As long as you're planning to have any meaningful relationships or perhaps eventually settle down with someone, you're going to need to introduce them to your parents at some point. For a lot of young people, this can be a scary thing to do.
Introducing your partner to your parents can be even more nerve-wracking when you're a girl. Everyone knows that most dads believe no one is good enough for their little girl. So, bringing home your boyfriend may awaken your dad's protective side.
It's normal to be worried about what your parents are going to think about your partner and vice versa. It's also normal to want them to see your partner in the most positive light, and approve of your ability to choose a mate. However, it's best to remain calm even amid all these uncertainties.
So, if you're at this stage in your relationship and you're sure it's time to introduce your boyfriend to your parents, here are a few ways to guide you through. You know what they say, first impressions matter.
- 1 13 Ways To Introduce Your Boyfriend To Your Parents
- 1.1 1. Tell your boyfriend
- 1.2 2. Tell your parents about him beforehand
- 1.3 3. Tell your siblings
- 1.4 4. Prepare your boyfriend
- 1.5 5. Tell your partner what your parents like
- 1.6 6. Let your boyfriend know that everything will be fine
- 1.7 7. Save the date
- 1.8 8. Pick a good place
- 1.9 9. Choose the setting wisely
- 1.10 10. Guide the conversation
- 1.11 11. Question and answer session
- 1.12 12. Don't leave your boyfriend alone with them for a stretch
- 1.13 13. Don't stay too long
- 2 FAQs
- 3 Summary
13 Ways To Introduce Your Boyfriend To Your Parents
1. Tell your boyfriend
If you've been dating for a while (say three to six months), you may have an instinctive feeling to introduce your boyfriend to your parents. Since these are probably the people you care most about, it only makes sense that you'd want them to meet and get to know each other.
However, you have to consider that as anxious as you are for them to meet, your boyfriend might be even more nervous. If he loves you, your parent's approval would mean a lot to him and he would want them to see him in the most positive light. Therefore, find out if he’s ready to meet your parents before you take any further steps to plan.
Meeting the parents is a big step to take, so you need to make sure you’re both on the same page about this. If he isn’t ready to meet your parents just yet, then let it rest for a while, you can pick it up again when he’s ready.
2. Tell your parents about him beforehand
Before you introduce your boyfriend to your parents, you need to let them know you have someone in your life first. When you do, they will have a long list of questions for you regarding your boyfriend. Try your best to make your answers precise and honest, even though your boyfriend is not exactly who your parents would like for you to be with.
The first thing they would probably want to know about is his background, so tell them about that first. There’s no need to go into so much detail, that can be discussed when they meet. You could also tell them about his career and his lifestyle. Capitalize on things your boyfriend has in common with them, this could make him seem more relatable.
3. Tell your siblings
If you have siblings who still live with your parents or who live close by, it could be helpful to mention it to them too. This is even more helpful if your siblings know your boyfriend.
To ease the tension and make things less awkward, having a sibling around when you're introducing your boyfriend to your parents would be a good idea. Having that neutral presence around balances out the seriousness and tension of the moment. So perhaps inviting your sibling(s) would be a great idea.
4. Prepare your boyfriend
It's necessary to give your boyfriend some background information about your parents. Don't just throw him into the deep end of the pool and expect him to swim, you've got to let him know what to expect. Brief him on your parents’ personalities, family traditions, topics that may be sensitive to your family, and other important things you think he should be aware of beforehand.
Some parents are a bit more proper and may prefer to be addressed formally. If this is the case, advise your boyfriend to address them as Mr and Mrs as opposed to using their first names. You should also let him know how to dress; if you know your parents are the fancy type, then tell him to put on a suit when he’s coming over.
Some parents on the other hand are very casual and laid back. They'd welcome him even though he appeared in beach shorts and flip-flops. You know your parents the most, be sure to tell him every detail and help him get ready for the D-day.
5. Tell your partner what your parents like
Letting your boyfriend know your parents' favorite foods, beliefs and interests would give him an advantage. For example, if your mom loves apple pie and your boyfriend shows up at the house with some apple pie, it would warm her heart and get him off to a good start.
Even though the weight of the conversation shouldn't be on your boyfriend alone, it would be nice for you to give him an idea of what he can discuss with your parents.
For instance, if your dad loves to go fishing and your boyfriend knows one or two things about boats, this may be a good topic of conversation. They could talk about it if things get a bit quiet or if you have to leave to help your mom in the kitchen.
6. Let your boyfriend know that everything will be fine
No matter how much you prep him for his first meeting with your parents, you best believe that he's going to be nervous. Nerves don't always indicate that a person is shy or scared. Sometimes, it shows that they care about the object of their anxiety and they're invested in making it work.
Either way, try to encourage your boyfriend to stay calm. Assure him that he has nothing to worry about and he will be loved and accepted by your parents. Most parents are excited to meet their daughter's boyfriend, especially if she seems serious about a future with him. So let him know this and assure him that you've told your parents great things about him.
Knowing they’re eager to meet him would help calm his nerves. Remember to be understanding if he still feels nervous, tell him “meeting the parents is always scary”. Just try getting him to the point where he isn't freaking out.
7. Save the date
Agree with both your parents and your boyfriend on a convenient date to meet. Avoid picking major holidays unless your boyfriend doesn’t mind spending the holidays away from his family. Meeting during the weekend would be better since you both are likely to be off from work on those days.
No matter how excited or eager you are to get it done, don't force your boyfriend or your parents to postpone important tasks to make time for this meeting. It should be at their convenience. There's no harm in setting up the meeting for a month ahead as long as everyone is comfortable with the date.
