Meeting the Family While Dating
The occasion of meeting the family is an important milestone while dating. It means therefore that it’s a time for you to put on the best display of your personality and have all your best mannerisms and etiquette at the ready.
It’s quite likely that if your date decides to invite you to meet members of their family, then you are very special and your dating is important and considered to be serious. Meeting the family means that your date wants you to become acquainted with the people who are among the most important his life. You are being introduced into the fold, or into the circle, because one day you may also be a part of that family circle. It’s important therefore for you to not take it lightly but instead, to see it as another big step in advancing and consolidating the bonds you have from dating.
The importance of meeting the family can be evaluated by the occasion for which you’ll be introduced as a guest. If you have any doubts about the extent to which your dating has gotten serious then you may even have doubts about if it really matters that you have been invited to meet your date’s family. But if the event is one such as a wedding, where just about all the family members will be present, then it means that your date really thinks seriously about you.
The same is true if you are invited to any family event that is a tradition, such as a yearly barbecue or holiday dinner. Those events are a showcase for all family members and for very close and special friends. Someone who is a casual or mutual friend wouldn’t be brought to those events.
A casual or mutual friend would be invited to the home of a sibling or other relative for, say a party, where a few other family members and many other casual friends would be present. If your date invites you to such an event, then it’s possible that your date wants a few family and friends to meet you to get an impression of you. And their impression could influence your date about whether or not the dating relationship gets very serious.
Whether it’s a full-blown family event or a smaller affair, you need to be careful about your behavior for the first time that you meet your date’s family and in subsequent meetings. You need to appear familiar in a pleasant way, but not so familiar that you take part in discussions and emphatically state opinions about volatile subject matters such as politics.
You also should observe very civil behavior and not curse, say lewd things or display any crude behavior, make demeaning jokes or say things that would be considered low brow humor. Even if others are engaging in any of the mentioned behavior and it may be the source of much laughter, with others seeming to enjoy and condone it, you should still refrain from joining in. That’s because others likely are watching you, even if it doesn’t seem that way. And after the party ends and there are personal one-on-one conversations about it, you don’t want to be the subject of someone commenting in hindsight about your behavior and whether or not it was appropriate.
It’s best therefore that at family events to which your date invites you, you observe basic etiquette for good manners and behavior. You should be pleasant and friendly but reserve showing any aspect of your personality that may be considered boisterous or raucous, as it will not necessarily reflect on you in a positive manner.