Bad Girl's Guide

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Introducing My Man to My Fam

Reflecting back on past experiences and relationships has made me really think about things that went right and wrong. I've been in a few relationships even a fairly long term one, but I have never introduced any of the guys I dated to my parents. I genuinely cared for the guys but I never knew how to go about doing that. I always felt like the entire experience would be really awkward and commitment wise it seems like a huge step. How did you introduce Norio to your family? Was the interracial aspect something that was a topic of concern? Did you ever introduce any of your past relationships to family? How did you know that it was the right time and step?

Here's a topic I've never covered, thanks for the question M.

There is alot of significance into introducing your partner to one's family. I can understand where your trepidation comes from and why it could potentially be an awkward event. Some families don't even bother to try and meet until the guy drops a ring on your finger!

Personally, my family has always been open to meeting people. My sisters have been bringing 'friends' home since high school, and my dad has been effectively cowering each one with his grufness (which is so funny, cos my dad is a total teddy bear, my mom is the one you should be worried about)!! I'm Nigerian, so my culture mandates this whole investigative process into the origins of the guy to determine his suitability before committment. It's a dual thing---I was once quizzed by the mother of my boyfriend if I had any diseases or madness in my family...that's how deep they go into the exploration!

Hence, I've introduced almost every single guy that I've ever knew, dated, crushed on or loved one way or another to my family. The only persons that never got the intro were the booty calls. Can you imagine saying, "Hi mom and dad this is my fuck buddy" that's awkward!

The level of significance attached to each person just depended on how into them I was at the time. I have always talked about my 'boyfriend' to my family, we're just real open like that. I'm closer to my mom and share certain details with her that I would never in a million lifetimes tell my dad, but they both have a sense of the guy and where the relationship is headed, at least from my perspective. As much as I hate it when they are right, they do have an uncanny sense into the ones that are totally all wrong for me and usually have warned me to watch out months before I notice the red flags!

Since my parents live in Nigeria and only visit in the US 1-2 times a year, and I used to go through boyfriends with a 6 month shelf life, most of the relationships didn't last long enough to meet my parents. Meeting my parents became a step of convenience rather than a mandatory one in a relationship. A few did however, and each maneouver just depended on who he was and how important he was to me at the time. There was no milestone, I just did it when it felt right, sounds cliche, yeah I know! Usually it depended on how I felt towards him, if we were in a monogamous, committed relationship and if I thought that he could possibly be in my future.

For example, take my first love. I met him in August, my first semester in college. My family knew of him when I went home for thanksgiving break and he called my parents to say hello on Christmas. He's Nigerian, there was no divide to cross, whenever my parents run into him now at social functions, it's still very cordial (and no, I didn't give my parents the dastardly details of how my heart got broken!).

The first non-Nigerian I introduced to my parents was African-American..once again, little steps. He met my dad after we'd been together for 6 months, and it was a big deal for the guy. My dad actually did the whole "break her heart, I'll break your legs" bit, which totally turned my boyfriend into jellyfish but had me laughing on the inside. It was a short visit, actually less than an hour, so there wasn't that much finagling to go on.

The first non-black I introduced to my mom was Norio, and this did have a bit more worry on my part. We had been dating for 9 months at that time. I had been talking about him to my fam for a while, he had met my aunt and uncle and totally hit it off with them, but I had the feeling that my parents would freak out because of his heritage. I actually schemed with my aunt and broke the ice first by having my mom watch My Big Fat Greek Wedding earlier that afternoon. All my worry was for naught because Norio was wonderful, and by the end of the visit, my mom and Norio were side by side on the sofa talking like they had known each other for a lifetime. They get along splendidly everytime she comes to the US.

Now my dad...I'm still on tenterhooks for that one. It's going to be in June when I go with Norio to Nigeria, Norio is going to be doing the whole official 'ask-the-father-for her hand in marriage' schtick.....I'll be sure to let you know how that goes.


Posted by Vixen @ 12:18 AM :: 1 trainees letting it rip!

Talk to Me!