You’ve found someone special—someone so special that you can’t help but think there’s something different this time. You’re convinced there’s a future, and you’re ready to make it known to everyone, including your family.
That first introduction is likely to be the most stressful for all parties involved. There’s a good chance that it might be downright uncomfortable, especially if your family is still warming up to your newly-out-and-proud state. Acceptance takes time. Give your family substantial time to adjust before making adding a new person to the mix. If your partner is the first romantic partner your family will meet, give him a heads up to ensure that everyone’s on the same page. To make the first meeting run smoothly, consider the following:
Give Your Partner the Scoop
Make sure your partner is fully ready to meet your family and help him feel more comfortable by telling him as many details as you can. Be honest. Will jokes win your dad’s confidence? Does your mom especially love compliments about her cooking? Are there certain subjects that should be avoided? Be as specific as possible. The more prepared your partner is, the better his chances are of feeling right at home.
If you and your partner are both relaxed and confident, your family will be most likely to feel the same way.
Prepare Your Family
It’s also a good idea to prepare your family ahead of time. Make sure they realize how important that first meeting is to you and your partner. Answer any questions they may have and be patient about listening to their concerns. Suggest a few questions they can ask your partner.
Pick the Right Place
Choose a meeting place that lets you both feel at ease. Pick a casual dinner setting or even an outdoor, public area where you can sit down and enjoy a light lunch together. Some good examples include an outdoor cafe, your home, or the neighborhood restaurant where you feel comfortable. First meetings don’t have to be especially long. For this reason, it’s generally best to avoid stuffy restaurants, full-day activities, or holiday meals where extended family members are often invited. When in doubt, keep it simple and casual.
By taking extra time to prepare all parties involved, you can make that first introduction a lot more comfortable and natural for everyone. Show your family how happy you and your partner are together in as natural a way as possible. Don’t force anything. If your family sees how happy you and your partner make each other, they’ll have little choice but to be happy and 100% supportive—even if it takes them a little time to get there.