8. Pick a good place
Picking a place for the meeting is very important, sometimes the environment you pick could determine how the meeting goes. Take into consideration your parents' preferences when you're doing this, some parents would prefer to meet and talk over dinner at a nice restaurant while some may prefer a nice warm and casual meeting at home.
However, when you're picking a place, perhaps you may not want to do this alone. Get both your parents and your boyfriend involved. Meeting on neutral territory would make things more comfortable for everyone.
Be sure to make the reservation and show up along with your boyfriend rather than after him, so he doesn't have to awkwardly sit alone with them before you arrive.
9. Choose the setting wisely
If you’re from a large family, your parents may want to invite extended family over and make the meet-up more of a house party or outdoor barbecue. There's nothing wrong with this, however, you need to make sure your boyfriend can handle meeting so many people at once.
If he's part of a large family too, this may be easier and even preferable for him. Whatever the case, it's best to find out from him first.
Your parents should meet your boyfriend one on one. This way, they can talk and get to know each other without loud distractions from third parties. You can offer to bring dessert, a side dish, and some drinks so they don't have to worry too much about refreshments.
On the other hand, you could choose to make it an active first meeting. If your parents and your boyfriend aren't the chatty types, you could eliminate the pressure of conversation by planning a fun activity like mini-golf or bowling.
10. Guide the conversation
You have to remember that your parents and your boyfriend have probably never met before this time, so the burden of the conversation would probably be on you. Prepare your mind for this and keep some common topics at the back of your mind so you can bring them up if things get awkward.
Start by introducing everyone by name and allow them to make their pleasantries. Small talk usually follows organically so you don't have to worry about that. If they pick up and start discussing on their own, then you can take a breath and step back for a while.
Pick topics that both your parents and your boyfriend can relate to, for example, if your partner's parents were in the military and your dad has some military associations too, this could be a good thing to bring up.
11. Question and answer session
Asking questions is a major part of getting to know a person. Your parents probably have a few questions they'd like to ask your boyfriend about his upbringing, career, and future plans.
Don't be bothered about this, let them ask. It could help them get comfortable with each other and who knows, they may find more things they have in common. The only time you may need to interrupt and change the topic is if your parents start to ask inappropriate questions. You could switch to a lighter topic and signal to your parents to take things down a notch.
Most girls worry that their dads may be too hard on their boyfriends, but this is not always a bad thing. It's nice to have someone who has your back, especially when it comes to relationships. Allow your dad to ask him what his intentions are with you. Even though it's a hard conversation to have, it's a necessary one.
Your boyfriend’s future plans would determine the direction of your relationship and if they don't favor you, your dad may be able to sniff it out. It's better to know how much to invest in a relationship so you can avoid disappointment later on. So, allow your parents to look out for you.
12. Don't leave your boyfriend alone with them for a stretch
Things could get very awkward and uncomfortable when you're meeting someone for the first time. Sitting alone with your parents for a long time could be a nightmare for your boyfriend. So, if you have to get up to do something try and make sure you don't stay away for too long.
For instance, if the meeting is at your parents' house and you need to go help your mom set the table for lunch or dinner, try and be snappy. Don't leave him there for too long in case he runs out of things to talk about. Better still, you could ask your parents to relax while you and your boyfriend set the table together.
13. Don't stay too long
The first meeting between your boyfriend and parents should be brief and pleasant. Whether it's over dinner or it's a home visit, make sure you don't overstay your welcome.
There's only so much you can discuss when you're meeting people for the first time. Your parents and your significant other will run out of topics at some point, even if they’re having a good time. So try your best to make the meeting brief.
You could decide to leave after having a few minutes of small talk following dessert if it was a restaurant meeting, there's no need to linger. It would be way easier if it's a home visit, there's a greater chance that only light refreshments would be served, so you can leave early.
It's not the length of time that determines this rather it depends on if it becomes a committed relationship or not. It's advisable to introduce only serious partners to your parents, no parent wants to meet their child's fling. So, if you're both past 3 or 4 months in the relationship and you can see that it’s going somewhere, then it's probably time.
Before introducing your boyfriend to your family, make sure to speak to him about it first. Make sure he’s ready to meet them and if he isn’t, be patient with him. Also, tell your parents about him before you take him to meet them. This way they'll know what to expect.
It's fine to focus the conversation on the good things about your boyfriend during the meeting. However, be honest about everything. Don't lie just to make him look good even if he's not exactly what they expected.
After introducing your boyfriend and parents to each other, allow them to talk, don't feel too pressured to do all the talking just because you're the common factor in this case.
Most relationship experts recommend that you wait three months before you tell your boyfriend you love him. These days, lots of young people get scared of responsibility and if binding statements like these are said too soon, you may chase your potential boyfriend away. So even if you feel very strongly about this person, try to wait a while before you say it.
A majority of people in the dating pool feel like you should say I love you immediately you feel it. The problem with this is, that feelings can be deceitful. You may feel deeply for a person at the initial stages of the relationship yet when things get old, boring, and routine, your feelings change. This is not love, so wait till your love for this person is evident before you say anything to them.
I hope you found this topic helpful. Remember, introducing your boyfriend to your parents is a big deal and a big step too. Don’t rush it. Please let me know what you think about this topic in the comment section below and be sure to share it on your social media platforms.
As hopeless romantic I struggled tremendously in my love life. After many years of searching, trial & error, and countless failed relationships, I finally found my Mr. Right. It wasn't an easy road, but one that has taught me an incredible amount about the workings of relationships between men and women, and this is what I hope to share through my writing on this blog.