You’ve met a great guy and things seem to be going well. You can’t wait to show him off and introduce him to your friends and family. But when is the best time to do that? What will be the impact on your burgeoning relationship? Will he like your friends and love your family? Will they welcome him with open arms?
Today’s topic typically comes up after several dates, when things become more comfortable and the relationship looks promising. When is the right time to introduce him to your friends and family?
Here’s the reality: Men (adult men) really don’t think much about it. To them, it’s just meeting the people in your life. We’re all adults, right? But, it can backfire if you put too much weight and thought into it.
A new relationship between two people needs time to get off the ground before you involve him with the other people closest to you. It might be a week, a month or longer; the time doesn’t matter as much as the quality of the relationship. I’ve seen couples get really close just after a week of dating while others took months to bond. Here are some things to consider…
Why Are You Introducing Your New Guy?
Look at your motivation. Are you inviting him out to meet your girlfriends as a way of finding out if they approve of him? That’s never a good idea. Your friends should be a reflection of you, and if they’re sizing him up and grilling him about the future, no doubt it’s going to be an uncomfortable night. (And by the way, most guys are not super thrilled about being a part of girl’s night, so think twice before you invite.)
If it’s a couple’s night, make sure you aren’t asking him to join you to “lock in” the idea that you’re officially a couple. Refrain from asking him to double up on an outing until you’re both on the same page about whether or not you are.
Both of the above also apply when it comes to your family — don’t do it if you’re seeking assessment or approval, and be sure you aren’t forcing the next step in the relationship. Instead, read on, because below I share a great tip on how to know when you should introduce him to your family.
Introducing your new beau to people you love should be a natural reaction. He’s in your life, as are they. In general, if it doesn’t feel easy and effortless, then wait until it does.
How Are You Introducing Your New Guy?
I once had a client who lived out of state and I introduced him to a woman in LA. She’s a planner, so each time he came to see her, plans with friends and family we’re already set up. As a person with a very social personality, her friends were extremely important to her, and getting everyone together right away was exciting.
Unfortunately, this backfired. Her intentions were good, but it was way too soon to be meeting everyone and spending so much time with the group. Their relationship was brand new and by always incorporating friends and big gatherings into their courtship, it made him feel distant from her. In fact, I remember a call one night when he asked me, “Am I not enough for her? Why does she always need to have a gaggle of friends around when I come to town?”
So, you can see how messages can get crossed. When I told her his feelings, she was shocked. To her, being surrounded by a lot of people was where she shined the most. She would have loved meeting his friends right away, so why didn’t he feel the same? Especially if he liked her as much as she thought he did?
The answer is simple. A man liking you doesn’t mean he wants to invest in your friends and family at a time when he’s still learning about you, and more importantly, the two of you as a couple.
If you’re thinking about inviting him out with friends for drinks or dinner, just make sure the setting is a bit more intimate. No reason to meet everyone at the same time, right away. Meet one friend for a coffee on a Sunday or a quick drink after work. Go easy and make your introductions slowly. A casual introduction is fine!
When it comes to your family, here’s a tip: wait for him to ask to meet them. Yes, some men will actually ask! When this happens, it’s always a good sign that he wants to know you at a deeper level.
A Little Story For You
The first month I dated my husband he asked if we could see my parents on a Sunday afternoon. Of course, my Dad in his comical style, tried his best to embarrass me and welcomed Todd with, “Hello Son! Welcome to the family” while wearing a tall wizard hat followed by my mom with a matching one. They had planned this in advance and I think my face went completely red. I thought I was going to die right there in the driveway. I knew Todd was the one when he laughed, hugged my Dad and said, “I love you, Dad!”
From that day forward, it was actually my family that raised my stock with Todd. Every time we visited, we got closer as a couple.
So, what’s the moral of the story? As with all of my advice, there are no rules. You must listen, watch, observe, trust your instincts and do what feels right to you; not what you think you should or shouldn’t do.
Next week, I’m discussing: How Soon is too Soon to Ask About Exclusivity? so check back on Friday! It’s such a popular question from my readers, and I’ll be addressing when and how to bring it up, and if you even need to! Can’t wait to connect with you again.