bride processional with both parents

Photo: Kendall Price Photography

If the movie, Meet the Parents, isn’t enough proof, introducing your significant other to your parents is a really big deal. It’s one of the biggest steps you can take in your relationship—both the one you have with your partner and the one you have with your parents. Let’s put it this way: If anyone’s going to judge the character of your boyfriend, girlfriend or new fiance(s), it’s Mom and Dad. After all, they raised you and are entirely responsible for your existence on this earth. Plus, anyone you decide to spend your life with and legally bound yourself to ultimately becomes their family, too.

Before you take the most important relationships in your life to the next level, read up on how to ease the initial introduction between your partner and your parents.


Consider what this introduction means to you.

Assuming you’ve been with your partner for several months or years, it’s important to think back on the time you’ve spent together and the relationship the two of you have built. Make sure you can answer the question: “Why am I with this person?” If you find that you stumble over reasons, or come up with ones that sound like you read them right out of the script for some romcom, you might want to take a bit more time to reflect. Your parents are going to want to know why you are so serious about this individual and why you think they are right for you before they are willing to open up to discover that information themselves.

Make sure the timing is right.

Once you’re convinced that this is the right person to bring home to Mom and Dad, next you want to choose the timing carefully. You don’t want to stumble upon their doorstep when you know they’ve been dealing with a stressful situation, such as a death in the family or if one parent loss his or her job. Of course, if you know that a certain unfortunate scenario will take months to resolve itself, you likely won’t have to wait all that time to make the introduction but, in that case especially, it’s nice to ask your parents if the timing is right before you go ahead and decide that it is.

Prep your partner.

Of course, you want your S.O. to wow your parents by being exactly who he or she is. But it certainly helps to give your guy or gal a bit of a 101 course, or a refresher if you’ve already told him or her about your family. Make sure he or she knows a bit about your family background, for example what religion you are and where your parents are from (state or country). You’ll want to let your partner in on your parents’ individual professions and hobbies, too. If your dad loves golf and your mom has a knack for thrift shopping, giving your S.O. a heads up won’t hurt!

Make the introduction.

If the first meeting is happening at your parents’ home, encourage your partner to bring a gift of some kind, such as a bottle of wine or some flowers. This will show your parents that your partner has good manners and is thoughtful. Upon the actual introduction, don’t shy away from saying the actual words, for example, “Alex, meet my mom, Donna, and my dad, Max.” Not only will your parents appreciate this, but your partner is likely to as well.

Enjoy some light talk.

If you’re at your parents’ home, find a place where the four of you can sit down and talk. If it’s your home, you might be comfortable enough to offer to make drinks or provide snacks while your parents get to know your partner. If you’re at a restaurant, encourage conversation in the same way, even requesting that the server take his or her time asking for your order. This will take the pressure off those initial first questions and answers.

Chime in.

Once you’ve allowed your parents and partner a little one-on-one facetime, feel free to chime in. Let them know how much you met your partner, how you fell in love and how your relationship has developed. Share with them any interests you share as a couple and any hobbies or activities you enjoy doing together. Any insight you can provide as to what makes you a great couple will go a long way in convincing your parents that you’ve found the right guy or girl.