How soon should you meet the parents of your significant other?

So your new beau passed the test with your friends.

They absolutely think that your partner is a dream boat and wish you both well in you relationship.

You can cross that one off your list of accomplishments, but you still have an even bigger one to face: taking him/her home to meet your parents. It is not that parents are necessarily scary, intimidating or difficult.

It is the implication that the meeting signifies a more serious path for the relationship, which could lead to living together, getting married or even starting a family.

While meeting your partners’ parents does not mean that you are obligated to do any of these things, it does mean that they see you as an important enough part of their lives to want to include you in their family dynamics.

So here comes the tricky part: how soon is it appropriate? It depends on the couple and how comfortable they are. It also depends on whether or not the person has previously brought people around their parents and other family members.

If it is a regular occurrence then the family will not see it as a big deal. If the partner is aware that meeting the parents is the norm, then the upcoming introduction will therefore be nothing special.

If that was not the case and the parents are not used to or expecting a ‘plus one’ at the next family Sunday dinner, do not show up with the person without at least letting them know ahead of time that you are bringing a guest.

Just because they cook a lot of food and are naturally decent and welcoming people, does not mean that you should take advantage of their generosity, especially if at home they wear anything they find comfortable.

Maybe they would have liked to tidy the house before having company over. Be as considerate of them as you are of your partner.

Before you show up with someone, wait at least until you know that the person is more than ‘a few night stands’ or just someone that you are currently having fun with. If it is a super casual relationship with no talk at all of the future or of sharing any long term goals or commitments, then you should probably not think of having them meet your pet much more your parents.

It should ideally be a scenario where, when you think of having a future you can see the person in it. To avoid the pressure of meeting, do not create a formal introduction event.

Wait until the family is having a birthday party, where people are happy, comfortable and relaxed in their space with others around. Then you can bring them along and simply make the connection as a friend. If you keep it casual, most parents will as well.