- When you start to date someone new, you might be wondering when the right time is to introduce them to the people closest to you.
- There are a number of things to consider when you’re debating whether or not to introduce your new partner to your family and friends.
- Ultimately, the stage the relationship is in and how comfortable you feel with the situation matter far more than the exact length of time you’ve been with your partner.
When you begin a new relationship, at some point, you’ll likely have to determine whether or not it might be time to introduce them to your closest family members and friends. Deciding when to do so can be tricky, but there are a number of things that can impact your decision.
INSIDER asked experts to weigh in on this sometimes-precarious subject.
It’s not necessarily about how long you’ve been dating someone
“The right time will depend upon the relationship stage and the second stage is when this often happens,” Toni Coleman, LCSW, CMC, a psychotherapist, relationship coach, and divorce mediator, told INSIDER. “The second stage is when the couple has passed the early excitement and getting to know one another time and has moved into a relationship that is deeper and where bonding begins to occur.”
She said that since all relationships are different, every relationship arrives at this stage in its own time – and some never do. She noted that long-distance relationships might take longer to reach this stage whereas couples who see each other multiple times per week might arrive at the stage sooner.
“It’s not about the length of time that you know them … it’s about the emotional feeling that you have with each other, the bond you have made, your shared goals, and how well you know what works for you both,” relationship expert and Platinum Poire founder Rori Sassoon told INSIDER.
It’s all about what feels right for you
Waiting a bit to make that introduction can be a good thing, and it can actually help you be more clear on how you feel about your partner before getting your loved ones’ input.
“After you’ve been dating someone for six months, you know them in a deeper more substantial way and you will be less likely to be influenced by your family’s opinion or reaction,” therapist Tracy K. Ross, LCSW told INSIDER. All in all, waiting until you’re comfortable, even if it means waiting longer, could be better than introducing your partner to your other loved ones too soon.
Take note of your nerves
It’s normal to feel a bit nervous about introducing your significant other to your loved ones, but if you’re not excited about introducing everyone, it might not be the right time or you may not be as comfortable with them meeting your family as you might think.
“If you are feeling a large degree of uncertainty introducing them is not a good idea,” said Ross.
“It’s exciting to be dating someone new and feel it becoming a relationship and it’s natural for people in your life to be curious about the person,” Ross said. But she said that there’s no reason to rush introductions. “If this is someone who is going to be in your life there will be ample opportunity for them to meet all the important people [in your life].”
There are a few signs you could be ready for your partner to meet your family and friends
The right time to introduce your partner to those close to you could also come down to trust. You might feel ready to introduce your partner to your loved ones once you trust how they will act and connect with them, said Jennifer L. Silvershein, LCSW, a New York City-based psychotherapist.
“I would also recommend reflecting and noticing cues from your partner such as their vocalizing excitement to meet people or sharing concern it may be too soon or a fear they won’t connect or be liked,” she added.
But she does note that a few factors come into play when making the decision to introduce your partner to those close to you.
“The relationship stage definitely influences when the time is right,” Coleman said. “What can also factor in is how close someone is to their family, how comfortable they are bringing someone home, and how functional and stable their relationship is with their family of origin.”
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