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Taking Your Boyfriend Home

When Your Boyfriend Meets Your Parents

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Traveling home to see family and friends can be an exciting time. However, once you're in a relationship, travel planning is quite different. You're faced with the decision whether to travel home alone or take your partner or boyfriend. Choosing the latter requires additional preparations as you consider the dynamics of introducing your boyfriend to family and friends. The decision can be quite challenging, whether you're out or not. Use these tips as a guide to traveling home with your boyfriend:

Be sure your partner is ready to meet your family.

Introducing your significant other to family members is a big step. Talk with him well in advance and be absolutely sure both of you 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 may be an uncomfortable situation for both of you, so be sure the decision is mutual.

Give your family advanced warning.

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 reaction and any red flags. Explain that your partner is a significant and important part of your life and that it would be great if they could take this opportunity to get to know him. Keep in mind, even if they accept your homosexuality, they may not be ready to meet your partner.

If you are not out, consider how comfortable you and your partner will feel hiding your relationship. Also, it is possible they may find out while you are visiting. Are you prepared for the consequences, if any?

Don't use your boyfriend to make a statement or prove a point.

If you're not out to your family and plan on coming out during your trip home, you may want to consider introducing your significant other at another time. Your sexuality may be a huge adjustment for both you and your family. Given they understand your sexuality, you may want to bring up the idea that you have a partner even though it may not be an appropriate time to bring him home.

If your sexuality is not taken well, then try not to bring your partner home as a statement of your freedom and choice. This may be liberating for you, but keep in mind that your partner may feel uncomfortable.

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 home may not be the best approach. Try to talk to 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 homosexuality as a normal part of life. Threats and arguments will only get those involved on the defensive. Try the peaceful and open approach. Protect your emotions and your partner's.

Allow time for you, your partner and family to get comfortable.

It may take time for your partner and your family to get comfortable with one another. Be yourself and act naturally. Understand that this may be new to your family and your partner. Try to break down the walls 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 So-and-So."

Remember, your partner may feel isolated and afraid.

Even in heterosexual relationships, significant others can have a hard time meeting the family. Keep in mind, your boyfriend may feel nervous about meeting your relatives. You know your family and can anticipate their behavior and reactions; your partner doesn't. Don't worry if your partner is planning an escape route or has last minute jitters. Talk him through it and assure him that his comfort is important to you.

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. Bringing your partner into the situation will only make him uncomfortable. If things don't go quite as planned, count your losses and try to introduce your significant other some other time.

If things do go well, thank your loved ones for their acceptance.

There's no special prize for being gay just as there isn't for being straight, but recognize that your family and your partner have made significant strides in the midst of a highly emotional and uncomfortable situation. 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 a trip home with your partner!
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