One of the biggest milestones in any new relationship is bringing your new boyfriend or girlfriend home to meet the family. It can be a nerve-wracking experience for everyone involved – as you never get a second chance to make a good first impression. With this in mind, here are some of the classic dos and don’ts when taking the plunge and introducing your partner to your family.
1. Do help your partner to feel prepared
It’s always worthwhile to help your partner feel confident and well-prepared when meeting your family for the first time. Be sure to give them an overview of each family member and some important details about them. Make sure they’re confident on all of the big topics, like their job, their hobbies and any easy conversation starters.
2. Don’t spring any nasty surprises on them
Every family has their unique quirks, traditions and behaviours that seems completely natural at home – but a little odd to an outsider. Don’t spring any unexpected surprises on your partner that will force them even further out of their comfort zone. For instance, if Saturday night is your family’s traditional charades or karaoke night, don’t wait until you’re walking up the driveway to let them know.
3. Do tell your family to be on their best behaviour
At the end of the day, if your family cares about you then they should be open and welcoming to such an important person in your life. If you’re worried they won’t be on their best behaviour, all your need to do is ask.
Let them know of any traits they might find a bit strange in advance. Finally, if your partner is a vegetarian make sure you tell your mum before she cooks her special Sunday roast lamb.
4. Don’t choose a confrontational environment
Meeting the family can be a nerve-wracking experience at the best of times. Don’t make the experience even worse by choosing a stressful environment. If you’re meeting them for a meal at a local restaurant, opt for a casual eatery everyone will enjoy rather than a fancy fine dining establishment.
For any former Sydney singles who have taken the plunge and started a new relationship, delicious fish and chips at Watsons Bay is a great laid-back place to meet your partner’s parents. Or, for couples in Melbourne, why not head to one of the excellent cafes for a coffee and a slice of cake?
5. Do steer the conversation towards calmer waters
From politics to religion, sporting teams to television programs, there are plenty of contentious topics that can cause tension. Make sure your partner understands the conversation danger zones and, if things are getting heated, don’t hesitate to take the initiative and steer the chat to safer topics.
6. Don’t panic
Above all it’s important to remember to relax! If your partner really cares about you then they should welcome your family with open arms – no matter how quirky they are.
If you’re struggling to meet the right man or woman who embraces your close-knit family, maybe you haven’t been looking in the right places. Online dating sites, like eHarmony AU, are perfect for bringing together people who are close to their families and want to find like-minded singles with the same values.