A few dates have passed and things seem to have the potential to transform into a well-rounded relationship. Word around the campfire is you’ve been seeing someone on a regular basis. However, your friends and family will have to take your word since there hasn't been any visual confirmation of this mystery mate.
Everyone is dying to meet this new interest but you’re just not sure the time is right. Even though it’s early on, is there an appropriate time period when you should introduce your new love to the most important people in your life? And the question becomes how will the relationship take shape once they're inside your inner circle?
The key here is to ease into the meet and greets. Try to remove the pressure and make it feel like it's no big deal. Simply tell your mate that you'll just be hanging out. Pick events where your date is more of a “plus one” rather than a boyfriend or girlfriend.
Happy hours, birthday parties and weddings are ideal because there are more people to mingle with and they keep you and your date mobile. Unlike double dates and dinner with the parents where there's nowhere to run and lots of potential for awkward moments.
Now from the other perspective, treat it like it ain’t nothin' but a thing. Don't read that much into the invite. No one said that just because you’re meeting their family and friends the relationship is being taken to another level. Then again it could be a test to see if you get the stamp of approval.
A few years ago I was dating someone and on our third date, her family went out of their way to invite me to a casual cook out. I didn't want to be rude since they reached out, so I gladly accepted -- in the end I had a great time.
You'll only feel bad when they start getting attached to you and then things don't workout. That's why I guess you might want to be more selective.
You’ve got to go with your gut on this one. No one knows your friends and fam better than you. So, if you think they’ll be adding their two cents to every good or bad move your partner makes and are certain your relationship will instantly go from two to three --the time is definitely not right.
Making introductions too soon can cost you. The early stages in a relationship are critical. Be comfortable and confident about the bond you’ve created before you include him or her in your “favorite five."
Keeping your mate under wraps because deep down you know they truly aren’t the one for you? It might be time to clear your conscience and call it quits.
Now let’s just say you’re really family oriented. If meshing with the people who hold your best interest at heart is essential to the fate of the relationship, then intros need to take place from the start.
Bottom line: know your boundaries. Always remember who your number one ally is. Keep certain info confidential between the two of you. Even though you want everyone to get along, remember you’re dating the individual not their entire family.
Do you have a dating dilemma? Send Stephanie and Matt your story and questions and you may be featured on the next installment of Save the Date.