Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“My Boyfriend Refuses To Have Dinner With My Parents!”

I’ve been in a relationship with a great guy for about two months now. I love spending time with him — he’s hilarious and the sex is amazing. We spend time together almost every day and sleep over about 3-4 times a week. We’ve talked/agreed about not dating other people, and he’s introduced me to a few of his friends, cousins and his sisters and their kids, so I assumed we were getting somewhat serious.

Last week my father said he and my mom were coming to town and they wanted to take me out to dinner, and they said to invite my boyfriend as well. When I mentioned to him that he’d been invited by my parents out to dinner, he stammered a little and then said we hadn’t been dating that long and that it was too soon to meet my parents, etc. I think he could tell by the look on my face that that wasn’t the reaction I had anticipated. He explained that even though I’d met his sisters that was different because they “are more like friends.” I told him it was fine if he felt uncomfortable, but I didn’t really see it as a big deal. It’s just dinner! It also surprised me that his reaction upset me so much, and I’ve been wondering if maybe I asked too soon? In every other aspect he’s pretty perfect, but this has bothered me a bit. Did I ask too soon, or is he just being a guy and getting weirded out for nothing? I’d love to hear what you and your readers have to say. — Dinner Date Dilemma


You didn’t mention your ages, but I’m hoping you’re young. Really young. Because if you’re boyfriend is over, like, 25 years-old — and even that is really pushing it — there’s just absolutely no excuse for his childish behavior. I’m with you 100% on this. What is the big deal about dinner with your parents? It’s not like you’re asking him to go on a week-long vacation with them. You’re not asking him to move in with you. You aren’t even suggesting he spend the whole damn day with your folks. It’s seriously just a meal. What is he so afraid will happen?

I could understand him getting a little freaked out if you hadn’t already established you were an exclusive couple, or if you’d only been dating a week. But after two months of spending nearly every day together, confirmation of your relationship status, and the introduction of several of his family members, I can only surmise the reason he doesn’t want to have dinner with your parents yet is because he’s a pussy. He’s afraid of failing whatever test he thinks they’re going to have for him. He’s afraid of looking like an idiot in front of them. And, yes, I suppose he’s afraid a step like dinner with your parents — dub-duh-DUH — is going to suddenly elevate your relationship to a point he’s not prepared to deal with.

So, this is what you do: tell him you’re disappointed he’s not interested in meeting your parents, especially after you’ve met several of his family members and close friends. Explain that they are really nice, friendly people — assuming that’s the case — and you were excited for them to see what great person he is. Be honest and say that while you know two months isn’t exactly a lifetime and you’re still very much just getting to know each other, you were under the impression that you were an exclusive couple and you don’t see what’s so odd about couples introducing their significant others to important people in their lives when the opportunities present themselves. This is exactly how you get to know more about each other! And then say if his decision is made, so be it. You’re not going to force him to do something he clearly doesn’t want to do, but your feelings are hurt and it definitely makes you question whether you’re on the same page in terms of your relationship.

Chances are, given a little time, he’ll realize what a big baby he’s being and agree to have dinner with your parents. If he doesn’t, just file this away as a red flag and a sign that he perhaps lacks the emotional maturity for the kind of relationship you want to have. When these sort of bumps in the road come up, they don’t have to stop you in your tracks, but if there are enough of them over a short period of time, they should certainly give you reason to question whether you’re on the right path.

*If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com.

55 comments… add one
  • avatar

    Hana April 14, 2011, 3:16 pm

    I agree with Wendy. This is not something I would say MOA to, especially since you say the relationship is fine otherwise. However, in my experience, not being willing to meet parents AFTER spending every day together and being named an exclusive couple is a red flag. Especially if they live out of town and don’t come visit too often. Because it has only too months I would suggest doing exactly what Wendy said. Talking about it with him, telling him how it isn’t big deal to meet family and that you are hurt by his reaction. Just be cautious in the future if he has too many issues about “we haven’t been dating long enough for that” or other commitment issues. They could be signs that he isn’t fully committed or ready to be in an exclusive relationship.

    He could just be very shy and nervous around strangers, so meeting parents seems scary.

    Great advice Wendy!

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    • avatar

      HmC April 14, 2011, 3:51 pm

      Dude, if you really care about someone, meeting their parents is terrifying! Actually I’d go so far as to say that unless you are just *extremely* outgoing, it might be a bad sign if you (or him) are *not* nervous.

      My boyfriend met my parents after 3 months of knowing me, 1 month being in an exclusive relationship. It was my birthday and it was a big group, so it was better than just them and him as far as his nerves were concerned. And I had met his family just two days prior (which he invited me to after just a couple weeks being official). But boy was he red-faced and nervous! Family is important to both of us, and he knows how much they mean to me, so he wanted to do it for me. Love him. Anyway just throwing that out there for some general perspective, though of course every couple is different.

