You are currently viewing 6 tips for a smooth introduction to your family 

6 tips for a smooth introduction to your family 

Introducing your partner to your family for the first time can get rather complicated. These six tips should help you make a success of it. 

Bringing your partner to a family gathering so that everyone can get to know each other can be as exciting as it is nerve-racking. You want your family to like your partner as much as you do and for everything to go smoothly. So how do you go about the entire process to guarantee the best outcome? 

Plan the meeting in advance 

Choose a neutral location, like a restaurant, where both your partner and your family can feel comfortable and on an equal footing. You could also plan a fun activity to break the ice, like a quiz night or enjoying some live music – you know what everyone likes… 

Prepare your partner beforehand 

Let them know what to expect when they meet your family and share the family dynamics, the quirks and personalities. What are your parents like? Is your mom going to ask lots of questions? Is your father likely to do the whole scary-dad thing? Do they go by their first names, Mr and Mrs or Mom and Dad? Give your partner all the details to help them feel more comfortable and confident. It’s also vital to flag any off-limit topics such as politics, religion, gender equality etc. 

Set expectations 

We all want to know what we’re up against – this goes for both your partner and your family. Apart from informing your partner about your family (as mentioned above), talk to your family about your partner, their qualities and interests. If no one is flying blind, everyone will be more prepared. This doesn’t mean that skeletons should be hauled out of the closet, but if Grandma has a habit of saying… problematic things… that shouldn’t come as a surprise. 

Be supportive 

You’re accustomed to your family and their quirks, but your partner will be meeting them for the first time – and they’ll need backup! This means not only being there physically (don’t leave them alone for too long), but also helping them to feel included. Assurance is the best way to win your partner’s favour and will help your family understand and accept your status as a couple. 

Follow up 

After the meeting, have separate follow-up conversations with your partner and your family. Check in to see how they felt and if there are any concerns or issues that need to be addressed. You want everyone to like each other, of course, but it’s probably also good to know if there were hiccups you were not aware of. 

Take care of yourself 

The one thing that influences either side is you: the glue. You want them to get along, but because both relationships are valuable, it can cause emotional turmoil for you if one side criticises the other. Respect that there might be a difference of opinion, but don’t be afraid to call out either side if a boundary has been crossed. Try to maintain harmony for both relationships to work. In the end, your well-being matters the most. 

Food for thought 

  • Do not rush into the initial meeting. You should know your partner’s personality and their social behaviour.  
  • Remind your partner that you’re there for them. The reassurance will help them feel more relaxed.  
  • Bring a gift that will please your parents but also help them know your partner’s preferences.  
  • Don’t drink too much. You should try to stay present.  
  • If your family broaches a touchy subject, stay calm and limit your engagement with the topic.  
  • Don’t get ahead of yourself and try to force your partner and family to take selfies or videos together. Focus instead on how their interactions unfold. 

@giaaldisert 10 rules for meeting his parents #relationship #relationshipadvice #meetmyparents #greenscreensticker ♬ original sound – gia

Words by: Rhynardt Krynauw
Photo: Gallo/Getty Images 

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