First and foremost, it's important to note that everyone puts a different weight on what it means to meet someone's family and that's NORMAL. One-hundred percent normal — I can't stress this enough.
This can be for many different reasons. Maybe you don't want to introduce your significant other to your family too soon because you want to first be sure you're going to be with him for the long term. Perhaps your family dynamic is more dysfunctional than you'd like to share early on and you're not sure if your boyfriend will feel comfortable. Or maybe you just aren't as close with them as he is with his family and that makes you feel hesitant to open that part of your life to him.
Whatever the reason may be, you're certainly not alone, but you should pinpoint the "why."
Take a second and imagine what it would be like if the roles were reversed. In this hypothetical scenario, you would feel comfortable introducing your BF to your family, but he wouldn't want to introduce you to his. Because of this, you'd likely have a lot of questions, which might look something like this:
- Why doesn't he want me to meet his family?
- Is he embarrassed of me?
- Would they disapprove of me?
- Does he not see a future with me?
Now, jumping back into your actual situation, do you think he has these questions regarding your family and why you are less open to him meeting them?
In your submission, you wrote:
I explained to him that I wasn't ready for that, which he understood. But now he won't warn me before seeing family... We will be driving home from dinner and he will be like "oh my mom's house is nearby, let's quickly stop by." So I've gotten used to the "surprise" family interactions, however, I know my family will be a completely different interaction, especially because they live in a different state. When I introduce him, it will be a larger deal because we will have to take a trip to drive down and my parents will definitely be more skeptical and reserved around him than his family is around me.
Considering you've spoken to him about it and he said he understood, I wouldn't worry too much about it as I'm sure he's fine, but he still might have some questions that he's not asking because he's trying to be respectful. For this reason, once you pinpoint exactly why you are more reserved when it comes to introducing your partners to family, really take some time to explain it to him — I'm sure he'll appreciate it. Especially since, as you said, his views on it and the way he was raised are so different.
This will help him be patient and wait for whenever you are ready, making your relationship that much stronger.
💡 Then, when or if you are truly ready to introduce him to your family (and are not just doing it because you feel pressured), I'd suggest doing the following:
- Plan a weekend trip to visit a fun town or city somewhere near your hometown (maybe pick a spot that's a 30-45 minute drive from where your parents live)
- Get an Airbnb or hotel there, book some fun day activities, and make it a short vacation
- Since you'll conveniently be in the area, tell your family you have weekend plans in the area with [your boyfriend], but would love to stop by or grab lunch for everyone to meet
The good thing about this idea is it takes the pressure off spending two nights at your parents' house for the weekend. Instead, you have somewhere you can spend the night that's far enough away that it won't feel awkward, but also close enough that it's a convenient "we're in the area, let's meet the fam while we're here!"
If things get awkward and a few hours with the fam is enough, you can always say you have a dinner reservation or tickets for an activity and leave. Otherwise, you can spend as much time with them as you want. Either way, they'll all get to meet and it can be in as small of a dose as you feel comfortable with to start. That way, when they meet again in the future, it can be for a longer period of time since everyone will be a bit more comfortable. You could even stay the weekend in their home.
Baby steps are always promising! But whatever you decide to do, please know it's normal to be a bit unsure of what to expect (no matter how many times you've introduced someone to them in the past, but especially when it's the first).
You got this!
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