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  • avatar

    LolaBeans April 14, 2011, 3:23 pm

    First, awesome picture choice Wendy! haha.

    LW: I’d definitely suggest that you express to your boyfriend that you are disappointed in his choice to not see your parents when they visit. Mention that it’s important to you and that you have also met his family members.
    I wouldn’t however, push him to meet your parents. He probably is just afraid to meet them and feels intimidated.
    I wouldn’t worry too much about it.. but hopefully he comes around.

    As always, communication is key. Just express what you’re feeling and hopefully he’ll understand how much it would mean to you.

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  • avatar

    Addie Pray April 14, 2011, 3:26 pm

    Don’t feel bad, LW; that would upset me too. If you’re stronger than I am though, you won’t let it ruin your relationship. (I would because I suck at relationships.) I like what Wendy had to say – this is a bump in your road. Maybe just the first bump, and hopefully the only bump. Maybe he just needs a little more time to grow up, and you’ll be glad you gave him the extra time he needs to get there… and then it will be easy sailing from then on out.

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  • avatar

    ReginaRey April 14, 2011, 3:35 pm

    I’m wondering…you say you had the talk about how you two were exclusive and not dating other people, and then you call him your boyfriend. I know that for some, those two things are not necessarily one-and-the-same. Perhaps after two months, he’s comfortable with exclusivity, but fears that dinner with the parents is too much of a “boyfriend” activity. What if his definition of exclusivity is “I decided to be exclusive with her, because I enjoy the consistent dates and sexual activity” and your definition of exclusivity is “This guy is my boyfriend”? To someone who isn’t looking to get serious, meeting the parents might imply that you ARE looking to get serious. And while some might not see a difference between exclusivity and being boyfriend/girlfriend, your new guy might. And dinner with the parents is something that certainly falls under the “boyfriend” category.

    The reason I’m being a bit skeptical is because I was with a guy once who had no problem with exclusivity, but clearly stated that he didn’t want a serious relationship…your classic “Have my cake and eat it too” kind of dude. And he’s unfortunately far from the first I’ve witnessed.

    …But if I’m nuts, and reading into all of this too much, then I totally agree with Wendy – he’s scared and needs to man up!

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    • avatar

      Laurel April 14, 2011, 4:50 pm

      I totally agree. Make sure he’s calling you his girlfriend! Does he have any problems with other “boyfriend” duties?

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  • avatar

    sarolabelle April 14, 2011, 3:41 pm

    I wish there was an easy way to find one of Wendy’s old posts…

    The one I’m thinking about when I read this one is the one where the girl’s grandmother/grandfather or someone close to her passed away or became sick and the boyfriend didn’t do much or say much or ask her how she was. Wendy said something in that response that I think could be relevant to this letter but I can’t find the letter! HELP!

    btw, there’s that pussy word again!

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  • Kristina

    Kristina April 14, 2011, 3:52 pm

    I don’t know, I wouldn’t want to meet a boyfriend’s parents after only 2 months of dating. I am the type of person to think that meeting the parents (even if it’s casual) is a big step. My parents live quite far from where I live, so it’s unlikely that I would introduce a boyfriend to them unless it had already been serious for quite awhile. But I think that 6 months is more appropriate to meet someone’s parents.

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    • avatar

      DramaQueen224 April 14, 2011, 4:18 pm

      “I am the type of person to think that meeting the parents (even if it’s casual) is a big step” is a great line. I’m that way too and I think it just depends on the person. I’m super close to my family and we all live in the same city, but I’d never think to formally introduce my boyfriend to them for at least 3 months. I do, however, rent an apartment with my brother so he meets the guys I date way before the rest of my family does. My point being, it’s reasonable for the LW (and Wendy) to think that it’s no big deal to meet the parents and it’s reasonable for the boyfriend to think it’s a really big deal. I agree with Wendy that you should let him know you don’t think it’s that big of a deal and you’re a little disappointed that he won’t. However, I think you should let it go for now and not take it as a huge red flag.

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      • Kristina

        Kristina April 14, 2011, 4:22 pm

        Right, some people are just more comfortable and nonchalant about meeting parents, and I have several friends who are like that, but the LW can’t push her guy into doing something he doesn’t really want to do if he’s that type of person who isn’t comfortable with it at this point.

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      • avatar

        herCatwalk April 14, 2011, 6:28 pm

        Agree with Kristina and DramaQueen. Wendy, think you were a bit harsh here because everyone is different when it comes to the meeting the parents deal. And there may be certain religious/cultural/personal contexts that make the boyfriend uncomfortable. For example, in some cultures, meeting the parents means that you are in a serious, committed relationship on the path to marriage.

