I have to say something that will scare a lot of women but the fact that you have been introduced to your date or boyfriends parents is not always an indicator of how much he is into you or the potential of the relationship. Why do I say this? The number of women who tell me that “His parents adore me!” or “But he introduced me to his mum!” or “He treats me like we’re in a relationship when we’re with his parents” and even “Surely a guy doesn’t introduce you to his parents if he’s not pretty serious about you?”

Ladies, just because a man introduces you to his parent(s) does not mean that the relationship is serious.

Women place a far heavier significance on this event than men do and the reality is that there are some men out there that don’t think twice about introducing you to their parents.

And let’s be real, even if he waltzes a different woman through his parents place every week, unless they want to embarrass him, they are unlikely to mention it and treat you as they do every other girl because they know their son and are used to his behaviour. In fact, in this case, if he didn’t bring home a woman to meet them, they might actually think he was serious!For a start, men just don’t give the things that we expend a lot of brain energy on, anywhere near as much thought. If more men engaged with their brains and their emotions, we wouldn’t have half the debacles that we do in dating and relationships.

Take the boyf for example. When he said he was bringing me to his mother, I was scared shitless where he didn’t give a hoot. Now as it was, I knew he was serious about me but it was only after I met her and a few months after the event, that he told me that quite a few girlfriends had met his mother. Now the reason he told me this is we were having one of our many debates about relationships which is normally sparked by this site and he nearly pissed himself laughing when I revealed how some women nearly lose their mind preparing for meeting the parents!

We also have a nasty habit of projecting our own ideas about why we would be doing something instead of looking at the individual and the situation. ‘Well if I was introducing him to my parents it would be a big deal so it must be a big deal to him’.

But a big factor behind the male mentality is the whole Try Before You Buy Mentality. Much like the way women see moving in together as a significant step that will lead to bigger commitment whereas many men see it as an opportunity to see if the relationship will work, sometimes you’re being taken out on a repeated test drive!

But there is also ego and self image to take into consideration and for the assclowns out there, introducing you to their parents is there way of keeping them off their back and conveying messages like

‘Look at me! I’m normal! I know I’m 49 and I’ve never been married, but I’ve got a girlfriend!’ or ‘See, I told you I’m not gay…’

On the more calculating side, it’s a manoeuvre that also shuts you up because some men are clever enough to recognise that in including you in that aspect of their lives that you will believe that there is more to the relationship than there actually is…and stay off their backs.

Now I know this doesn’t make great news but it’s important to note, especially if you have a struggling relationship. As women, we place far too much importance on things that are only right in certain contexts. Hence, it means a hell of a lot that he’s brought you home to meet his parents if the relationship moves forward, but it doesn’t mean jack if he treats you poorly or dumps you the next week.

If he tells you stuff like ‘My parents think you’re great!’ or has even said ‘They think we’re going to get married’ this also doesn’t mean jack if he doesn’t treat you like you’re great, have both feet in the relationship, or actually have any intentions of marrying you.

So what if they said you’re great – Does he say you’re great?
So what if they think you’re going to get married – Does he? Has he proposed? Has a marriage materialised?

Trust me, I know people who have dined off comments like this from people like friends and family with no concrete relationship or commitment materialising!

So what can you learn from this?

Much like a lot of things, the significance of meeting his parents only means something contextually – there needs to be substance in your relationship and the fact that you met his parents can’t be the only thing of substance!

If he never introduces you to them, that’s not a good thing either unless of course for some reason they don’t speak and even then, it’s good to know why they don’t. If he introduces you to them really quickly when he barely knows you, I’d probably be a bit cautious. If he introduces you to them and you find yourself running errands for them, playing wifey, or putting up with crap from them whilst he mistreats you, you’re being taken for a ride.

The best way is to be middle of the road and balanced about it – If he’s an assclown, meeting his parents isn’t going to change that. If you’re in a healthy relationship, you don’t need to carry on like you’re meeting the king and queen and get your knickers in a knot, but enjoy it and take it for what it is.

Your thoughts?

My new book How to Lose an Assclown in 90 Days is due out next week but if you want to get ahead on understanding waste of space men, there is also my ebook, Mr Unavailable and the Fallback Girl. Find out more and download.

