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Dating: Ready to meet family?

A lot of new couples find out just how serious things are this time of year. When it is time to decide where you two will spend the holidays – together or apart, things get pretty clear.

Some people place a lot of meaning in meeting family members. If you are not invited to Thanksgiving dinner, should you be worried?

It depends, really! I believe that when the time is right, you will meet the family of the person you are seeing. It should not happen before you both feel ready to meet family.

I think that the important thing to remember is when and if you meet someone’s family, you have to be your authentic self. Don’t pretend to be someone you aren’t to impress them. Family members can spot a fake person from a mile away. Well, my family members can!

What do you think is important to know when you are ready to meet the family?

Have you ever dated someone who did not introduce you to their family? I know someone who dated a young woman for years and never met her family. She was basically delaying the inevitable “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” scene with her African American boyfriend and her Korean parents.

Would you allow the person you are dating to keep you from their family?

How do you know when and if you are ready to meet the family?

By Wise Diva, Misadventures in Atlanta Dating Blog

167 comments Add your comment

SlimNu

November 16th, 2011
8:07 am

Good morning, I for a few…As far as being worried if you aren’t invited to dinner really depends on where you two are in your courtship. If it’s something fairly new, I wouldn’t place too much emphasis on no invite. If you feel you two have been very serious and have moved into a higher level, then yeah I would question it. But it all goes back to communication. When I met the beau’s mother, it wasnt planned. She had a lay over here in ATL on her way to a connecting flight but it got cancelled. So I got a call from him saying to make sure everything was in order at the house since she was coming there. (She doesn’t live here).

Then the beau recently met my folks on our trip to the cabins about a month ago. At first, he seemed a bit nervous/hesitant about it. I probably would too being that most SO’s don’t meet a whole group of their gf/bf’s family at once. (It was close to 70 folks that went on the trip). But as I told him before going, my folks are laid back. I told him it wasn’t going to be like on the Cosby Show, where he had to wear a sweater vest, a bow tie and sit down to a 5 course dinner, explaining his ‘intentions’ with me. After we got there and saw how everyone was, it was smooth sailing. So I suppose it’s on me now to meet the rest of his peeps.

CoolShadow

November 16th, 2011
8:39 am

Would you allow the person you are dating to keep you from their family? No.

How do you know when and if you are ready to meet the family?

Technically, if you’re always being yourself you can meet them at any point. From a practical standpoint, you tend to prefer meeting them once the relationship has established some consistency and progression. Because they have to impress you as much as you have to impress them, meeting them can give you more insight into your person of interest. Because if his/her family is cool, it’s one less thing to worry about; however, if they appear dysfunctional, is that a potential red flag?

When it happens, you just hope it doesn’t become a negative experience, i.e., some aunt or cousin barraging you with more questions than his/her parents, the lack of ingenuity in asking of that stupid “What are your intentions?” question, family members attempting to turn an introduction into an inquisition, etc.

Celisea

November 16th, 2011
9:00 am

Morning,

Not understanding….what’s up with a rule and timeline for meeting the folks? All these rules and stuff just seems silly to me. IMO, meeting or not shouldn’t indicate anything. It shouldn’t indicate I’m the one if I do meet his folks and it shouldn’t indicate I’m not the one if I don’t or haven’t met his folks.

Celisea

November 16th, 2011
9:02 am

I can’t think of one single person I’ve dated (for real) where I didn’t meet their parents or wasn’t encouraged to come along and meet the parents. If I didn’t and was invited, I wasn’t ready.

hryder

November 16th, 2011
9:09 am

We knew we were ready to meet each others parents when we left Arizona, due to nepotism regulations, for graduate school. My parents agreed to house us until school begin and my new bride’s state was between Arizona and my home state and her folks wanted to meet their new son-in-law. I was all ready married to the person I needed and continue to need to impress.

Kym

November 16th, 2011
9:12 am

Good Morning All,

Would you allow the person you are dating to keep you from their family? Huh..how am I gonna force the issue? I mean if they say they don’t want me to meet their family..then I know this is not the person for me. So I will keep on keeping on. Sorry but either you are ashamed of them or ashamed of me..so I am not really interested in trying to figure out the reasons.

