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Back in September, I invited Mr. C to come home with me for Thanksgiving. “I’ll think about it,” he said, and didn’t mention it again for two months. Then, one day, while planning out our next visit to see one another, he said, “Well, I guess I better start looking at flights to Austin for Thanksgiving weekend.” I was astonished. My boyfriend was going to meet my parents. My parents have met many of my boyfriends, and they are always very nice to them. But I had not brought a new guy to my parents’ house in nine years—yes, not since high school.
If your boyfriend is coming home with you, here are some tips from Kaneisha on how to have a successful weekend:
Let your parents know weeks ahead of time.
They may need time to let the news sink in. More importantly, they’ll want time to clean the house, hide the pictures of your high school prom date, and get the dog groomed.
Stay in a hotel.
Don’t try to please your parents by staying at the house in some Puritan arrangement (e.g. him in a guest bedroom). Your parents were already having wild, nasty (premarital) sex three times a week in their twenties, and you get to have sex too! Book a hotel so that you and your guy can have time to breathe and act however you like. Staying at your parents’ house requires that the two of you be “on” the entire time. You don’t have the freedom to flirt, argue, or lounge around naked. Plus, your family needs time to talk about the boyfriend without you or him around.
Tell your mom to never mention marriage.
Your mom may be very excited to meet a handsome, respectful young man that loves her daughter enough to suck it up and fly to meet the parents. Don’t let Mom’s enthusiasm turn into CrazyMom tendencies, like referring to him as the son she never had. I could tell my Mom was enamored with Mr. C (“He’s so handsome!” she whispered to me in the kitchen), but she did a great job of making him feel welcome, inviting him back, and did not say anything crazy.
Don’t leave your boyfriend alone with your parents for longer than five minutes at a time.
Of course he can’t be tied to you like a dog, but there is no reason to leave your boyfriend alone with your parents for longer than five minutes. Yes, go to the restroom, but do not head out with your little sister on an hour-long grocery trip. Your boyfriend and your parents will get along fine, but they really have no desire to talk to one another for longer than a few minutes at a time. I’m not sure how this rule changes after marriage. I have a feeling it only extends to an hour or so.
Give him low-risk opportunities to integrate into the family.
My family is very into games, eating, and movies. I organized a huge game night with lots of our family friends, and Mr. C blended right into the screaming, laughing, and fried catfish and waffle fries feast. It warmed my heart to see how well and how quickly he blended in. If your family bonds over cooking together, bring him into the kitchen and give him a simple but important task to do. If your family is very into sports, make him a team captain. By doing this, you’re creating the opportunity for you, your family, and your boyfriend to have shared memories.
Don’t neglect your family.
Despite staying in a hotel, make enough time for your family. Mr. C and I did this by having dinner with my parents during our last night. It was just the four of us at a restaurant my dad chose, and Mr. C surprised and delighted all of us when he paid.
Overall, Mr. C’s visit to Austin was a smashing success. Sometime in the next few months, look out for a post on what to do when you meet your boyfriend’s parents.
Loveawake: What are your stories about having your guys meet your parents?