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25 Responses to Meeting His Parents – Totally Overated…and possibly misleading

  1. wendy levy says:

    Natalie, So true. My ex-assclown had included me in all his family gatheringss for the two years we were together. One time, his parents anniversary, I suggested we make dinner for them. This turned into me doing the entire meal all by myself including wine, and driving all the food over to their home. My ex-EUM brother was there that night too. Neither one of them helped cook,helped buy, or helped pay for the groceries.
    This scene played out over and over again. During the christmas holidays, I bought gifts for the entire family, his kids, his nieces, you name it. He “forgot” to pay me back for the 1/2 he owed me.
    He had two kids. I was super close to his 12 yr old daughter. When he had the kids on friday nights, he regularly dropped her with me and she would stay overnight.
    None of this meant a thing to him or his folks, other than his daughter. He broke up with me a few weeks after the holidays last year and I never saw him or heard from him again. It was all meaningless to him.
    yuck!
    Wendy
    PS Thanks for getting the site up again!!!!

  2. Astelle says:

    Wendy,

    Instead of spending time with his daughter, he brought her to your house?? What a great Daddy!! He used you as the babysitter, what did he do on these Friday nights??

  3. ivyowl says:

    This is a great post! I think it applies to all signs that we look for. Plenty of assclowns have invited me out on weekends for example. It really depends on the family. My family is closed so when my sister brought he ex husband to be over..we knew something was up. In other familes, bringing someone home might not be so meaningful.

  4. wendy levy says:

    Hi Astelle, He’d bond with his older son. I really miss that girl too. She is the only part of that relationship I still miss.
    ON another note, I posted somewhere on Natalie’s site, how I finally, finally broke up with the Nice Guy. It was such a relief for me.
    I felt strong. Plus I did such a good job of it. Its the template for breaking up with someone and not hurting them too much. Wendy

  5. myalmostlover says:

    For me, meeting and spending time with his mother was unfortunately a routine part of our relationship because he was/is a mama’s boy, so there was no way you could be in a relationship with this man and not meet and talk to his mother. You couldn’t avoid it. Unfortunately looking back on it now I’ m sure he trotted many women through his house over the years that were supposed to be “the one”.

    I really didn’t place much signifigance on meeting her.. She actually sabotaged me in a way because when he cheated, she knew and didn’t say a word to me. Granted on a purely intellectual level I wouldn’t expect her to tell me but I was still very hurt. I know she knew but covered for him quite well.

    So no, I don’t think meeting the parents or parent holds any real meaning unless, as Natalie says, the relationship is moving forward and he has both feet in. If he’s playing assclown games the parents may play right along with him.

  6. wendy levy says:

    Almost,

    Oh thats interesting. Mine was a total mama’s boy too. He brought his clothes over there regularly to wash. She’d wash and fold them. He ate there once or twice a week. His parents brought a birthday cake into his work (he is a high school teacher) and sang HB to him, which I always thought any normal 50 yr old would find mortifying. He called his mom Mammie and his father Da-Da….. When the 4th of July came one summer, he had to ask their permission for me to stand next to them to watch the town parade. He told me they had a “problem” with me because I was too “pushy”. Oh stop me, I could go on and on….. Wendy

  7. MichelleB says:

    Well for me, I met my boyfriend’s parents after around 3 months of dating. And it was just a week after that, he propose to me with a gorgeous diamond engagement ring he bought me from http://www.idonowidont.com so for him it was the big step into being serious in our relationship and now I’m a bride-to-be!

  8. JC says:

    I met my EUM’s mother and looking back it was definitely only to shut me up! I also met his little brother (who is very important to him) but again, I put a lot of significance on these events and they really weren’t important because though according to him they thought I was great, it didnt prompt him to treat me any better. With the new guy I’m dating, I’m taking him to meet my sister, and that’s a big step (EUM never met her) so I guess it really depends on the person.

  9. myalmostlover says:

    Wendy….even though the details may be different, the dynamic is the same. Mama rules their life, who in the heck wants to compete with a man’s mother?

  10. wendy levy says:

    Almost, right on sister. I couldn’t agree more. Its pathetic. Do you want to know what my eum did? After we broke up last winter, which was about ten days after my mom died, he sent me an e-mail.His mom had been in the hospital for 48 hours. He documented her stay in the hospital for me, in detail, and shared how upsetting it was for him. He never asked about the service we had just had for my mom, that he didn’t come to. Or acknowledge. At all. What an assclown. So glad he is history.

  11. lisaq says:

    Great post NML! I think you have to think about the sum of all the parts in a relationship. As you said, taking it in context. It’s especially true with a EUM. We tend to take one thing he said or one event and put way too much stock in it rather than looking at it as a whole.