As for when is the right the time for the family meeting..well I guess we will know when we know..no timeline..but I would prefer not to be considered just another chick he brings to the bbq..so I would like the relationship to have some depth.

disco

November 16th, 2011
9:23 am

good morning all.

even in my younger years I was never very anxious about the meet the parents/family/friends. I’m not pressed to meet the parents/family – I’ll meet them when I meet them – but I’ve also never been pressed for anyone to meet mine – at least not so much in my “new life”. it’s also kind of moot living so far away from my family. guys from home know me, my family, our background so it’s all good. guys I’ve met since moving away from home have only heard the stories. my family is very rough around the edges and you have to get in where you fit in with us. the weak, meek, easily intimidated need not apply as I’m most definitely not going to run interference. it does seem though that men do better being brought into our fold than women. I don’t know if it’s because women are more sensitive or if it’s because the women in my family are a lot harsher than the men. meeting the family is most definitely a test and can even be a dealbreaker. I’ve stated on here before that my folks do some things. if a guy I’m dating is passing too much judgment on my family it might be time to cut him loose.

Packed Colon

November 16th, 2011
9:31 am

Last year, we went to her parents in Rochester. They were strange, but it was OK cuz we ended up doing it in her parents bedroom.

disco

November 16th, 2011
9:42 am

O/T – holiday office potluck season is upon us. I have NEVER ever participated in office potlucks. I don’t bring anything, I don’t eat anything. I’m amazed that my name is still on the sign up list.

Celisea

November 16th, 2011
9:48 am

I do holiday potluck. I only eat my stuff and the meat that’s provided and anything brought in unopened (i.e. chips, soda, etc). Anything cooked…no way

Celisea

November 16th, 2011
9:49 am

And then too it depends on the folks setting up because if it’s brought in unopened and you’re one that don’t wash when using the restroom, you open it I’m not eating it.

Leggs

November 16th, 2011
9:50 am

Good morning.

When I finally met my ex’s family, I felt like I was welcomed. His mother’s smile greeted me and she immediately complimented me how I carried myself (was a sign, but I didn’t know it). As the evening progressed she stood up at the table and said “Leggs, you are the sugar to his salt.” I thought that original and said thank you. Later in the wee hours of the night, he wanted to do the do, but I couldn’t. I was a guest in his mother’s home. He insisted, I resisted. The next morning, his mother’s demeanor changed dramatically. She still had that smile, but it was apparent she no longer cared for me. I think overnight she realized I was indeed going to be a part of her son’s life for the long haul. I found out two things that weekend:

(1) his family is bat isht crazy; and
(2) smiling faces carry daggers behind their backs.

Fatties 4 Potluck

November 16th, 2011
10:02 am

Yeah…..The only people doing put luck at my job are the morbidly obese. I don’t need to eat that much, nor do I want to, so I opt out. Because of that, I am treated like a leper. Some of want to avoid diabetes.

KaiserSoze

November 16th, 2011
10:12 am

Sort of O/T, but seeking a little advice. Recently separated, divorce almost final after 15 years. The ex and kids in another state have invited me to spend a couple of days over Thanksgiving with all my (soon to be) former in-laws. This makes me uncomfortable for a number of reasons, the most pressing that I am still having some serious rejection issues and difficulty adjusting to life without being part of a family. My kids really want me there, the in-laws want me there (the D was completely and totally her fault – they still accept and adore me), and the ex claims to want me there. Am I setting myself up for an emotional failure by attending?

kimmie

November 16th, 2011
10:13 am

Good morning!

Leggs, that is quite a story!

Ahh, the meeting of the parents/family! I am a very family-oriented person and most of the men I’ve dealt with have been the same, from the 1st boyfriend to my now husband. I’ve never had a family to not like me. In fact, there were times the family seemed to care for me more than the dude did! It kinda got to be a problem I think in a few cases, because they liked me so much I think they started pressuring dude to marry me & scared dude off. One mother, after our 1st meeting, pulled her son aside and told him I was a keeper and don’t mess over me!

It’s never been a big buildup to the meeting and usually it did not happen 1st during the holidays. Usually it would just be a casual meeting at his house or at a bbq. By the time the holidays rolled around, I was already welcome.

There was one guy, though, who never brought me to Sunday dinner, which was big at his house, like Soul Food. I met his mom when she was in the hospital and had met his family thru a cousin of mine. They all liked me and would ask about me often.I realized I was not special to him because he had taken other women to dinner before. Never me. I also realized I was being played big time.

kimmie

November 16th, 2011
10:16 am

Most of the time our office orders food out. We stopped having so many potlucks. We are tired of cooking. It works out great.

