Was 'meeting their parents' a thing with you?

I guess I wasn’t raised that way and as a person who is rather casual (intensely laidback) I always considered it a natural part of social interaction but have known people who thought it was a really big deal, almost like a commitment.
I can see that ‘the parents meeting the parents’ might carry some weight.
How was it with you?

I already knew my wife’s parents. We went to high school together (my wife and I, not myself and her parents), and were friends (and dated a little), so I had met them a bunch of times back then. We hooked up again 15 years after high school and this time it stuck.

On an unrelated note, had I been a smarter man back then, I’d have never let her go the first time, but OTOH, a good argument could be made that those 15 years apart made me a better man, one that is worthy and deserving of love and marriage.

If you are intending to get married or make any other permanent commitment, you would be a fool to think you are just marrying one person. You are in some respects marrying an entire family and you really ought to meet them first. You will be interacting with these people for the rest of your life.

I don’t understand what “not raised that way” means in this context.

I would assume that it’s eventually inevitable in any relationship, no matter how committed or serious, assuming that the parents are still alive and the partner is on speaking terms with them. How long it would take would depend on the particular circumstances, but if nothing else, I’d expect it to at least come at the next Thanksgiving or Christmas. Probably earlier, from an incidental “Hey, I have to swing by my mom’s place to help her with something”, or the like.

[Moderating]
Oh, and since this is looking for personal anecdotes, it’ll be a better fit in IMHO than in GQ. Moving.

My wife is from Japan. She knew my parents for several years before we got married, but I didn’t meet her parents for the first time until several years after we got married. She had not seen her parents for many years at that point, so it was a rather emotional reunion for her, which had an impact on my emotional state - and it was already a rather momentous meeting for me anyway, since I wasn’t just meeting my girlfriend’s parents (I had been through that before with other girlfriends), I was meeting my wife’s parents. Basically we all cried a lot, but it was a good cry. :slight_smile:

Exactly so. About the only reason I can think of why “meeting the parents” wouldn’t be a big deal is if your and / or your significant other simply aren’t close to your parents (or immediate family), or if you don’t have one.

In, I suspect, most cases, your new significant other has some level of relationship with his or her parents and immediate family (and you have the same with yours). If you and you SO end up in a long-term relationship, then, depending on physical proximity as well as depth of the relationship with the families, these are people with whom you’re going to be spending your holidays, vacations, etc. (For that matter, later in life, you might well wind up responsible for helping care for one or more of them.)

If you’re at the point in your relationship where you’re starting to think this could be a longer-term thing, getting to meet them (and, getting to know them) is an important step in becoming part of each other’s families. And, conversely, if you realize that you can’t stand your new SO’s parents (or they can’t stand you), it’s a good idea to get that figured out earlier rather than later.

And, yes, it was somewhat of a big deal for my girlfriends and me. I was at least a little nervous meeting each girlfriend’s parents for the first time, though it always seemed to go very well. In the case of the girlfriend whom I actually wound up proposing to, we arranged a meeting between our sets of parents – as there were different cities in which they lived, we set up an outing, with a dinner, in a “neutral city” (i.e., everyone had to drive a bit), but it, too, went very well.

Geography plays a big part. If either or both sets of parents live a long way away, a meeting becomes a much more serious event involving planning and expense.

This gives rise to a fairly modern dilemma: Your daughter has invited her boyfriend to stay… Do you allow them to share a room, or do you risk looking old-fashioned and stuffy by insisting they sleep apart, even though you know that they share a bed on a regular basis.

As a bit of effort toward commitment, I read up on SEC football before meeting my wife’s father, so I would be assured of having some common ground for conversation.

What’s the dilemma? Why would you insist they sleep apart? Unless you really ARE old-fashioned and stuffy, I guess.

My house, my rules. Boyfriends sleep outside in the trunk of their car.

I met my SOs parents the weekend I moved in with him. That was also the weekend that his father delivered a bed frame made for my SO. So… “Hi, I’m ToC, and I’m moving in with your son. Can I help you move that bed we will be sleeping win?”

They are lovely people, and we get along very well, but that first weekend was awkward.

My brother and his now-wife had an immediate family get together made up of: our parents, their parents, and siblings.

We went out to dinner and it was kind of a “family meeting family” kind of thing and we all began to realize he was probably going to marry her at some point. It was nice.

I’m married, too. I met my wife in China and when we visited the US, I met her parents in California and she met mine in Michigan.

Our families all only met at the wedding. Still, we were separated from Mich. to CA.

I met my husband’s parents a couple of times before we eloped (we only dated 4 weeks, so not a lot of time to interact there.) He met my folks after we were married because of the elopement and 800 miles of separation.

I met one boyfriend’s parents - turned out I liked them better than I liked him. He eventually met my folks (distance again) just before we broke up.

I met Ms. P’s parents after we’d been dating a couple of months; she brought me home for Thanksgiving, so I met extended family. She didn’t meet my parents until we were engaged (no, we didn’t share a bed at my parents’ house until we were married).

My SO and I first met right after high school (1989), and dated for a little less than two years. I don’t even remember the first time I met her parents, I think I probably just went over to her house and there they were. She and I weren’t that great together, and I really don’t think her parents liked me.

Our paths crossed again about eight years ago, and we’ve been together ever since. The first time her parents came to town was very nerve-racking. I felt like during the first go-around, her dad saw me as some punk kid, who was fucking his daughter. Now, I was some middle-aged loser… who was fucking his daughter.

But it went really well. Her dad talked to me more that weekend than he had the entire two years my SO and I were together the first time. He’s not actually her bio-dad, but he raised her from an infant. He’s her dad. When I came on the scene the second time around, my SO had been a single mother for 10 years, with no contact from her ex-husband. So I think SO’s dad felt a kinship with me.

Anyway, I think it was backwards in my case. Meeting the parents wasn’t a thing when I was a kid… but it sure was when I was 39!

a) My wife and I have been together since I was 19
b) I am old
It was a big thing in my day and my circles. A lot of my relationships were just for fun and tickles; meeting the parents was like a sign that things could get serious. Or end things as I had a beard, long hair, and bad-assed motorcycles from before I turned 16. One step I did take was keeping a dressed FLH on hand for picking up my dates even if we were planning on using one of the choppers or bobbers.

I’m 48 and it’s still a big thing to me. The relationship I’m in now is the first one in over 10 years where I’ve wanted the other person to meet my parents.

Most definitely, for me it was. Anyone I was considering for a serious relationship, meeting her parents was very important. It tells me a lot more about her. And to me it’s important to have a good rapport with the parents.

In the two LTR relationships I’ve had, I happened to meet the mom (one liked me and I her, the other one wouldn’t have liked anybody who dared look at her precious baby as a man) but neither dad. 2.mom’s husband liked me, he found it hilarious that his wife’s sharpest barbs kind of slid off me (he’d never met my family; I’ve got relatives who make Ms. Possessive appear positively warm and fuzzy).

Given that one dad was a JW, the other had abandoned the RCC to join some sect that was so much against infant baptism they rebaptised my bf, and I was a practicing Catholic, I wasn’t particularly keen on meeting either one.

The only parent who was local to us was 2.mom, with 1.mom visiting her children frequently (that bf shared a house with his sister, with whom I also hit it off).

To me meeting the family was important for reasons already stated: you don’t just marry one person, you marry their relatives and their background, and meeting those relatives can be extremely informative. I expect that if I’d married the one whose dad lived closer we would have met that dad at some point; the one who lived in another continent and who hadn’t seen his own son in 12 years… that wasn’t someone it seemed particularly important to meet.