When Should You Introduce Your Significant Other To Your Parents?

Sidney Poitier is perfect (but alarmingly black!) in Guess Who's Coming To Dinner

It’s time-honored ladymag fodder: at what point do you bite the bullet and introduce your bf/gf to mom and dad? Always impressively heteronormative, we decided to let Cosmo weigh in. They suggest: “Meeting your mom is great, because it’s typically an easy way to score points. Your boyfriend knows that as long as he speaks highly of you, asks her questions, and doesn’t accidentally use her drapes as a hand towel, Mom will probably like him. Fathers, however, are another matter. Your dad is a dude and has had sex at least once, which means he knows the kinds of things your boyfriend thinks about and the kinds of things you do with your boyfriend—and your boyfriend knows that your dad knows these things. The result is at least slight discomfort and at worst naked terror, no matter how cool or laid back Dad is. So when they first meet, try not to leave them alone together for any longer than it takes you to pee.” Well, that illuminated nothing. Here are some actual thoughts:

Jennifer:  So! When should your significant other meet your parents? I say, when they’re a significant other. And not an insignificant meat-bag.



Ashley:  Um. Well, to be honest with you, I feel like whenever I encounter the “When should you introduce your SO to your parents?” question, I feel like there’s only one respectable answer is, which is, “Uh. Every relationship is different? I want to say six months or something, but that’s pretty arbitrary, ultimately. So, like, at least two weeks? At least, I think. But it’s possible. Maybe. At least that much time.” But you know, that’s not a very good headline and it certainly doesn’t fit into a slideshow.

Jennifer: Really? Two weeks? DO YOU LOVE PAIN? I’d put it at more the six month mark.

Ashley:  I wasn’t suggesting two weeks, I was saying that declaring any amount of time is arbitrary and every relationship is different. Some people get married after two weeks! I don’t think it’s a good idea, per se, but I can’t just claim it’s a fundamentally horrible decision.

Jennifer:  No, they’re not. They’re not arbitrary. 6 months.

Ashley:  Okay, fine. I’ll say, in my experience as a dating adult (as opposed to a teenager), it’s usually been about six months, but that’s because I live 3000 miles away from my parents.

Jennifer:  Nobody is different, everybody is hive mind.

Ashley:  You asshole.

Jennifer:  You think you’re a snowflake but you’re an iron filing.

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    • Christa

      I’m kinda for just having them meet whenever it happens, assuming you have mentioned that you’re seeing someone to your parents so it’s not a big surprise…for a biased example, my boyfriend and I are in a long distance relationship (argh), and his parents live in the same city I do, so when he comes down for a weekend, I go out to lunch with him and his parents and brother on the Sunday, otherwise it severely cuts down how much time we see each other for. He invited me along after two weeks (sorry Jen!) – because it would have made it into a big deal saying no, when he was just seeing it as an easy way to maximise our time together, I was very nervous though that it was way too early!
      But then this is all skewed by the fact the relationship has always been long distance I suppose – maybe that’s a justification for two weeks and meeting parents? :)

    • alexandra

      “MEAT POCKET” made me gag just a little bit.

      PS I usually go with three-five months.

      • http://twitter.com/JenAshleyWright Jennifer Wright

        Meat pocket is a nice, ladylike way of calling another lady a dick.

    • MR

      Ashley’s right. It depends on the person and when the holidays hit. For me, if I sleep with a woman, why wouldn’t I include and she include me in a family holiday gathering? It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been together. Now side note, 3,000 miles as in New Mexico? What’s that short cut that back doors into Santa Fe from Albuquerque? Through Madrid?

      • MR

        Whoops, I just checked and it’s only 2,000 from here to New Mexico. Still a very cool place though.

    • BeatnikBetty

      You’re adorable.