I Judge Men By Their Families & It Hasn’t Led Me Astray Yet

In my experience, meeting my guy’s closest relatives is one of the quickest ways to find out if he’s right for me and whether or not the relationship will work long-term. Here’s why I judge men by their relationships with their relatives and why you might want to do the same.

  1. It’s attractive when a guy’s close with his family. I automatically warm to a guy more if I see that he’s close with his family. On a super basic level, it shows that he appreciates what he has, gets on with people in close quarters and is willing to make the effort to maintain relationships once he’s left home. There’s something so wholesome and positive about a guy that loves his family and it’s always interesting to see how he interacts with them.
  2. These are the people who know him better than anyone else. When you spend most of your waking hours with someone for the first decade or two of their life, you can’t help but get to know them pretty well. No matter how tight he is with his friends, a guy’s family members the people who really know him best. Family sees the side that he might be too awkward, proud, or embarrassed to share with his friends, so it’s always worth getting to know your guy from their perspective.
  3. They’ve watched him go through awkward stages, face challenges, and grow up. It’s exhausting putting your best foot forward 24/7, which is why a guy’s family are best placed to see every aspect of his personality—not just the bits he wants you to see. They’ve seen how hard he worked (or not) at school, how he coped with his first breakup and what he was like when he gained independence for the first time. They know a side to him that most people never see, so their reactions are crucial.
  4. If his family are difficult, he might be heading the same way. I would never dream of judging someone by their family situation. Still, as I inevitably become more like my mother year on year, I have to question whether there’s something in an inevitable family likeness. If relations with his family are strained, it would put me on my guard that he might turn away from me too.
  5. If he’s close with his siblings, I take it as a good omen. Not everyone gets on with their siblings, but I take it as a pretty good sign if my date does. For starters, it means he can laugh at himself (because what other kind of humor is there in families than making fun of each other?) It also means that he can share attention, empathize with others, and make time for other people in his life. In short, a guy who has a strong relationship with his siblings is better placed to make other relationships last.
  6. You can’t hide from family. Meeting his family is the quickest way to tell whether he’s truly being himself or not. The people who’ve known you all your life can see straight through acts that the untrained eye might take to be genuine. If a guy is happy to introduce you to his family, it shows that he has nothing to hide, and is ready to let you into his inner circle.
  7. You can learn a lot about a guy by how he treats his mom. Nobody wants to date a mama’s boy, but I’d pick one over someone who had a bad relationship with his mom. His mom is most likely the first woman he’s ever met and the one who’ll be most important to him for a long time. How he treats her tells you a lot about the kind of respect he has for women, and if he’s looking after her well, you can bet that he’ll do the same for you.
  8. I want to date someone who’s proud of where they came from. Family is who we are, and I want to date someone who embraces where they came from. It doesn’t matter whether he’s like his family or not—making time for them shows that he values those relationships and is more likely to be family-oriented himself. Being introduced to his family is a big deal, and something we should both be excited about.
  9. If I don’t get on with his family, I don’t know if it could work long-term. Can you imagine spending every other Christmas with a load of strangers that you can’t stand the sight of? For me, getting on with my guy’s family is so important as it underpins every important stage we’ll go through together. When I’m with someone long-term, I want to be a part of their family, and if we didn’t see eye to eye, I don’t know how we’d make it work.
  10. This man could become MY family—it’s important to know how he interacts with them. Ultimately, a relationship is going to lead to someone becoming my family. What better way to see what I’m letting myself in for than to see how he treats the family he’s already got? I’m looking for someone who puts our relationship first. If he’s got a great bond with his family, you can bet that he’s going to be a great catch.
Isobel is a freelance blogger and writer for hire specialising in content for millennials who haven't quite got it together yet (i.e. herself). When not glued to her laptop, she enjoys eating cheese, doing yoga and spending time with family and friends.