The truth is, it’s tricky to define a specific timeline for meeting the family. This is especially true since every person, relationship, and situation is different. For example, couples in a long-distance relationship might take longer to get to this stage, while those who see each other often might get there sooner.
Some parents may also be keen to meet their son or daughter’s partner sooner rather than later, while others might be more laid back. If your partner’s parents live abroad, meeting them right away might not always be possible, even if it’s a step you both feel ready to take.
It also depends on the connection you and your partner have, your goals for the relationship, and your personalities.
7 Steps to Help You Decide When to Meet the Family
Before meeting each other’s parents, it makes sense to be on the same page about where your relationship stands and how committed you both are.
It’s likely you won’t be ready for marriage or kids, but being in an exclusive relationship is probably best before getting Mom and Dad involved.
2. Your partner has met your friends
Don’t think about meeting the family until you’ve met the majority of each other’s friends (and more than once). There’s less pressure when meeting friends compared to meeting the parents. Plus, if you both get the seal of approval from friends, it can be a clear sign that you’re ready to take the next step.
3. You see a future with this person
When considering the question “how long should you date before meeting the family?” it’s good to think about whether you see your relationship as a long-term thing and can picture your partner in your future. One of the signs that you’re there is when you start thinking of yourself as an “us” instead of an “I” or “me.” Pay attention to the language your partner uses to see where their head is at.
4. Wait until you feel comfortable
As mentioned, there’s no set timeline when it comes to how long you should date before meeting the family. If you’ve been dating exclusively for months, and you don’t feel ready yet, that’s okay.
Wait until you feel comfortable. Parents are well known for having strong opinions about their children’s partners, and being comfortable in your relationship will better prepare you for everyone’s reactions.
5. Make sure you feel excited about it
While it’s normal to feel some nerves before meeting your partner’s parents or introducing them to yours, you should also be excited about it. If you’re not, think about why that might be.
Are you embarrassed by your partner? Because when you’re proud of the person you’re with, you usually want everyone to know how great they are (the same way you do). You want the people you love to see why you care deeply for this person. So if you don’t feel this way, hold off.
6. Is the trust there?
Do you know and trust your partner well enough to feel safe and secure about them meeting your parents? Are you confident in the way they’ll interact and connect with them, or are you a little unsure?
Similarly, do you trust in the strength of your relationship enough to know that your parents will respond well to meeting your partner? These are important things to consider before taking that step.
7. Is everyone ready for this step?
There’re lots of people to think about in this equation: you, your partner, and both of your parents. This requires gauging how people feel about the idea of meeting each other. Are they enthusiastic or uncomfortable when you bring it up in conversation? Once everyone feels comfortable, you know it’s the right time.
Take the Step When You Both Feel Ready to Do So
Only you (and your partner) can decide how long you should date before meeting the family. So be open and honest and communicate about it. Make sure you’re both aligned and fully ready before taking this step. And when you do decide to meet the parents, make sure you’re there to reassure and support one another at every step of the way.