        Without knowing the boyfriend, I think it’s premature to say that he is wussy. Sure, it’s disappointing to the LW, but from another outsider’s perspective, two months (even if you hang out every day and have sleepovers 3-4 times a week) is not that long. If things work out, there will be many, many, many more opportunities for dinner. So, if I were the LW, I’d let the guy know that I’m disappointed and that for me, it’s just a “dinner,” but I respect that he doesn’t feel comfortable yet.

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  • avatar

    CG April 14, 2011, 3:58 pm

    LW, here’s my experience with a similar situation:

    I dated a guy for two years (we were young, about 23 when we started dating) and he flat-out refused to meet any of my friends or family. He eventually met my dad and stepmom after one year of dating, but that was only one time, and he never met my mother. And he never met any of my friends, who all lived in the same town. I would try to reason with him and say, “They’re great, they just want to hang out and get a beer, no pressure.” And he repeatedly said he had no interest in meeting them, even once saying, “I’ll meet them at the wedding and that’s it! Then I never have to see them again!”

    This guy was very emotionally and verbally manipulative, abusive and controlling. In addition to not meeting my friends/family, he also tried to control my looks, constantly trying to tell me what to wear, to lose weight (I’m a normal weight for my height), to color/cut my hair … And he also would never admit when he was wrong or might have said something to hurt my feelings. His response was always, “If you don’t like it, there’s the door.”

    I’m not saying this is your situation, but I regret staying with that a-hole for two years, regardless of what lessons it may or may not have taught me. I know it’s only been two months for you, but not wanting to meet the parents is a red flag for me given my past, so even though it’s probably too soon to consider MOA as an option, if he continues to jerk it up, RUN AWAY!

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    • avatar

      Laurel April 14, 2011, 4:56 pm

      I’m so glad you recognized the signs of abuse and got out! No one should have to live like that.

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  • avatar

    Bethany April 14, 2011, 4:12 pm

    I really don’t think this is that big of a deal. I know I wouldn’t really want to meet someone’s parents after only 2 months. I might not have refused like this guy, but I certainly wouldn’t have been really into it. Even if you’re together all the time and in a relationship, I think 2 months is really soon. After 2 months you’re still getting to know eachother!
    I know my parents and I have a very special dynamic, and even after 4+ years my fiance still doesn’t totally ‘get it’. I can’t imagine how he would have reacted to being put in that situation after only 2 months of knowing me.

    I think LW is overreacting. Tell your parents that he has a prior committment, and revisit the issue in a few months.

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    • avatar

      Fairhaired Child April 15, 2011, 1:24 am

      I gave you a thumbs up because I agree that at 2 months people are getting to know each other, but I think she was also right to feel hurt by his reaction. I think she should talk to him again and say while it may feel too soon for him, that she feels proud to have him as her boyfriend and sees nothing wrong with going out for a causal dinner. And that if he still doesn’t want to go (after explaining why its important to her/his reaction surprised her once) then she can make up an excuse from him and revisit the topic later and hopefully she wont hold it against him for saying no.

      I can see that if the dinner was specifically to meet the boyfriend and he was invited to their house (if they had lived in the same area/close) then he could feel a little more nervous and caught off gaurd at 2 months, but since the parents are farther away and just want to take their daughter out to dinner then its not like he is gonna get the 3rd degree from the parents on “what are your plans with my daughter” stuff. More likely they’ll be so busy trying to ask her what SHE Is doing, and he will get casual side questions only to keep him in the conversation.

      I was really nervous and surprised when one of my now ex-boyfriends took me to his mom’s house really early in our relationship (it had been like 3 weeks but it was becuase he needed to pick up something from her house) and I almost stayed in the car I was so nervous, I’m glad I went in though and met her because I still get nice inspirational emails from her every now and then, and he had a kick-ass little brother who was so cuuute (he was 8 and totally crushed on me) and I really enjoyed going over there to spend time with them or play with his little brother when Justin had to go over to do something for his mom etc.

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  • avatar

    D Beau April 14, 2011, 4:14 pm

    Sometimes, not wanting to meet the parents can be a cultural thing. My senior year of college I dated a guy from a culture where you don’t meet the parents until you are very close to marriage- for me, i want everyone to meet my family, they’re more like an extension of my friends. Being able to say that this will be a casual, relaxed meal with people you care about may go a long way (and assure him, if you can, that no one will be asking “what are your intentions with my baby girl?”)

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  • avatar

    cmarie April 14, 2011, 4:18 pm

    Totally agree with Wendy. However (come to me little purple thumbs) how are you feeling Wendy? A little hormonal maybe? When my sister was pregnant she was the grouchiest person in the world during her first trimester. Not that I’m calling your grouchy though. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, it just seems like your last few answers have been a little…well, a little harsh. Reasonably so of course, they just have a bit more bite than I’m used to hearing from her. Not complaining of course, I actually enjoy it. Hope you’re feeling well,I hear the second trimester is the best.

