The dating world, with its many twists and turns, can be a scary place. Just trying to figure out the ‘rules’ and moves that will lead to the happily ever after we all dream of can make you want to hide under the covers. In my opinion, no part of dating is scarier than when you have to introduce that special someone to the family. I don’t know about anyone else, but I have a real life version of My Big Fat Greek Wedding: The West Indian Edition going on, which is why they will most likely never meet anyone. Ever. I’m a private person and don’t take well to people in my business, if it were up to me, I’d just send an email announcement with a photo attached and skip the pleasantries. But of course, this is not how the real world works and at some point I’ll have to mentally prepare myself for the day when I bring someone home…or at least do a drive by.

I’ve heard horror stories from friends whose families tried or actually succeeded in driving significant others away with their questioning and not so thinly veiled threats on their lives. Stories about first time meetings that almost came to blows after disagreements over schools attended, financial situations, politics and even sports. One of my friends can’t bring her boyfriend over to her parents house anymore after an argument broke out because he respectfully refused to answer questions he thought were too personal and this was four years ago! I also know parents of friends who refuse to meet other halves because well, they’ve met more than their share and only want to meet the one who has put a ring on it.

It all just makes me hesitant about one day doing my own meet and greet. I get that these people’s experiences don’t necessarily have to be my own, but I know my own family can be just as intrusive and headstrong so there is a possibility I’ll have my own horror story to tell. I want the person I’m with to be and feel like a part of my family, I just wish there was a way to do it without the moment turning into an uncomfortable CIA interrogation with old school Jerry Springer highlights. You think grandma will be okay with speaking to her future grandson-in-law via Skype? Sigh.

How do you handle introducing you special someone to family? How soon is too soon for the family to meet someone you’re dating?

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  • MarloweOverShakespeare

    As soon as both of us are serious about spending the rest of our lives together, thats when we can make arrangements for these types of meets and greets. Other than this my love life and family will not mix. Ever. This means me not speaking to family about anyone I’m seeing. Ain’t nunna dey bizness!

  • CD86

    “I’m a private person and don’t take well to people in my business…” – [Same here for me. Likewise, I don’t share a close relationship with my family members, so I don’t feel a need to introduce them to people. I don’t do any dating really, so the issue doesn’t come up. ]

  • fuchsia

    I find at least one ally before bringing home that special someone. It helps to have someone else vouch for him, especially when they start the “What do you think of so and so?” conversation off on a good foot after we leave the room. lol

    • MarloweOverShakespeare

      I do like this idea.

    • Trini

      @fuchsia

      Genius!

      Somehow, it never crossed my mind to do that! Must remember this for next time. Lord only knows when that will be tho….LOL!

  • African Mami

    I’ve have NEVER and will NEVER introduce somebody I am dating to my folks. Reason being, where I am from….if you introduce him then that means, he is the ONE who will walk you down the aisle. Until then, they stay in the comforts of my phonebook, hidden in my phonebook.

    • Blasé

      true, otherwise you just keep introducing boyfriend after boyfriend after boyfriend. to the elders they just seem like flings and you like a slattern.

    • Trini

      @Blase

      Your use of the word “slattern” made my day! Im a bit of a word nerd!

    • grace

      Omgness! I thought it was just my family! But then I realized that very often, a Nigerian person who I thought was single is now inviting me to his/her wedding! Maybe this is a relatively cultural thing?

      Anyways, I feel so weird when talking about dating to family, and to acquaintances. My co-workers talk about their boyfriends so casually, as though it factors as a major part of their life. Me, not so much. At least not enough to dominate my conversation.

  • Patricia

    Great question. Since I come from a very close knit family, they have only met two of the guys I have dated. When they first met one of those guys, it was at a backyard cook-out which is never taken seriously. Once my family see a man attend church with you or come over for Sunday dinner, then they are somewhat expecting a wedding announcement. Other than that a man or anyone is always welcome which we refer to as Southern Hospitality. Not everybody though, just the “okay” people. As far as the new guy I’m dating, I would only introduce him as a friend to my family. Due to the nature of his business and location, I myself prefer it that way. I have invited him to meet my family just to come for some great food and laughs in the past. Nothing more or less..