Meeting your partner’s parents is one of the most significant milestones in a dating relationship. After you meet someone’s parents, your relationship status suddenly transitions from “yeah, I guess we’re official” to “heck yeah, we’re the real deal.” With the upcoming holiday season, no doubt the question of whether it’s time to meet your significant other’s folks has come up.
If you’re still not sure whether your relationship is ready for the big introduction, here are some clear signs that you’re both ready for that next step.
1. You’re exclusive.
No second guessing here. You and your sweetheart are in a committed, exclusive, monogamous relationship. She keeps a toothbrush at your place, and you keep an extra set of work clothes at hers. You trust one another and feel deeply secure with each other on every level. You are, unquestionably, a couple.
2. You’ve met each other’s friends.
Meeting your partner’s best friends is usually the first step in solidifying your seriousness about your relationship. If your girlfriend can manage holding her own with your college buddies, that’s a pretty good indication it’s time for her to meet Mom and Dad.
3. You’ve met the brother/cousin/aunt.
Whether you ran into your aunt at the grocery store without incident or whether your significant other has hung out with you and your brother, if they’ve survived and thrived with the familial encounter, it’s time to upgrade your status. Besides, families love to talk and if your mother has heard that she’s the only one who hasn’t met your special someone, she’s probably not going to like it much.
4. You really really like your relationship.
Usually when we’re proud of something or someone, we tend to want to share the experience with our family, or at least show it off a little. Our relationships are no different. If you really really like your relationship, and you’re proud of the bond you share with your sweetie, then you’ll want your parents to see for themselves why you love your partner so much.
5. You see a future together.
When you’re replacing “I” with “we” and “me” with “us,” then you know you’re in a special place with your significant other. At this point it’s not a matter of if he or she will meet your parents but when. So before you buy that dream house together, or at least splurge on a new sofa, you should consider introducing them to your parents.
6. You’re not scared of the introduction.
This goes for both you and your partner. If neither of you are sweating buckets over the idea of breaking bread with your folks, then it’s time for you all to chow down together. Feeling more excited than scared about the idea is a clear indication that it’s time to make it happen.
7. You’re sure everyone is ready for the big day.
Although it’s somewhat tricky to assume your parents are going to be totally happy and not at all nervous or overly protective of you upon meeting your boyfriend or girlfriend for the first time, you should have a pretty good feeling about where they stand. Talk with your parents first about the idea of meeting your main squeeze and try to gauge how they feel about it based on their reaction. If you get the feeling they’re open and comfortable with it, then go ahead and mark your calendars.
Like many important relationship landmarks, you don’t want to rush introducing your boyfriend or girlfriend to your parents. Do it when you both feel comfortable and ready. When you’re relaxed about it, chances are your parents will be too. And above all, remember: your parents just want you to be happy.