Our Thanksgiving luncheon is today and we are all going to Pappadeaux lunch buffet. We’ve done it in the past and it was quite good and a nice outing.

Celisea

November 16th, 2011
10:22 am

KaiserSoze – Am I setting myself up for an emotional failure by attending?

Are you expecting anything out of it or are you going simply to spend time with the family as it sounds?

Most of the time our office orders food out

We have so much lunches catered in or outings or client luncheons, these folks are excited to have something close to “homely” and being about to chat it up about dishes and stuff.

Leggs

November 16th, 2011
10:23 am

@KaiserSoze ~ I’m going to tell you what I did. When Thanksgiving rolled around, we were divorced 5 months. I did not want to spend Thanksgiving with him, but I knew it would mean the world to our daughter. I invited him. I knew he felt a little uncomfortable to be back in a home he helped me to qualify for. For the sake of our children, sometimes we have to put our emotions, our issues on the top shelf deep under that cozy quilt in the back of the closet. Have a talk with your ex, state you don’t want to walk into any drama and for the sake of the kids, if any pop off you will have to leave. Put your children first and go. Be cordial to the in-laws. Sit next to your children at dinner to help ground your emotions if you should become sullen. Remember why and for who you’re doing this for.

Celisea

November 16th, 2011
10:23 am

many not much

Leggs

November 16th, 2011
10:27 am

@KSoze ~ also, it may have been more bearable for me because it was only the 3 of us. I didn’t have any in-laws to deal with at that time.

disco

November 16th, 2011
10:28 am

kimmie – funny you should mention that old boy’s mother pulled you to the side. I asked him if he remembered his mother telling him to leave me alone before he ruined my life. those were her exact words and I was standing there when she said it. at the time I didn’t pay as much attention to it as I should have but reflecting on it now I’m like wow – was that woman speaking loud and clear.

kimmie

November 16th, 2011
10:34 am

disco – One mother was so upset with her tired, two-timing son that she let it slip to me that he was messing around. I already figured he was, but she just confirmed it. Poor thing, she tried to cover it up by saying she thought he & the other women were going to be just friends because his daughter didn’t like her & liked me better and she herself couldn’t stand her and told her so. I smiled, but honey, the damage was done.

kimmie

November 16th, 2011
10:36 am

disco – Mama’s know. Even though they love their sons, they know when they are no good. They also know a good woman when they meet one and know their son is not going to do right by the woman. Most of the time, they are so right!!!

disco

November 16th, 2011
10:42 am

re-reading my post looks like I left off that I recently spoke with the guy. still, guess you figured out that’s what I meant. my son brought a girl home last year. I wasn’t feeling her at all. I held my peace during their visit but after he got home and checked in I voiced that I didn’t care for her much.

Robert

November 16th, 2011
10:47 am

“How do you know when and if you are ready to meet the family?”

I thinks it’s a matter of respect. Respect for your immediate family and respect for your man or woman. For example I think it is inappropriate to bring someone to meet your Mother and/or Father if you are still married and not divorced. Why subject your man or woman to that situation. It can be embarrassing to you, your man or woman and your Mother and/or Father. What kind of example are you setting for your grown children and grandchildren if you have any. Personally, I don’t care about what other family members think. To each their own.

Blackfoote: The Real Blackfoote

November 16th, 2011
10:48 am

I haven’t had a time frame to introduce mine or meet a lady friend family. The times I have met a friend family I felt I was welcomed and percieved a good fit. This works for me, be myself don’t let anxiety affect how I am sized up. It’s that easy for me.

Blackfoote: The Real Blackfoote

November 16th, 2011
10:52 am

Keep in mind you will be a topic of discussion later. That’s allright too cause if you have been real the conversation about you will be complimentary and also on the real.

Celisea

November 16th, 2011
10:54 am

Well well well, my kid is asking to have company over for Thanksgiving dinner….just great

Leggs

November 16th, 2011
10:56 am

@disco ~ I will probably be like that, tell my child after her guest leaves and explain why I may not like him.

@BF ~ You mentioned my bday yesterday and said it was going to be a good year. Should have taken that as a sign for my cash 4 because the year of my bday dropped last night!!!!! UUUUGGGGHHHHH!!!

