Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Deep Thoughts: Meeting the Family

"If I can't trust you, Greg, then I have no choice but to put you outside the Circle.
And once you're out, there's no coming back." -Jack Byrnes, "Meet the Parents" speaking to Greg Focker about the Circle of Trust

All schedules were able to coincide and we were able to meet up with both G's mom and his sister. It was crazy hot that day (which is not the ideal situation for the first time you meet family) and it also ended up being a crazy fun day too!

First things first, where are the baby pictures? So cute!
G has the luxurious hair of a child actor!
Mom made us a GREAT meal - traditional Polish beet soup, turkey baked with cherries and raisins,  Mediterranean salad, olives, and pickled mushrooms as well as wine.
*(I'm still inconsistent with food pics so you'll have to use your vivid imagination for an image)


Picture taking time!
G's mom and I finally meeting after 2 years of dating!
Picture sharing time! Mom had just come back from a trip in southern Italy with friends. 
G calls it "Grandmas Gone Wild." I'm not quite sure I would use this phrase to describe a bunch of grandmas on vacation.
And now on to the limoncello she brought back from Italy and desserts.
At this point, I think I drank too much, but we were having fun!
Off to meet sis at the Main Square. His mom stood on her patio and watched us walk all the way from her building to the trolley. I say it was a successful meeting!

Sister and Brother together again!
Her and her family may soon move to Australia!
Fireworks in celebration of summer solstice (slightly different than nude bike riding & painted body tradition that Seattle has) solsticecyclist.org

Now for my deep thoughts...
How important is it to meet the family? At first, should you alter or tone down parts of your personality to make a good impression?

What about the prep work involved? Does this fall on the girlfriend or the boyfriend whose parents she's meeting. Should there really be this much work involved? Does time amount of time you've been together as a couple play a factor?

After doing a quick research of what the world wide web thinks of this topic, I found most articles to be common knowledge; Dress appropriately, be pleasant and complementary, be prepared with topics of discussion, etc. Yes, yes, this is what you do when meeting ANYONE'S parents for the first time.

Here's the kicker - I've found the most important thing you can do to prepare is to date the correct person in the 1st place! Once that's done there's really not much else you can do to prepare. You'll naturally be curious about what is important to his mother and what type of person she is. You'll naturally be appreciate of not only the dinner she made but also raising her son to be a really great guy. And, as far as loving you, she'll already be halfway there  because her son is so happy already being with you. You will be in the Circle of Trust!

Sooo...here's my updated list. It's not as easy to follow as it seems, but very straightforward:

Meeting the Parents - A Guide
1. Have a list of the key things you look for in a significant other. This should not include physical characteristics such as looks, height or status. The list SHOULD include personality traits such as ambition, emotionally aware, or great sense of humor. DO NOT move to step 2 if step 1 has not been completed. :)

2. Actively seek and date people with those key things you look for in a significant other. It can eventually lead to a long-term relationship!

3. Discuss lots of things about each other - ask questions. This can be thoughts, wishes, action plans or learnings from life. REPEAT this step enough times that nothing can surprise you about the other person. Hint: a simple book of questions provides hours of entertainment and education, something similar to this If - Questions for the Game of Life

4. Meet each other's parents. At this time, the knowledge of your significant other has been frequently communicated to your family. Once both of you meet each other's parents, they'll feel like a long-lost friend - it'll be more of a joyous occasion rather than a stressful one!

There may be some steps missing or even extraneous situations where this list will not apply. But for the majority of people I know, these proper steps to "meeting the parents" starts WAY before the actual meeting of the parents.

Has anyone had a bad experience with meeting a boyfriend or best friend's parents? Or the opposite, has anyone met someone else's family and been treated like they're now part of the family?

Best,
Paula

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