Meet the parents.
3 small words, a shitload (literally) of anxiety.
I’m not talking about his parents. His parents were fine. I jumped in head first by meeting them for the first time in August. By going on holiday with them. For a week. Oh and there was a language barrier. But somehow I didn’t have the time to worry about it, and suddenly there we were meeting them at the airport and there was no point getting worried about it at that stage because it was way, way too late to do anything about it. No, my biggest worries came from him meeting my parents.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my parents. I love my boyfriend. I had no reason to believe they wouldn’t get along. But the buildup was excruciating.
We started planning a dinner in August. Since my parents live in Devon and a meet up would therefore require one party to take a weekend trip, it took a lot of back and forth to find a date we could all do. So, we finally settled on the 8th December. And every time I thought about it my stomach churned and I wanted to hide in a bin.
I’ve talked about introversion and general social awkwardness here before. It’s not that I don’t think I can cope with these situations once I’m in them, because I know that I can. It’s just that my body tries very hard to dissuade me beforehand. I’m the only person I know who’s had to take an Imodium before every date I’ve been on. Or at least, the only person willing to admit publicly that dating makes me so nervous I nearly poo myself. (I just exude classiness don’t I?)
Anyway, back to the big meet..
One of the reasons why it was a big deal for me was because I’d never done this before. Yep. I am 30 years old, and this was the first time I was introducing someone to my parents. Feel free to ponder all the things that must be wrong with me.
So I had no benchmark or precedent, no idea of how we might behave as a family in a situation like this. And let’s be clear, we’re a family who have a collection of toy giraffes named after Indian snack foods.
I really wanted it to go well. I could pretend it wouldn’t have mattered to me if it hadn’t, but it did matter. If you have a good relationship with your family, then you want them to get along with your partner. Same goes for introductions to your friends. If it goes tits up, that’s going to present you with a lot of challenges in the future. I’m realistic. I don’t need everyone to be best buddies, but I do want them to be able to enjoy an evening together every so often.
And, thank the lord, it did go well! I hadn’t doubted that it would, but that’s very different to it having actually happened. Suddenly, imagined trips the two of us could take home for the weekend moved from theoretical plans into tangible ones. YAY!
I’ve always been quite compartmentalised when it comes to keeping groups of people in my life separate (it’s one reason I find organising birthday drinks stressful af). But I’m realising there’s no need for it. Every time I have brought different people together, it’s been totally fine. Because, obviously, I only pick the best people 😉
I won’t pretend that I’ve had a massive personal revelation as a result of this. I will always get nervous about these sorts of ‘unknowns’. But at least I have another anecdote to add to the pile of mounting evidence that it will all go just fine.
Because it will.
And it did.