Making your relationship public, especially to your family, can be a conflicting experience. Depending on your relationship with both your SO and your family, it can be hard to gauge when the right time is to take this step. What if they don't like each other? What if you're not sure they're the one?
Searching for the answers to these questions, I reached out to the larger community or Reddit and Facebook users and posed the question: When should you tell your family about your SO and when should you introduce them? Here's what they said:
The sooner the better
Some people believe in getting it out of the way early, even when you're still in the "talking" stage. Depending on the strength of the influence of your family's opinions in your dating life, it may be best to have this conversation as early in the relationship as possible.
- "I told mine right off the bat 😂😂 I was like 'Mom, I think he likes me' and then I wanted her to meet him ASAP only because I have a tight-knit family and my Dad has just recently died. I'm glad she met him sooner than later cause now he never leaves! Haha"
- "Well from personal experience. My mom met my ex-husband right away and didn't like him, but that didn't stop me. I married him anyways and we had kids. The rest of my family ie. cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews didn't meet him until after that and I met his family during Christmas. My current BF met my boys a week in and my mom 2 weeks in because we are older and no point in starting a relationship if my mom and boys didn't like him (because their opinion is all that I care about), luckily they all do. I needed my mom to meet him because I wanted to gush about him and I couldn't without her knowing him. My entire family except a few have met my bf and like him as well. I have only met his sister and nephew."
- "I think you should tell them immediately, just to keep them in the loop/updated. I would find it awkward to bring them up in conversation and then be like 'oh, we've also been together for X weeks/months.'"
- "Immediately. Parents need to know exactly what you're doing all the time. 🤪"
At a certain stage in your relationship
- "As far as introducing, it totally depends on the stage of life you're in. I know when I was in high school, my parents met my boyfriends before I could go on dates with them. If you're in college or have graduated and moved on with your life, I would wait a couple months. This gives you time as a couple to gauge the relationship and figure out a dynamic. Meeting the parents is a pretty big deal, so I wouldn't rush into it."
- "I think it depends on how you got together/what stage of life you're at! I started dating my boyfriend after becoming best friends with him, so my parents had already met and hung out with him as my friend. I told them as soon as we started dating, but since we're still young and in college, there wasn't too much pressure on making a formal introduction to the family."
- "I think like 2 months in. Just so you guys get to know each other first. And gauge the relationship."
- "Better late than never right? Focus on your parents first, and the rest of your family later, they are the ones that are really important and he will see the most anyways... It's not going to be perfect but you must be straight up and do it only if you are serious with the person and worth all the trouble."
- "Took me 2 weeks to get to know hers and about a month to meet mine."
- "When something big is coming up. I didn't tell my parents for a few months just because they're judgmental when it comes to sex/dating and neither they nor I had any experience with what to do when I started dating. When my boyfriend and I made plans to travel for my birthday, I knew I had to tell my parents about him, for the sake of safety and so I could post pictures of our trip online."
Around the holidays... or definitely not
- "2 months... Unless you get together around the holidays. I say do wait until after the holidays to introduce. That's a lot of pressure on everyone."
- "Christmas sounds good. Guess who's coming to dinner?"
There's no right time
- "Do it whenever you want... there's no fucking timeline to dating, sex, or love."
At the end of the day, what's best for your relationships with your family and your SO will need to dictate when the best time is to spill the beans. There may never be a "right" time but, like everyone always says, when you know you know.