  12. I met and loved his family, and they loved me, in their EU way (four children, 35 to 50 years old, zero marriages and zero children amongst them, do you think I should have noticed that? Er, except my ex-EUM’s divorce/dead baby that is.) and I cooked for them for holidays. I know they are going to miss me, and Thanksgiving is going to be rough for me. Day six of NC.

  13. My EUM lives in a very Catholic country where family is important and divorce not allowed! His wife had left him several years before we met, it’s happening a lot here, so big problems with his Mum who never accepted it.

    When she met me, a couple of months into our relationship, she burst into tears – I tried not to take it personally and he told me that she was upset as she realised that he was not going to get back with his wife. Later she decided she liked me and that I should learn the language so that she could talk to me. Unfortunately we split up and she died shortly after.

    So I’ll never know if it was important to him that I met her and she accepted me, to me it must have been, I can’t help feeling that in very Mama centric cultures it IS a big deal but perhaps that’s just me projecting.

    He’s not exactly the most empathetic person on the planet so probably isn’t capable of understanding the significance of most of what he does to others, which is one of their least endearing features!

  14. Tulipa says:

    I look at this from a slightly different angle I met his mum once but I got no indication of what their relationship was like because of the setting of the meeting.. he did introduce us but we were sitting at different tables at the event and there was no time to talk to her other than hello etc.
    Many many months later he told me his mum wanted to meet me again and spend time with me.. My first thought was well thats not going to happen in some ways I think this spelled the beginning of the end.. He ended our “arrangement” for a woman who came over to his house with some flowers and a book on medicine because he was upset about his mum and she gave him comfort about it … bizarre

  15. SINgleGIRL says:

    EXCELLENT post. I made this mistake with a relationship. He went out of his way to introduce me to his friends (all over the country) and travel to meet mine and I read SO much into that. When he started to act like a childish, selfish ass I would think, “but he introduced me to all of his closest friends – of course he cares, of course he wants this relationship”. Guys just don’t think the same way we do about this stuff. Lesson learned.

  16. terriblyhurt says:

    I wanted to post my story here…I request anyone who can to plaese help me out with their advice if possible.There is this guy I met at my last work place.We hit it off right from he first meeting.I thought we had a lot in common..it was good fun talking to him.However I did not get more than 4-5 opportunities to meet him and that for very brief periods..and i did speak to him a couple of times on the phone..after that i moved to a different city to pursue my higher studies..i got to know that he had also moved in to the same city as he had got a better job there..Though i had his contact number i did not feel like calling him in the first couple of months…he did not have my contact details..last november i called him cos’ i had some clarifications regarding my internships..here i have to say something about myself..i am 29,married though my marriage is not going great guns…I don’t think i was ever emotionally involved or committed in my marriage.My husband and i live in two different cities now..cos’ i studying and he is working and could not get a transfer.Coming back to my friend..after i spoke to him..i do not know why..but i felt like interacting with him again and again..i found that he was slightly different..he told me that his new job ws very demanding and he would be comfortable with texting(sms)rather than phone calls..so i used to text him..he would take some tiome to reply to my texts at times..i would get impatient with him and he would get angry saying that i do not understand his work pressure and stuff…we would have a lot of arguements over this issue..but would always patch up..last december we met…it was a wonderful meeting..we just discussed general stuff but i felt that mentally and intellectually i was very compatible with him…i don’t know when i started having feelings for him…when the friendship turned into feelings of love…i did notice a few starnge things though…he would fiercely guard his personal space…he would respond to my messages only at his convenience..everything would happen only at his pace…even if i asked him if we could meet up during the weekend..he would always have some excuse..sunday was his day off…he would meet friends only on saturdays…and he would always be busy with something or the other..tthough i had not told him about my feelings for him he knew that i liked him a lot as a close friend..even then he wouldn’t do anything to make me happy…like making a surprise call..or a surprise visit…nothing..as the days passed by..my condition became miserable…he was not responding the way i wanted him to…and my feelings for him did not die out either..frankly i do not know what i wanted at that time…i probably felt some kind of emptiness within me..and i wanted my friend to fill it for me..but he was not what i wanted or expected…we had so many fights over these issues of him not giving me time…and he calling me demanding…we would go without talking o each other for days and the patch up…very often the initiative would be taken by me…We met again in may 2008 after a gap of 6 months…it was my initiative again..anyway…when we met i hinted to him that i have developed feelings for him and that i wouldn’t want to interact with him after that cos’ it would not be good for the 2 of us…he then told me that there was something about him that i needed to know…he told me that he was gay…had been one since the age of 14…had been thru a traumatic phase..his family knew about it…(he is 30 now..not married).he told me about some close relationships and heartbreaks that he had(with guys)..the names of his ex-lovers…how he met up with new partners and all that…I was shocked but to be frank that revelation of his actually brought us closer…i told him about my marriage..the problems and all that..he said that i could be his fag hag( a gay man’s best woman friend).Even after he told me all this my feelings for him remained the same…the fact that he is gay did not stop me from being attracted to him..the fact that he shared such a close secret of his life with me made me feel happy and imagine that we could develop a close friendship atleast…even after all this the old issues remained…he was still cold and distant despite my telling him that i just wanted to be there for him as a close friend..in fact once i got a doubt that he probably lied to me about his sexuality to ward me off…i asked him about it…he felt humiliated that i even got such doubt..we met again after 2 months..in august..he introduced me to some prsopective gay partners of his…i felt happy that he considered me that close…but my own condition was getting worse…my feelings for him would not die down…and he continued to be the same…would interact at hisown pace..some random messages..very few calls…i wnated to meet him more often..but something or the other would crop up…the fights started all over again..now after he told me about his sexuality i found tht he was taking the initiative to patch up…we would fight…stop talking and suddenly he would call up as if nothing had happened..i found al the signs of emotional unavailability mentioned here in my friend..the last fight we had was around 20 days ago..he told me that he is really fed up of me cos’ i keep accusing him of all kins of things…yes..i did send him a couple of emotionally charged messages when he said that he was too busy to meet me..this time he says that he is really pissed off…friends..frankly…i want to get out of this as well…the las 11 months have been pathetic for me…my emotions have literally been controlled by this friend of mine..i let him do so…my day would be great if he called me or texted me…during our fights i would feel very very distrurbed…this friendship has not given me any happiness..after he told me that he is gay..i would feel happy for him whenever he told me that he met up with some interesting guy..stupid as it may sound..i was happy that i would not lose him to another woman…what is disturbing me very much right now is the thought that he could have lied to me about being gay just to ward me off…if i ever get to know something like that i would be devastated..i know my friend is a decent guy and would never d something like that…he has always been very decent with me..but this thought is eating me from within..i am currently following the no contact rule as suggested in this site..but i cannot stop thinking about him…and more than anything else fearing that he could have lied to me though i have many reasons to believe that he was not…please tel me what i should do..

