defined the relationship, you should tell your extended family within a month.

— Jenna, 25

This guy chose a time when he wouldn't have to answer a ton of questions.

I waited about four months, but most importantly until after the holidays so the rest of my family wouldn’t bombard me with questions.

— James, 22

This girl did it in person at a family gathering, after a few months of dating.

For me it was at Thanksgiving. We started dating in early September so the first time I saw my whole family was at Thanksgiving and when they asked me what was going on and if anything was new, I mentioned my boyfriend. I didn't really have a choice.

— Alex, 23

This guy suggests waiting until you think your partner might actually meet your extended family.

I think you should tell them only if you genuinely think they will meet the SO, so for me at least six months. But usually my mom will mention it to them before that.

— Gil, 22

This girl would only tell her extended family once the relationship was serious.

I would have waited six months to tell my extended family. They found out earlier through my parents, but I think you have to gauge if the relationship is really serious enough to tell extended family about.

— Michelle, 22

This guy says once your relationship has a clear label, you should tell your family.

I think that in general you should tell your extended family about your new relationship once you and your significant other have determined what you both are to each other and how you’re labeling your relationship. I think that once you have decided you are in fact dating, it’s cool to then tell your family. This is more or less how I’ve gone about it in my experiences.

— Brian, 23

This girl thinks the best opportunity to do it is around the holidays.

I would say if your family brings it up, then just explain what it is. If you just started dating you can act like it's nothing too serious yet. Otherwise, I think the appropriate time would be around the holidays if you plan on bringing them to meet the family.

— Ellie, 22

Family can be complicated, so it's understandable to want to tread carefully. If you feel comfortable sharing the news of a relationship with your extended family, then go for it. But you shouldn't feel pressured to spill the details before you're ready.

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