The right time to bring him (or her) home to mom

When you’re dating someone, when do you take him/her home to meet your parents? And the rest of the family? Is there a certain point when you “know” it’s time to introduce them, or is it more of a mandatory, “you’ve been dating this girl for HOW long and I haven’t met her?!” type of thing? Do you do it for their approval, or more as a courtesy?

I have my own opinions about this, but I’m interested in hearing everyone else’s before I start blabbering…

12 thoughts on “The right time to bring him (or her) home to mom

  1. Eleanor Roosevelt says:

    [For me it’s difficult because I live 12 hours away from my family. If that wasn’t the case, I’d say 3ish months – if I’m with someone that long, then they’re pretty important to me, and they should meet my family. The first time my fiance met my family, we had been dating about 8 months, and he flew halfway across the country to go to my sister’s wedding with me, and met the WHOLE extended family, all at once. Best part was his flight was delayed and I ended up not being able to pick him up because it was during the rehearsal, so I had to send my uncle and cousin to pick him up at the airport. That wasn’t intimidating or anything.

  2. BreckEffect says:

    [This is a great question, because I honestly don’t know when the right time is. I’ve traditionally been really slow to introduce significant others to my parents – which is partly because I’m slow at everything relationship-related and partly because my family is kind of terrible at meeting people in general. My mom in particular can be really judgmental and I don’t like exposing boyfriends to that until I know they can handle it.

    So, for me, it’s more like six months or more before I’ll introduce a boyfriend. Plus my family lives far away so there aren’t all that many opportunities for them to meet guys I’m dating. There are a couple of guys I’ve had significant relationships with that my family never met at all.

  3. Missy says:

    [It definitely depends. Have the folks been convicted of a violent crime? Do they hoard animals or newspaper? Does either mom or dad sport a mullet? If yes, then I’d wait at least a good five years.

  4. PKP says:

    [I think the idea of meeting the parents as a sort of ceremonial next step is a great way to stress the crap out of people. It’s really weird that we (human beings that is) think relationships should unfold in a list-like fashion with little boxes to be checked off as we go. To answer the question, a significant other should be introduced to parents the same way they meet everyone else you know and like. As their role in your life grows, encounters with the important people in your life should also occur more often (unintentionally pretty much), eventually including your parents (if they are also a part of your life.) There. That’s almost an equation.

  5. Kier says:

    [This question would be better phrased as: “When is the right time to have your significant other completely deconstructed and all of their flaws put out on display and mocked right in front of your eyes?”

    Maybe I have bad parents.

  6. lilredbmw says:

    [Good question, but I feel there is no “correct” or concrete answer. I generally kept my relationships to myself until I felt there was some reason for them to meet my parents. So, about the time I would update my online status to “in a relationship” I would consider an intro to the parents. At first, I would keep it casual and have the guy just come in to meet them with out inviting them to an actual family affair. Based on that encounter, I would invite them to a dinner or family function.

  7. Happy Pants says:

    [I guess my family isn’t as overtly judgmental as they should be, going off of what everyone else has written. In my case, I can’t even tell my parents I’m dating anyone unless I’m ready to bring them home to meet them in the next month or so. Since I’ve had so few “real” relationships, every time I mention that I’m seeing someone, my family’s just glad I’m being social, and my grandmother is just happy I’m not gay.

    Now, since I live 3,000 miles away from home, if I wanted my S.O. to meet my parents, it would require a fair amount of advanced planning, a plane ticket, and a commitment of a week in my mom’s house. Before, when I was living at home, it usually happened around date 3 or 4, when he finally got around to picking me up from home for a date, or that awkward moment the next morning when he’d slip out the door.

    I guess when I’m living near home, it’s not that big of a deal to me, but because my family likes to pry their way into my life, I like to keep things to myself as long as possible before I expose my S.O. to the dysfunction that is my family.

  8. Matt Sanchelli says:

    [If I see promise in a relationship then I may want this person to meet my family (mom, dad, siblings) typically sooner than later. This may not be the case for all/most people but it really depends on your relationship with your own family. My family has only met two of my girlfriends (the serious ones anyway); where my current girlfriend met my family at my sister’s birthday party after we had only been dating roughly 2 months.

    I met her parents even earlier than that because they invited us to dinner and play. She was a bit nervous about asking me because some people are intimidated by meeting parents but I enjoy it. I’ve got nothing to hide, or worry about, so I welcome those occasions with open arms.

    Largely it weighs on two areas – how close you are with your family and what type of future you see with this person.

  9. MargieCharles says:

    [It took almost a year for me to introduce my parents to my boyfriend. But what with the age difference and their initial disapproval, I wanted to wait until the right time.

    For me, I waited until my parents brought it up to make sure that they were “ready.” My mom took a little longer to come around, but I knew that once she asked to meet him she was at least accepting the relationship, and then when she met him she loved him and was completely accepting.

  10. Captain Planet says:

    [I’ve had relationships where i never met their parents, and they never ment mine. They didnt last. Babe and i had an easy ‘meet the family’. I met his mother and sister (dad is not in the picture) when him and i were just friends at one of his shows. He met my mom and sister (rest of the immediate family is 2+ hours away) when my car broke down near their house, and he came to fix it (again, before we were dating). Since we had met the ‘important family members’ before dating, bringing them back around was rather painless. We didnt meet extended family until about 5 or 6 months in, simply because there are only a few times a year extended family gets together for both of us. By that time it wasnt a discussion, it was a “are you free *insert date/time here*? I’m going to my *aunt/grandma/cousin*’s house for *event*.” The answers were “Yeah, i’ll make sure i’m free”. Now there are time my mother calls him (she says its for his opinion on how i’m doing, but that would be a 10 minute conversation, and they can talk for almost 2 hours) and times i go spend a few hours with his mom without him (she lives 5 minutes away, and i get bored if he’s at practice). Our moms and sisters (again, sadly, the ‘important members’) have met under different circumstances several times, and we’ve had all 4 of them for dinner several times. But our families are very laid back, easy going, so it was all very comfortable, and i know not everyone has that.

  11. MargieCharles says:

    [And I think “meeting the parents” in general is what you make of it. If you’re bringing your SO over for Christmas dinner, I think that’s a pretty big step since it’s a pretty big commitment and there’s so much ceremony involved with it. If you’re two months into the relationship and you’re in town running errands and need to stop by your mom’s house to drop something off, and then it’s like an, “Oh, you can meet my mother while we’re there,” I think that’s much less of a deal than a lot of other situations.

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