  17. wendy levy says:

    Dear Terribly Hurt,

    I am sorry you are going through such a difficult time. What stands out for me in your post is that you are married and this “friend” is actually someone you are wishing you could have an affair with. I don’t understand why you are not dealing with the situation with your husband.
    Since you are in fact married, you are not actually emotionally available for a relationship with this “friend”. Furthermore, what you describe with him does not really sound like much of a friendship. More of a not very pleasant escape from an unhappy marriage. If I were you, and I”m not, I’d end it with this guy and deal with your issues surrounding your marriage. Take the time you need to do that and then worry about relationships with other men.
    Really, be kind to yourself and take time.
    On a different note, not sure this is the right spot to post this, since this post is about meeting the guys’ folks!! You might get more of a response if you post it in a more relevant spot.
    Take much care, Wendy

  18. Holly says:

    Ladies and NML,

    I wanted to let all of you know that I finally had a breakthrough. after many weeks of mulling over everything and obsessing about the EUM, I have finally let go. I realized after our last conversation that there was nothing special about this assclown, he wasn’t “deep” or in need of understanding. He’s an asshole. period. I laid out my boudaries, etc, and he told me that if the “old” Holly, the one who bought him gifts and came to visit when he had time, didn’t exist anymore, then there was nothing left. Then, magically, the blinders came off and I saw him for the toad he is. He is a user, and always will be. I’m just sorry it took me 4 yrs to see that. It was amazing how quickly he was ready to stop talking when I put my foot down and told him I would no longer continue this charade. Thanks NML, you helped loads. I needed some thing to light a fire under me.

  19. Tina says:

    Mine never did introduce me to his family nor did he even tell them about me. This is after 4 years. He always had some BS excuse why.

    The day my heart turned cold for this ass clown was when I was over at his house and his mom calls. He is talking to her and my cell rings. I get up and answer it and go to the other room to talk.

    I come back just a minute later and he wasn’t talking anymore which is odd as usually she likes to talk a long time.

    I said you all done. He said yeah and that was all. A minute later the phone rings and I could hear her in the background asking him what had happened that they got disconnected.

    It dawned on me the ass clown had hung up on her! Yep hung up on his own mother so she wouldn’t hear my voice in the background.

