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Taking Your Boyfriend Home To Meet Your Parents

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Taking Your Boyfriend Home To Meet Your Parents
© Rob Melnychuk/Getty
As you and your boyfriend or partner grow closer together you may consider taking him home to meet your parents and family. The decision is quite difficult, depending on how out either one of you are or how comfortable your parents are with your sexuality. Here are a few tips on how to survive a trip home with your boyfriend.

Make sure your partner is ready.
Introducing your significant other to family members is a big step. You should talk with him well in advance of the planned meeting and be absolutely sure you both are comfortable with the idea and the potential outcome. Pay careful attention to the warning signs: Hesitation from you or your partner, resistance, or uneasiness. It's best if the decision is mutual.

Give your family advance notice.
If you are out to your family, have a candid conversation and introduce the idea of your partner coming home with you. Once again, pay careful attention to their reactions and the warning signs. Explain how important your boyfriend is to you and how much it would mean to share this experience. Keep in mind, just because your parents accept your sexuality doesn't mean they are ready to meet your boyfriend.

This is not the time to come out.
It may be more comforting having your partner there while you come out to your parents, but it's not the best approach. Coming out is of course about you, but your parents may need time to vent and process the life-changing information (just as you have). Respect your parents by giving them the option to display whatever emotions they need without the company of a stranger.

Try the open approach.
Try not to bring your partner home as a statement of your freedom. Also, threatening the family that you will bring him home regardless of their feeling or bringing up the fact that other family members are allowed to bring their significant others may not be the best approach. Try to talk with your family about how important it is to you that they meet your partner and how significant it will be for them to see your sexuality as a part of your life. Threats and arguments will only get those involved on the defensive. Try the peaceful and open approach.

Break the ice.
It may take time for your boyfriend and your family to get comfortable with one another. Break down the ice by sharing family stories and bringing your partner into conversations. Share stories about your relationship as well. Humor is usually a good ice-breaker. Also, as a quick test of comfort, encourage your partner to play with the kids. It's just a matter of time before someone tells your 2-year-old nephew to go see "Uncle or Aunt(Your Partner)".

Reassure an isolated or frightened partner.
Your significant other may feel a great deal of anxiety the first time he meets your parents. He may feel alone and afraid. You know your family and can anticipate their behavior and reactions, but your partner doesn't. Don't worry if your partner is planning an escape route or has the last minute jitters. Talk him through it and assure him that you will do the best you can to make him comfortable.

If things don't go well, don't force the situation.
Remember, your relationship with your family is something that should be worked out between you and them. If things don't go quite as planned, try to introduce your significant other some other time.

Gay Life reader Leina also suggests making an escape plan or plotting an escape route should something go wrong. She says, "Make sure you have an exit strategy for you and your partner (never allow him to walk home alone!). If there is too much shock, anger, bigotry, or anything that makes the family really uncomfortable, thank the host for the offer of dinner and take yourself out of the situation."

If things do go well, thank your family and boyfriend for their acceptance.
Recognize that your family and your partner have made significant strides in getting to know one another. Thank them for making the integration of two significant parts of your life easier.

Also, give yourself a huge pat on the back for making it through this difficult step!
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