Courtesy of Guff
Courtesy of Guff

One of the biggest obstacles that come with relationships are often your parents or their parents. Parents can be the catalyst for many problems that might plague a relationship. They’re essentially the gatekeepers of your heart. They inspect and persecute anyone who doesn’t rise up to their standards. A slow and gradual progression is always the best way to go when trying to it integrate your significant other into familial affairs.

Make sure your loved one is well equipped to at least engage in a somewhat stimulating conversation with your parents. That is, making sure they are privy of your parents’ interests, hobbies and other topics that might spark their curiosity. If your parents feel like your mate has done their research they’ll be more likely to accept them. By doing this you also ensure that no sensitive topics surface for the conversation to go awry. If religion or politics is something that is extremely polarizing (since it usually is if there are conflicting views) then it’ll be a good thing to note that in order to minimize awkwardness and hostility as much as possible.

You can never go wrong with a good gift either. Bringing a surprise gift always shows extra thought, especially if it’s beyond a simple gift card or holiday card. If you fear that your parents might assume they are trying to buy their acceptance you may want to tailor the gift to something more natural like flowers or even wine. No matter what the present is, the sentiment will remain the same, especially if the delivery is done with authenticity and respect.

Timing is essential. Introducing your loved ones works best when you do it on special occasions. Usually holidays and birthdays are wonderful times because they symbolize an annual milestone. On those days people are especially happy and festive so integrating your significant other into your family’s festivities will increase the chance of a happy first impression. Also, introducing your partner in a setting with more people may remove some of the awkwardness that could arise from having them meet with your family in a less relaxed setting.

It should come without saying that prior to an introduction, you should make sure that your relationship is in a good state. One way to go about it is by being overtly mushy and happy, as long as you know your boundaries. Your parents should be able to tell whether or not you both are truly happy with each other, so there shouldn’t be a need to force any false emotions. Show off your significant other’s achievements even in the presence of your parents to impress them and give them something else to talk about. Doing so will also allow you to earn brownie points with your lover.

Parents don’t always seem to be the most logical human beings on Earth from a child’s point of view. They can often be hard-headed and stubborn, especially when it comes to things they can’t control. Their kids’ happiness is no exception. Ignorance is one source of why parents end up disliking a boyfriend or girlfriend so don’t shroud your partner in secrecy and make sure there is an open forum for communication from the very beginning.

Keep in mind that every family is different, and as long as your significant other comes across as polite and someone that genuinely cares for you, you should be fine. Some parents feel that with the presence of a girlfriend or boyfriend they are losing their child, so in this case gradual introductions would ease the pain. The more your parents know about your partner and the more time they have to get used to him or her, the more likely they are to welcome them into the family.