I Never Want To Meet My Partner’s Parents—Is That Bad?

It’s one thing if we’re seriously talking about marriage, but having to act like I’m part of my partner’s family after a few weeks or months is just too much. Even if I’m madly in love, I’m more than happy to delay the family introductions for as long as possible—maybe even forever.

What if they’re absolutely horrible people? 

He could be the greatest guy in the world, but what if his family is a disaster? I’m not talking about the usual dysfunctional family; I’m talking about a stalker mother that wants to join you on dates, a father that does nothing but yell his political opinions in your face, and siblings that make the twins from The Shining seem like fun people. If his family terrifies me, I’m not going to want to invest any more time in this relationship.

What if I love them but end up hating him? 

I’ve already mentioned the possibility that his parents might be horrible, but what if I love them? Maybe we’ll all get along great and I’ll be more than happy to do things with them. But then what if I end up hating the guy I’m with? Suddenly, I’ll be stuck trying to figure out whether I can stay friends with his family or not. That’s kind of awkward, but if I never meet the parents, no problem.

I don’t even know if I’m in love just yet.

I’ve been with guys who want to introduce me to their family on the first date. That’s fine when we were in high school, but I’m an adult now. I’m still in the “I like you, but I don’t know how much just yet” phase. If I’m not sure about how I feel about him, I definitely don’t want to meet his parents. That’s way too much commitment. To me, it just seems like he’s bringing in more people to try to guilt me into staying, even if most people say getting that parental introduction is a sign he’s ready to commit.

I want to focus on getting to know just him. 

It takes time to get to know someone. I want to take my time without hearing stories from his family or having them try to convince me he’s the best man ever. I want to learn more about him naturally without any pressure from his parents. It always seems that once you introduce the parents, they kind of start creeping in and finding alone time isn’t nearly as easy as it once was.

I’ve got my own family to deal with. 

I have my own parents, so I’m fine, thanks—no need to introduce me to his. Let’s face it, we’re all probably preoccupied with all the standard drama and obligations that come along with our own family life. I’ve got a great relationship with my parents, but that doesn’t mean I’ll have that same connection with someone else’s. It took years to build this relationship with my family; I don’t want to invest that time with someone else’s.

I like just dating him, not his entire family. 

I don’t really understand couples that magically become part of each other’s families overnight. Why? Just because you’re dating doesn’t mean you have to date each other’s family too. It’s just weird. One month in and you’re suddenly going on family vacations with people you barely know. No thanks. I’m dating him, not his parents (or worse, his extended family).

I really don’t want his mom’s advice. 

There’s something about mothers that makes them think they always know best. Seriously, I sat down to a family dinner (not what I had in mind) with my ex one time and got an earful on how I needed to fix all of her son’s flaws, even down to how much money I needed to make so he wouldn’t have to work so hard. Hopefully, the guy I’m dating isn’t an annoying man-child and knows how to take care of himself. If I want advice, I’ll ask, but odds are, I’ve got this all on my own.

They always want me to join them. 

Parents love to try and make you a part of their family immediately. They ask you to dinner, on trips, or just to hang out. Then there’s always the awkward part where the mom wants to be your best girlfriend. I’m glad they like me and all, but I’m already busy. I have friends and family, plus a boyfriend. Trying to make time for even more people who just want to try and ask me when we’re getting married or having kids isn’t part of my plans.

Juggling two families is a pain. 

No one likes juggling two families. Once he introduces me to his parents, I’m expected to act like a wife and do all the family stuff like holidays and birthdays. I already have to juggle two sides of my own family and make sure everyone gets time together. It’s a major pain in the butt and if I can avoid it, I will at all costs.

If I wanted in-laws now, I’d be married already. 

If I was that eager to have in-laws, I’d have settled down by now. I know not all in-laws are bad, but some truly fit the stereotypes. For now, I’ll just keep trying to avoid the introductions completely. When I’m ready to get married, I’ll give in and meet the parents, probably very grudgingly.

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