Randyt (aka...Been There, Done That, Have a Closet Full of T-Shirts)

November 16th, 2011
10:57 am

I haven’t read the posts yet, but one thing I have seen that is a big red flag…and yet I’ve seen the scenario often on the blog. When a male doesn’t introduce you to his family after being ionvolved for awhile, or never invites you back to his place and only meets you out or at your place…MARRIED!!!! You are a side dish.

I have no hesitancy about meeting their families or inviting ladies to meet my family. When inviting them to meet my family I do try to arrange quiet one on ones with all of my children at some point first before the big party thing. It is safer for the lady.

Robert

November 16th, 2011
11:01 am

“How do you know when and if you are ready to meet the family?”

I remember my daughter bringing home her boyfriend from college during the holiday’s. She forgot to tell him about her “old school” Daddy and did not warn him about how to dress appropiately. I opened the front door to greet her and was shocked she would bring someone to my house looking like a clown (tattoos, earrings, dreadlocks, pants on the ground showing his underwear). I looked at her and then I looked at him straight in his eyes (lol). Before I could say anything my daughter caught my attention begged me not to ruin the holiday dinner and kick this clown out of my house. I was mad at her because she knew how I felt about her dating young men who want to look like a “thug”. She was raised in a house were men acted and looked like men, not clowns.

Blackfoote: The Real Blackfoote

November 16th, 2011
11:04 am

KaiserSoze:

I still see and get along well with my former inlaws after 19 years of divorce. Before my mother inlaw passed away she pulled me to the side (this was before my ex wedding while her fiance was somewhere in the house) she said no matter who my ex marries I will always be her son in law. Teared me up for a second, I say go you were invited not going could be tough on you in the long run.

Randyt (aka...Been There, Done That, Have a Closet Full of T-Shirts)

November 16th, 2011
11:05 am

@ Robert…great post. Children seldom realize that ‘their past’ will become ‘their present’ at some point in the ‘future’. Those looks and actions they choose now will affect their professional opportunities and their relationa opportunities from now on. That is why what they post on their Facebook pages can come back to haunt them.

Celisea

November 16th, 2011
11:05 am

Well from what I understand this cat has dreads….I ain’t gonna say nothing on that but IF I decide, his pants better not be sagging nor looking thuggish or he’ll be turned around at the door. I haven’t decided yet though.

Only other good thing is that my kid will be at my sister’s so if any “courting” will be happening it will be there….lol In a house full of people. We’ll see though.

Celisea

November 16th, 2011
11:06 am

I shouldn’t say “cat”…he’s in the 11th grade with my kid.

kimmie

November 16th, 2011
11:08 am

Robert – You are like me & how my parents were. I think that helped shape who I was attracted to. I had to have someone presentable to bring around the family. They would never let me leave the house with a dude that looked like a thug. Bring one around any of my extended family and they would talk about me like a dog too.

Sniffer!

November 16th, 2011
11:10 am

Good morning!

@Leggs..good advice on 10:23

@Kaiser,for ur kids sake,go. Put ur marriage emotions in check.

You be the man as long as ur life is not in danger.

On topic:

This topic is kinda like the rejection topic yesterday. Be careful also of these family functions because you are being ‘graded’. If u don’t fit there is no bliss after the holidays.

Good luck in the relationship! :lol:

kimmie

November 16th, 2011
11:11 am

Celisea – I have tried to be open-minded, but I just can’t get into the dreads or braids on a man. The Bridal Bliss couple on Essence.com – the groom has cornrows. They are neat, and he seems nice & they are all in love and all, but would not be my taste.

Randyt (aka...Been There, Done That, Have a Closet Full of T-Shirts)

November 16th, 2011
11:14 am

@ Leggs, re: 10:33 I liked your post. There are times and things you sacrifice yourself for the sake of your children’s welfare. I forced myself to always be involved and cordial with my ex wife and in-laws after my divorce and it worked out so well. I am invited to all weddings and brought into the family pictures, etc. Next week I am cooking a giant Thanksgiving dinner. Since I am between relationships, my ex-wife will come over, as well as my kids and their families.

Too many people (IMHO) actually cost themselves and hurt their children by not putting aside their pride and anger (just say “I choose to let what you did go, you don’t owe me anymore”). Then YOU choose to involve yourself. You don’t have to sleep with them, you can send them home at the end of the day, and you make your children happy and more comfortable.

