Part of taking your relationship to another level is meeting your spouse’s family, and it happens to be one of the most nerve-wrecking parts as well. So many aspects come into play, from sparking up a conversation to showing yourself “worthy” of being with their son, their brother or their cousin; every family has that “one” who wants to make sure you are the right fit and might not come off too nice in the process.
Integrating your lives together with each other’s families is not a popularity contest. Being your true self is the only way you can expect to win them over and eventually, seeing yourself as a part of the family (if the relationship takes that route in the future). Dealing with a spouse’s family is not a competition you should expect to win or lose, but there are common mishaps you should keep in mind to make sure your best effort is put forward.
Inviting Yourself to Every Close-Family Function
One common mistake in a relationship is inviting yourself to every important function in your partner’s life, whether it’s the boy’s night out or an intimate family get-together. It might be tempting to tag along in order to get to know his family better and more personally, but sometimes, certain events like family funerals or reunions might only be just for the family. Wait first until your man invites you, and if he neglects to, don’t show up uninvited or be thirsty to come, just ask if the get-together is more intimate for just the family and stand back. Everyone likes to have their own separate time with their family, and it’s important to respect that space from time-to-time.
Being Too Clingy
You might not know anyone in the room, but don’t cling onto your man the whole entire time. Give him some space to be with his family, introduce you and then take it from there. Following behind him or staying close by and being silent because you are nervous doesn’t allow you to give off a good first impression as an individual; it just makes you look needy or uninterested in anyone else but him. Break away from the comforts of being around him and get to know his family as an individual, not as the “girlfriend.”
Not Opening Up About Your Family Life
If you are always the invitee but never the inviter, your relationship might be lopsided when it comes to dealing with the family. In a relationship, the effort should go both ways, so as much as you enjoy his family, take the time and effort out to invite him out with your family as well. It shows that you are opening up your life just as much as he is doing the same, and it will give you ample time to bond with both parties, which is a very key step in a relationship. No one wants a bitter mother-in-law on either side of the family!
Being Too Passive
It might be intimidating being around his family, especially if it is the first meeting, but try not to be too passive when it comes to being his girlfriend or a new guest. That is a quick way of getting “weeded out” of his family’s possible high standards, or just giving off a poor first impression. Find a happy medium when it comes to interacting with family members who might be giving you the third-degree. You can be approachable and friendly without being a pushover and letting people talk to you any way just because you are making an effort to get to know them. If he loves you, then they will love you to too, if you are being your true self.
Discussing the Future Too Soon
Mulling over plans of your future wedding may not be the best conversation starter with his family (especially if the relationship has just gotten serious). His family might like to know about your intentions and plans as a couple, but keep it simple and don’t thrust them into the future just yet. It is great to see a future together, but leave room to just talk about what you love about him, how you two first met and how you are taking it slow. When the time is right and your relationship with his family grows stronger and more personal, future plans of marriage with children and a home will be more suitable. When you are starting to get acquainted with them, keep the conversations light and get to know them as people; who they are, what they like and how they interact with your partner. You might learn more than you think, and your relationship might become more about uniting two lives together, but uniting two families as well.
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