    He lied to her and told her there must be something wrong with her phone line. Oh and his mom was just diagnosed with cancer.

    Pretty pathetic.

  20. Sihle says:

    My story: When I met this guy 2 years back, within two months of our dating he told me he was in a relationship with this woman and they were having problems. from what he said it looked like they were in a process of breaking up. Last November he introduced me to his parents but I’m confused now because I just found that they are still together. the woman is now sending me rude messages and she keeps on insulting me, she told me she is pregnent with his child. when i ask him about the woman and the pregnancy, he denies the pregnancy but he confirmed that they are still together and he says that i should ignore the woman’s calls. I love this guy but I don’t want to be a fool. Is he playing me? should i go? should i stay? I’m confused please help…

  21. Gina says:

    NML — You are absoultely right, meeting the parents, friends, etc… doesn’t MEAN anything if the relationship doesn’t have a solid foundation. I remember when I was about 23 yrs old (Now 27) and I was dating this guy for a few months — he introduced me to his Mother probably about a few weeks in (only because he lived downstairs from her!) and also went to a family function with him as well. The thing was after a month or so or dating this assclown didn’t know how to pick up the phone and call and would primarly use text messages, went from always wanting to go out and see me to oh I dont want to get serious, spending more time with friends, (just how you say in one of your articles “turning me into the persuer! no thanks” he was such a loser in other ways but always justifyed that he must care if I met his family, he bought me bday gifts, etc… maybe he wasn’t the scum of the earth but he was emotionally unavailable— enough reason to give him the boot but of course I realized that in that time period up until now my enlightment hehe, that I was attracting what I felt about myself consciously or unconsciouly! Thank goodness I finally woke up, haluahh…

  22. Sabrina says:

    I am glad I found this site. Its very interesting, as I just moved in with my arseclown. And yet after many warnings from my psychic (cmon they been wrong) I moved in. Right after my bf wanted me to meet his fam-bam & mom. At first I felt spesh, until she took him in the other room, in front of me. I knew oh oh…not good. He didnt share what was said. But i knew it wasnt good. But at the same time, she had to deal with his non working, irresponsible, drug self. So Im sure she knows its not easy being with him. Now im like regretting meeting them. its like now it makes sense for them to see me, so they can have that right to talk shyt behind my back. Even though I am trying very hard to have this relationship work.

  23. Go with the flow... says:

    I used to place a lot of weight on meeting the parents, thinking that it meant he was serious about the relationship. But then I looked back at previous relationships and can agree with most of the comments posted. It doesn’t mean much if the relationship is not grounded on something concrete. Guys can have different reasons for introducing you to their families, whether it means a lot to them that their families get to know a special love interest, or if it is just a way to get you off of their back. Don’t place too much importance on this event. I actually took this one a step further once when I introduced my parents to someone who I thought would stick around for a while. When the relationship fell through I thought, “But he met my parents, he sat down and talked to my Dad.” I thought he had to be very important if I let him in like that and my parents liked him. I read too much into everything and realized that his interaction with my family meant more to me than it could possibly mean to him.

  24. Helen says:

    “If he introduces you to them really quickly when he barely knows you, I’d probably be a bit cautious.”

    More than a bit! This is a big old red flag. A recent new boyfriend introduced me to his parents only about 3 weeks in; I was a bit stunned as we hadn’t even slept together, and that’s quite the reverse of the usual order. Later I found out that he was still living with his ex (he concealed this pretty well) – they’d broken up two years before and he hadn’t dated anyone during that time, until me.

    I’m sure his family must have been quite worried about him for all that time; it seems clear now that I was a prop meant to show them that he was really moving on after all. I’m sure they also saw right through it. But, he is their child, and I was merely a pleasant stranger, so no one told me. I didn’t find out what was going on with him ’til after I’d already dumped him.

  25. Zoe says:

    I am glad that I am reading this and thank you Helen because your story gave me some clarity for my situation.

    I recently went on the most bizzare ‘meet the parents’.

    A guy (we are not dating although we hang out a fair bit) invited me to his father’s birthday lunch. When I turned up, there was only his immediate family (his sibling and his parents).

    The dad was quite nice but he told me that “the family is a serious family” and hinted that his son is quite shy and if I like him, I should make the first move.

    When I questioned him in regards to what he told his parents about me, his answer was “nothing”.

    I have been so confused about it ever since.

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Stop believing that you did something to make them unavailable or that their inadequacies are down to your inadequacies - it is not about you; they are unavailable!
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