The Dating Report: Introducing Friends & Family

Wednesday, 27 Nov 2013, 8:37:00 AM

Anthea Kerou

Anthea Kerou, Columnist
Santa Monica Mirror Archives
Anthea Kerou, Columnist

Dear Anthea,

I’ve been dating my girlfriend for only 1 month, and the holidays are coming up. It’s going pretty well, but is it too soon to introduce my girlfriend to my friends and family? – Jim, 31

Hi Jim!

Thanks for your question!

Congrats on your wonderful new relationship! I’m happy for you that you are enjoying getting to know each other and thinking of the future.

Unfortunately there is no one rule to answer this question as every relationship moves at different speeds. Plus, each person in the relationship may have different expectations on how fast to move. But there are a few things you can consider to help you make your decision for yourself.

The first question to consider is how many girlfriends have you introduced? Do you have a habit of cycling through a different girlfriend for each holiday, causing your friends and family to roll their eyes and discount the importance of meeting someone new? Are they are jaded by the high turnover rate and can’t keep your girlfriends’ names straight? If your current girlfriend notices this tendency then she may feel devalued in the relationship and not take you seriously as a viable long term prospect.

This can also be unfair to your family who may become attached to your new love and then have the pain of losing that connection after a breakup.

Another thing to consider is the quality of your friends. Do your friends tend to be judgmental and critical? Will they only look for the faults and tell you that you can do better? If so it may be better to avoid this type of negative judgment at this fragile stage of the relationship.

If your friends are likely to embarrass you in front of your new girlfriend then it’s best to keep getting to know each other one on one before she meets these questionable characters in your life.

Some people place a high importance on whether or not their new girlfriend or boyfriend will be able to ‘fit in’ with their group of friends. If you have a very tight, close knit community of friends who you spend a lot of time with, then it would be a good idea to introduce her fairly early so she can be welcomed into the group.

Introducing your new girlfriend to your friends and family too soon can also bring up a lot of questions about the relationship that perhaps you may not be ready to answer just yet. Ask yourself if this relationship is stable and secure enough to take this next step.

If you are not yet in an exclusive committed relationship but already introducing her to your Mom it can be confusing to her and she might assume the relationship is more serious than it is in reality. So beware of what it represents to include her in your family holidays.

You may want to have a conversation about the holidays and tell her why you want her there, what meeting your family means to you, and represents about your relationship.

If you have any doubts based on these questions then perhaps it’s a good idea to wait until the relationship is more established to present her as your chosen one.

Anthea Kerou is a Certified Holistic Health Coach based in Santa Monica specializing in dating coaching. She is available for private coaching sessions, email antheakerou@gmail.com. Alternatively, visit heartfacewellness.com or facebook.com/heartfacewellness for more information.

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