Celisea

November 16th, 2011
11:14 am

Kimmie – You know I like a nice fresh cut. I ain’t feeling the dreads but if he can navigate through uncles, cousins, nephews unscathed and not scalped, he’ll be doing well. I’m with you SOOOOOOOOO not feeling dreads. Now if it comes to it, if he becomes a “constant” visitor, I will definitely as um what’s up with needing a haircut. Yep I sure will. I hope I can hold it when I first see him.

Blackfoote: The Real Blackfoote

November 16th, 2011
11:14 am

Dang Leggs how in the world did you not think about cash 4 hanging out there. Waiting for you put down on it, that would have been nice bday and holiday money.

disco

November 16th, 2011
11:16 am

sort of on topic – I guess. I hated when chicks used to try to cozy up to me to get at or with one of my older male cousins. I had lots of cousins and many of them were quite popular with the ladies. it was like when a girl realized we were related all of a sudden she was trying to be in the mix. I suppose it could have been worse if my brothers were older rather than younger. I’m told by girls with older brothers that this was a really big issue.

Celisea

November 16th, 2011
11:17 am

Where are these people that pose questions and never come back? LOL Where is KaiserSoze?

Randyt (aka...Been There, Done That, Have a Closet Full of T-Shirts)

November 16th, 2011
11:19 am

@ Kaiser Soze (great movie too, thanks) I had not read your post before my posts above, but I can honestly tell you that staying involved and letting it go were the single best thing I did during the divorce. You do it for your children and they will love you for it. I say go, it has worked well for me. You go with the attitude that it is just a social event that your children are attending, nothing more, nothing less. It has no meaning or function beyond just being a gentleman. In addition it makes you look strong…because you are.

abc

November 16th, 2011
11:21 am

My perspective on it these days is about when my kids bring a girl around to me us. I’m sizing them up as far as how good looking and intelligent are my grandkids going to be if THIS turns out to be the one. So far, no keepers — well, my oldest is engaged to be married next summer. We’ll see.

czBrat

November 16th, 2011
11:22 am

HiYas!

i’ve always felt the guys i’ve dated were much too quick to take me home to meet the fam in general, but holidays were never a prob. i am very close to my own fam and that is how i choose to spend my holidays. no ifs, ands or buts. after we get married, s/o and i will alternate holidays with each other’s fam and/or most likely host them at our home.

to add to the posts from other bloggers about warning signs thrown up by ex family members; i recall my ex’s family constantly saying “you’re the best thing that ever happened to him”. years later i had that lightbulb moment ‘hey! how come noone ever said he was the best thing that ever happened to me?’. duh.

kimmie, s/o has threatened to rebel against corporate america by growing dreads when he retires. i told him when he starts growing his hair out i will stop coloring mine. that put an end to the rebellion.

Celisea

November 16th, 2011
11:28 am

Well one good this about this young dude, he does well in school.

Leggs

November 16th, 2011
11:28 am

@Robert ~ at 15 I really startaed emphasizing to my daughter the type of dude she cannot bring home to meet me. We would drive around and I would randomly point to a dude walking that just on his appearance, she couldn’t bring someone like that home to meet me. Sagging pants will not cut it in my home. Why they like doing is something I don’t even want explained to me. I’d be damn if a young man is sittin on my couch with his pants at his thighs….oh hell no!

@Randyt ~ thanks, Randyt! You sound a lot like me and my ex. Leave the stress and strive at the door and be parents. It’s no longer about us. I like to believe I’m rearing a well-rounded young lady and its due to the sacrifices I’m making all for the benefit of her.

@BF ~ I’m so hung up on 9431 I didn’t think of the year of my birthday all the while I’m playing my bday for Cash 3. It’s crap like that that makes people miss all that money…not connecting the dots.

So, now, I’m staying with 9431 because it’s in the system for so long and will concentrate on the last 4 digits of my social!!! One of these games are going to pay me something (lol)…

Randyt (aka...Been There, Done That, Have a Closet Full of T-Shirts)

November 16th, 2011
11:28 am

“s/o has threatened to rebel against corporate america by growing dreads when he retires. i told him when he starts growing his hair out i will stop coloring mine. that put an end to the rebellion”

Thats funny, LOL. I may draw some fire for saying this, but I am one of those men who frikkin HATE hair curlers…especailly those big azzed ones. If an S/O threated to start wearing those around the house I’d back away from or agree to dayum near anything.

Leggs

November 16th, 2011
11:30 am

“It has no meaning or function beyond just being a gentleman. In addition it makes you look strong…because you are.”

That is the bottom line!