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How to introduce your partner to your family, 5 tips to make it less scary

Introducing your significant other to your parents is a really big deal.

Meeting your prospective in-laws

It’s one of the biggest steps you can take in your relationship—both the one you have with your partner and the one you have with your parents.

One reason why introducing your partner to your parents is scary is that first impression (according to studies) is a lasting impression. What your partner looks like, does, or says can create negative or positive opinions in the minds of one's family for years.

Other factors can weigh heavy on the mind as well, such as how nervous your partner feels, or how positively your parents view your relationship. But never fear, because it doesn't have to be awful. Read on for a few tips to make the whole thing go as smoothly as possible.

  • Consider what this introduction means to you.
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Assuming you’ve been with your partner for several months or years, it’s important to think back on the time you’ve spent together and the relationship the two of you have built. Your parents are going to want to know why you are so serious about this individual and why you think they are right for you before they are willing to open up to discover that information themselves.

  • Make sure the timing is right

Once you’re convinced that this is the right person to bring home to meet your family, next you want to choose the timing carefully. You don’t want to stumble upon their doorstep when you know they’ve been dealing with a stressful situation, such as a death in the family. Of course, if you know that a certain unfortunate scenario will take months to resolve itself, you likely won’t have to wait all that time to make the introduction but, in that case, especially, it’s nice to ask your parents if the timing is right before you go ahead and decide that it is.

  • Prep your partner

Of course, you want your partner to wow your parents by being exactly who he or she is.

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Make sure he or she knows a bit about your family background, for example, what religion you are and where your parents are from. This will help with the flow of conversation and their behaviour.

  • Make the introduction

If the first meeting is happening at your parents’ home, encourage your partner to bring a gift of some kind. This will show your parents that your partner has good manners and is thoughtful. Upon the actual introduction, don’t shy away from saying the actual words like "meet my mom and dad". Not only will your parents appreciate this, but your partner is likely to as well.

  • Enjoy some light talk

If you’re at your parents’ home, find a place where the four of you can sit down and talk. If it’s your home, you might be comfortable enough to offer to make drinks or provide snacks while your parents get to know your partner. This will take the pressure off those initial first questions and answers.

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