How to introduce your significant other to your family

How to introduce your significant other to your family

By
José-Andrés Alegría

I have only ever brought one girl home to meet the family. My cousins have met a few of the girls I have dated, but my mom has only met one. It’s different when it comes to Latino families. It’s not just meeting mom and dad. It’s meeting mom, dad, my sisters, my cousins, my aunts and uncles, and my grandma. And that’s just immediate family. Let’s not forget about all my second cousins, who I call my aunts and uncles, are going to call and inquire about my new girlfriend. It’s bringing them and watching as they are “interrogated” by everyone in my family all at once. I felt so sick the first time. My mom always jokes how one day, I am going to show up to her house with a wife. And if I am honest, it’s a possibility. I’ve never wanted to waste my mom’s time if that makes any sense. It’s like what Big Sean says in his song Living Single.
“Look, I know what it feel like to think you found the one
Told mom that so many times that I’m sounding dumb
‘Cause she started to mix Ashley up with Tanesha
And saying ‘Hi Britney’ when I’m on the phone with Lisa.”
But how do you introduce your significant other to your family? (Side note: I asked some Latin friends and people from the office how they did it. Some of them had wild stories. Guns, machetes, and flexing muscles were involved.)

Introducing Your Significant Other Playbook

The High School Tactic

If you tell your parents that your significant other is a ‘friend’ then they can’t say anything. You might be invalidating your relationship in some way but saves yourself the hassle of dealing with that whole conversation. I would only recommend this if you are in the ‘getting to know each other still’ phase and there is no avoiding them meeting your parents for whatever reason.

The Family Party

Bring them to a family party. Tear it off like a band-aid. “Everyone, this is my girlfriend. You have 10 minutes to ask whatever questions you want.” Just let this be a surprise for your family and not your significant other. If you are dating someone who is extremely extroverted or comes from a big family, then this might work. Throw them to the wolves. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right?

The Lunch Meet and Greet

If your mom or dad is overprotective and has a tendency to try and ‘intimidate’ your significant other, then plan the meeting for lunch or dinner in a public space with plenty of witnesses. Let your parents meet them first and then introduce them to the rest of the family later. Even if they are Latin and used to a big family, meeting someone’s whole family at once can be overwhelming.

The Nonchalant Pick-Up

Have them pick you up from your parent’s place. When you think about your significant other meeting the family, it tends to spiral into a big deal, so make the first meeting something short and sweet. Enough time for introductions and some basic questions about who they are and then leave. Hopefully, they leave a good first impression.

The Hallmark Plan

This is the fairytale ‘we have been friends for a long time, and my family already knows them’ plan. It happens. People get out of the friend-zone sometimes. And although they say that dating a friend can be tricky sometimes, one of the benefits is that your parents already know them, and hopefully like them. It sounds like a win-win to me. (Granted this is more of a joke and very situational, but I ran out of ideas, so here we are.)

But in all seriousness, if you want to introduce your significant other to your family, just do it. What’s the worst that can happen? Your family doesn’t like them? Sometimes getting the truth about who you are dating can sting, but accountability is an excellent tool of truth. There are times that I think back on and wish my cousins and friends had just been honest about how they felt about the person I was dating. Love truly makes you blind. But the best-case scenario is your family loves them. Either way, if you are serious about your relationship, then it shouldn’t feel like some horrid form of torture to introduce your SO to your family. Just try to prepare them as much as possible for the craziness of your family. But if they’re dating you, they probably have plenty of practice already.

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