So first of all, congratulations on not being single. Secondly, congratulations on playing yourself. Relationships are really hard without having to put parents into the mix, but they’ll have to meet eventually, right? So, the real question is WHEN should your SO and parents meet? The answer is difficult. There are so many factors to consider. Thinking about these several conditions will help you determine when the right time will be.
1. It’s been a good deal of time
Your one-night Tinder fling is definitely not bring-home-to-meet-your-dad material. Have you not seen the “She calls me daddy too” memes? Taking some time in the relationship and making sure everything is solid is a pretty good step into having your SO meet your parents. Otherwise, how do you expect to answer all those awkward questions your parents will throw at you about your SO?
Amanda Goecke, a junior at Carthage College, waited until she and her boyfriend were official to have him meet her parents.
“We had talked and hung out and were basically dating for about six months before making it official and my parents were aware of him the whole time, so I personally felt at that time it was appropriate for them to meet,” Amanda says. “I think it ranges from couple to couple but I had been dying for them to meet right away!”
It’s imperative to know that the relationship is meant to last before you take the plunge into having them meet your parents.
2. You feel comfortable with the person
Embarrassing stories from your childhood are sure to ensue. Make sure you and your bae are comfortable with each other enough to handle the story about that one time you pooped your pants during a family trip (I was three years old, Mom!).
How do you know when you’re comfortable with your SO? Well, it depends on the person. One way to know is when you do something that others may find embarrassing, yet both of you manage to laugh about it without feeling humiliated. In our expert opinion, a Lightsaber battle in the middle of Target is the most optimal test.
3. You’re sure it’s serious
You can be with a person for months, but at the end, both of you know the relationship probably won’t survive a year. Relationships like these are definitely not the ones you want to show to your parents. If the only connection you have with the person is sex, there’s no way your parents can see what you see in your SO. Choose a person you see spending the rest of your life with, not just a relationship you have during summer semester because all your friends are gone and you feel lonely.
Emily Schmidt, a Stanford University freshman, has been dating her SO for three months, but she hasn’t introduced him to her parents.
“My SO and I have been dating for about three months now and we will be doing long-distance over the summer while he studies abroad in Chile,” she says. “I think I want to introduce him to my parents once I know we can overcome the distance obstacle.”
Making sure your SO will be there for you no matter what is super important. The test of distance away from each other is the best variable to see if your SO is meant to stay forever. Emily’s tactic is a surefire way to figure out if her SO is parent-meeting material.
4. Things went well when they met your friends
Having your SO meet your friends first is a low-stakes trial run before having them meet your parents. If your bae and friends had an awkward first encounter, expect the same with your parents. However, there are rare cases where the friend meeting didn’t go well, but your SO really hit it off with your parents. If that’s the case, just make sure it wasn’t a one-time deal, and try hanging out with your parents more. See how they’d react to your SO after a certain amount of time together.
Sorry to disappoint, but there’s never a “right” time for your SO to meet the folks. Everyone is different, and they all have their own individual “right time.” You’ll always feel like your parents deserve to meet your future spouse instead of someone you just met through Tinder. But believe me, once you see your bae as the greatest person ever, having them meet the parentals will be a breeze.