Dating Department: Ultimate Dating Challenge Meeting the Family

In a relationship that’s on the road to longevity, meeting the family is a big deal. It’s the turning point of any relationship, a testament to your commitment, and the level of the relationship that tells us we are serious … or downright insane. Between my older sister and me, we’ve had plenty of awkward and uncomfortable family interactions with guys throughout the years. I recall my sister inviting a date to dinner and our family quickly learned that his favorite — and only— hobby was farming. Our entire dinner conversation revolved around hay and tractors. There was also the time I had a guy visit me at home and unexpectedly stay for an entire week. By the second day I was already fed up with him trying to woo my family members by playing the Titanic song on our keyboard at 7 a.m. Bringing a boyfriend home to meet my family is a terrifying concept and perhaps one reason I am single. If it isn’t enough to have a Pomeranian biting (or peeing on) your ankles the minute you walk in the door, you have my mother shoving unnecessary amounts of food down your throat, my step-dad shouting boisterously at a Michigan State football game and my younger brother rattling the entire house with his drums. Don’t get me started on the CD my mother sometimes plays with random arrangements of bad Hawaiian songs. In order to get to the front porch of my house, a guy has to be okay with chaos. But what guy is okay with that? And what girl wants to reveal her family’s craziness? For those like me who don’t have “ordinary” families, we have two options; feel mortified and ashamed of Aunt Sandy’s karaoke renditions of Patsy Cline songs, or join her as she dances unabashedly to polka. Embarrassing or not, having an eclectic family can teach you a thing or two about your relationship. For example, a guy who doesn’t drink wine, dance or exchange witty comments won’t stand a chance. If I bring home a guy who is uncomfortable and non-conversational, that’s a red flag. Do we really want to be with someone who doesn’t accept or mesh with our families? We don’t have to be normal; we just have to be our authentic selves. Besides, chances are we have already inherited some of our parents’ antics anyways. Accepting my family is the way to my heart and hopefully yours too. Home really is where the heart is.

Tags: dating, relationship

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