As a single mom, your main concern about dating may be introducing a new boyfriend to your children. However, meeting the parents can be just as nerve-wracking, for both you and your partner. Timing and sensitivity are crucial when inviting your boyfriend to meet your parents. It's also important to keep things in perspective if your boyfriend doesn't take you up on your invitation.
1. Bide Your Time
Introducing your boyfriend to your parents shouldn't happen until you're both ready for it. Meeting a partner's parents is a big step, whatever age you are. If your boyfriend has hinted that he thinks it's too soon or you aren't 100 percent sure that you're ready for it yourself, take the pressure off. Waiting a little longer won't do your fledgling relationship any harm. In fact, it could be beneficial. Taking the time to get to know each other properly before bringing your families into the picture can help you create a happy, healthy, secure relationship, according to the National Healthy Marriage Resource Center in the article "Pacing Your Relationship" on TwoofUs.org.
2. Prepare Your Parents
Let your parents know you're planning to invite your boyfriend to meet them. Tell them you have someone special in your life you want them to get to know. Answer any questions they may have about your boyfriend. If your parents react positively to your news and support your decision to make the introduction, you will feel more relaxed about inviting your boyfriend to meet them.
3. Pick Your Moment
The subject of meeting your parents should be brought up when your boyfriend is happy and relaxed. Keep the conversation casual and lighthearted. For example, you may say something like, "My parents are in town this week. Do you want to have coffee with them?" If your boyfriend doesn't immediately accept your invitation, don't automatically assume that this means he doesn't see a future with you. It may simply be too soon for him to take this step. While there are no hard and fast rules, psychologist Seth Meyers recommends waiting for at least one month of regular dating before introducing a partner to family or friends. If you have any concerns about the relationship, wait at least one more month until things are more stable, suggests Meyers in the article "Four Rules for Surviving Dating: How to Find Lasting Love" for "Psychology Today."
4. Ease His Fears
Your boyfriend may feel apprehensive about meeting your parents. Help put his mind at ease by addressing his specific concerns. Let him express his feelings without interrupting him or dismissing them as being irrational. Share stories about your parents to give him an idea of what they are like. You are the best person to give your boyfriend inside information about your parents and what makes them tick. Let him know if any topics of conversation are off limits with your parents -- such as your father losing his job -- to make your boyfriend feel more comfortable about meeting them.
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