The holidays are upon us, and you're trying to decide if it's the right time for your boyfriend to meet the family (also commonly referred to as “Bae," “boo," “My man," or another term of millennial endearment). I have a few tips to help you figure out the best way to think about this and determine whether or not it's a good idea.
As with any type of relationship advice of course, not everything works for everyone, and sometimes there are exceptions to the rule, but in most cases, these are the top four things you should consider before bringing Bae around for the holidays.
How long have you been together?
All of us have different perspectives when it comes to the aspect of time, and quite honestly, the time factor will vary based on each person's preference. However, in my opinion, I think if it's only been a few weeks or so, then it's definitely too early. Why? Sure, it's great to have your boyfriend around to meet those closest to you as soon as possible so you can hear what they think and see how everyone gels, but remember the sooner they meet your family, the sooner they could grow attached. So, what if you two break up shortly thereafter? Then, you'll find yourself back at square one when the next holiday rolls around, and we know how uncomfortable it can be when you have to break up with the person AND the family.
Besides, you don't want to be that girl (or guy because guys do it, too) that comes off as overly zealous, or as if you're trying to rush things when it's only been a short time. Despite how eager you may be, take some time to see if they're a good fit for you before you bring them around to see if they'll fit in with the family.
How deep is the love?
More important than time, is the status of the relationship. In other words, how emotionally invested are you, and where do you two stand? Are you two just kicking it or dating, dating exclusively, classified as “friends with benefits," or is it merely an "it's complicated" situation? Have you two even discussed it? Please understand that just because you may have been around each other for a few months or so, doesn't necessarily mean they're committed to you…let alone, admirable enough or ready to meet the family.
Never assume what has yet to be acknowledged.
Even though things seemed to progress a bit faster than usual with me and my husband when we were dating, we didn't attend any holiday family functions until we knew we were exclusively in a relationship with each other. My husband had never even taken a woman to see his family in the deep, country woods of South Carolina until I came along (I'm not bragging, but I'm just saying - it made a girl feel special).
The only way it would be okay to bring someone who isn't your boyfriend around for the holidays is if it's something that was discussed, both of you are clear and content with where the relationship, or situationship, stands. Don't fall into the mind-trap of thinking that by meeting the family it will automatically seal the deal for exclusivity. It's definitely not a sure-fire way to make someone love you or want to be with you. So, just be clear that you're not going anywhere unless you two are clear on where you two stand and where the relationship is headed.
How often does this happen?
Basically, what is your reputation when it comes to situations like this? Are you the one who always shows up with a new “friend" or “partner" and proclaims that this time they're truly the one? Maybe your boyfriend is known as the one that always shows up with a different person. There are only so many times you can say “this is it" before your family and friends stop believing you, and before you stop believing yourself.
Believe me, I'm not judging you because I used to be that girl, but there comes a time in your life when you have to tell yourself that you're not going to bring anyone around again until you know it's really serious and for real this time…and when I say serious, I mean the relationship is solid, and has been for awhile now, and it's completely different from all of the other failed relationships.
Don't just do it because that's what you're used to doing. Try something different, and this time, change it up from how you usually do it.
How is your family?
For example, do you have children? If so, the last thing you want to do is make it so that every time a different holiday begins, your children end up meeting a different person. Don't create a situation that could be not only confusing and frustrating for you, but for your children as well.
Speaking of family, consider your family and the potential atmosphere. Is your family big or small, and how many people will be in attendance? Can they be a bit rowdy and boisterous, or cool, calm, and collective? Maybe they're a beautiful blend of everything. Either way, make sure your boyfriend is prepared for any and all of it. Before I met my husband's family for a major holiday, he prepped me for everything, especially the variety of personalities I was due to meet (and vice versa). Nevertheless, I wasn't as nervous and I felt more comfortable about the situation.
So, make sure you assess the type of situation your boyfriend could be walking into. Make sure he's ready and, more importantly, make sure your family and loved ones are ready and willing to meet him.
If you two aren't close, don't bring him to meet the people closest to you.
I can't give you a definite timeline for any of this, because like I said, every situation is different. However, just remember, don't settle for being just another random chick at the holiday family gathering. If you two don't share a closeness, then it doesn't really make sense for him to meet the people closest to you.
Rule of thumb: don't bring someone over during the holidays if you're not even sure you'll make it to the next holiday.
What lessons have you learned from being beaus to meet the family during the holidays?