Introducing him to the family

The question:

“What is the proper way to introduce your significant other to your family? How soon do you make the introduction? What do you introduce him as?”

Ugh.. This part of the relationship for my husband and I was one of the toughest things to do. I mentioned in my bio that my parents are from Ghana. I may have also mentioned that by denomination, I am Pentecostal. So, with such a combo, I have always grown up knowing that my parents and my church did not approve of boyfriend/girlfriend relationships because their main concern was that it would lead to sex.

I had never had any conversation with my parents about relationships outside of one very random occasion. We actually had a friend of ours stay at our house for a period of time while her parents traveled to Ghana. While she stayed with us, she had a physical altercation with a girl from her high school. I’m not sure why the altercation occurred, but when it got back to my parents, they mentioned that it had to do with a boy being involved. From that moment, they said, “I don’t want to hear anything about a boyfriend”. They basically told my sister and I that we couldn’t have one. Although we were younger at the time, I still had the mentality that boyfriends were not allowed and because our parents never spoke to us about relationships period, I continued to have that thought.

Now, I had been with my husband for about 3 or 4 months before he met my mother. He grew up in a different culture and so his parents weren’t so concerned with him having a girlfriend, and so he didn’t really understand me when I’d mention that my parents (specifically my mother) may not be okay with it even though I had grown up and graduated college. He was very pushy and felt that it was important to meet my parents. So, he came to visit me one weekend and so I had mentioned to my mom that a friend of mine was coming to visit me from New York. She had only known about it for that Sunday, although he had been here for the weekend. She met him and asked him a few questions about his parents and then I later dropped him off at the bus station.

When I got home, my mother came to start an argument with me. She was furious because I had not informed her that he was here for the whole weekend. I told her he was my friend, and expected her to just understand what I meant. She was beyond angry. I then explained to her that she had never cultivated a relationship with me where I could feel comfortable enough to speak to her about issues of that sort. She on the other hand was offended, but I could not sympathize with her because it was the truth.

After months of getting to know him, they actually became very close, and here we are today.

So, I believe that it depends on the type of relationship you have with your parents. If your parents have cultivated a relationship with you where you can speak to them about it, then you have no issue. Simply tell them that you’ve met someone, and you’re getting to know them a bit more. Tell them all you know about him and see what they also think. They may actually want to meet him and see if he’s a good fit, after all, you’re their prized possession and they want to know that you’re safe and in good hands.

If you have not built that kind of relationship with your parents, I suggest that you sit them down and have a conversation with them. Let them know that you are at an age where you are getting serious with finding your life partner and go on to let them know that you’ve found interest in someone.

See which scenario works for you and just be open if they want to meet him. If you feel that it is too soon and that you want to wait it out a bit, then also explain that to them and help them understand your reasoning. It may be awkward, but it will feel good to eliminate the feeling that you are “sneaking around”.

I hope this was helpful!
God loves you!

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