You are pretty sure you have met “the one” and you couldn’t be happier. There’s just one problem: He hasn’t met your family yet. The holidays are quickly approaching, and you’re a little worried how it’s all going to play out. Stop stressing! There’s still plenty of time to help your boyfriend bond with your family at a slow and steady pace so the holidays will be enjoyable for all and maybe even bring an engagement (too much wishful thinking?).
Since you’re planning on spending your life with your special guy, the first meeting is inevitable, so you may as well get it over with. Consider arranging a special dinner in a neutral territory. If you are unsure where to go, Yelp is a great resource for unbiased reviews on local restaurants. You can search by restaurant type, like American, Italian, or Chinese, so pick a style of food you know your parents (especially your dad) will love to help ease the tension. While at the restaurant, make sure your boyfriend listens attentively to your parents and answers all questions honestly. The last thing you want is for their relationship to start out with lies.
Make it Often
You can’t just introduce your boyfriend once and then expect the holidays to be hunky-dory. If you’re really serious about this guy, you need to get him together with your family at least once per month. That is a good frequency for the bond to stay strong between visits, but it’s not so often that they start to get annoyed by each other. There are many fun activities you can do together, like a family camping trip to break you all away from your electronics. Even something as simple as a game night can be a lot of fun for everyone. Just avoid this option if your family is known for extreme competitiveness that might scare your boyfriend away.
Step it Up
Now that your boyfriend is really getting to know your family, it’s time for him to step it up a notch and really show your parents that he cares about them. To do this, he needs to figure out what your parents’ love languages are. Dr. Gary Chapman believes there are five different ways that people prefer to be loved, including acts of service, receiving gifts and enjoying quality time. If your mom prefers to receive gifts, then you should have your boyfriend send her some fall flower arrangements to decorate her home with. FTD offers many different bouquets at every budget, so cost is no excuse. If your dad’s love language is acts of service, you could have your boyfriend surprise him by mowing the lawn for him. Even if your boyfriend is not that handy, Dummies.com can help him figure out how to do just about anything.