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    • Firegirl32

      Firegirl32 April 14, 2011, 4:26 pm

      OMG…I laughed out loud at your “Come to me little purple thumbs”. Too funny!

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    • avatar

      Kerrycontrary April 14, 2011, 4:30 pm

      Agreed that they have a little more bite than usual, but oh well, adds to the entertainment.

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    • Dear Wendy

      Wendy April 14, 2011, 4:39 pm

      Hmm, do my answers seem harsher than usual? I don’t think they are, but you’re certainly entitled to your opinion! If they are, it might be because I’m still settling in to being my own boss and having as much editorial freedom as I want.

      As for how I’m feeling, I feel pretty good! Much, much better than how I was feeling, say, six weeks ago. I was REALLY hormonal then. Not feeling too out-of-the-ordinary these days. Just a little tired. Also, I’m not in the first trimester anymore. I just started my second trimester, FYI. I wouldn’t have gone public with the info if I were still in the first, but that’s just me…

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      • avatar

        Mainer April 14, 2011, 4:49 pm

        I don’t think your responses are any different. I’ve actually seen worse. But I saw this coming with the announcement, only a matter of time before someone blamed the hormones. I think it’s just your style sometimes. Keeps it interesting.

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        TheGirl April 14, 2011, 4:54 pm

        I don’t think they are any different either. I think some of the ones from when the site started are actually a lot SOFTER than some of the ones I remember from TF – maybe the new pregnancy glow is just wearing off now? Seriously, some of your old shortcuts from TF are hilarious. And a little harsh. And totally necessary.

        I like you because you call it like you see it and you don’t hold back. I think that’s always been the case.

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      • avatar

        cmarie April 14, 2011, 5:07 pm

        Harsh probably wasn’t the right word. I think they’re very justified. I also realized you were out of your first trimester, I was just using my sister’s pregnancy as an example. I didn’t mean to offend, I just felt that they were a bit more snappy, in a completely good way. I also didn’t mean to imply that if they were it was because you were pregnant. I honestly wasn’t trying to equate you to a crazy pregnant lady hulk-smashing New York. Of course, it’s my own personal observation, doesn’t make it true for anyone but me. But seriously, I wasn’t serious about the hormone thing, it was a ill-attempt at humor. Can I blame Brain-to-Mouth Stupidity Disorder? Either way, I really do enjoy your honest advice, extra snark or not.

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      • Dear Wendy

        Wendy April 14, 2011, 5:12 pm

        I wasn’t offended! I thought it was funny.

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      • avatar

        cmarie April 14, 2011, 5:18 pm

        Now that is a quick response. Whew, I’m glad. I don’t want to come across as b**chy or the stereotype of blaming hormones either. I don’t want to be *that* person. That person is annoying and I like to think I’m tolerable. Anyways, yay for babies! and being your own boss!

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      • avatar

        Amy April 14, 2011, 6:36 pm

        I actually do know a crazy pregnant lady that I could definitely see hulk smashing New York – Thanks for the description. 🙂 I might have fun with her with that…. maybe in 6 or 7 months that is…

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    • avatar

      Eljay April 14, 2011, 4:45 pm

      I was thinking the same thing! A little extra “snarky” but I love it! Too funny!

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    • avatar

      sarolabelle April 14, 2011, 5:28 pm

      I think Wendy is just fed up with men who get into relationships yet don’t want to do all the things a relationship calls for. It’s got to be annoying to read letter after letter about bad boyfriends….

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      • avatar

        cat-i-z April 15, 2011, 10:46 am

        I do not see Wendy’s answers any different than before the pregnancy.

        Love Wendy because she just tells it like it is!!!

        Glad to hear you feel better Wendy!!

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  • caitie_didnt

    caitie_didn't April 14, 2011, 4:19 pm

    I’m with Wendy! This guy is either being a seriously huge baby, or wants to have his cake and eat it too, like another commenter said: he wants the exclusivity without the commitments of a relationship. My first serious boyfriend actually broke up with me when I brought up meeting the parents (we’d been together 4 months and had been friends for a couple of years). So, good riddance to that immature asshole. My ex couldn’t wait to show me off to his family and was excited, albeit nervous to meet mine and prove himself a worthy boyfriend in my parent’s eyes.

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  • avatar

    sarita_f April 14, 2011, 4:22 pm

    @CG – wow, what a jerk. File the whole ‘not wanting to meet anyone else in your life’ thing as another sign of a potential abuser.

    I would say, though, that in this situation the LW’s, uh, ‘boyfriend’ (sorry if there’s some magical mystical difference between what this guy is and what a boyfriend is, but to me this fits) doesn’t sound like he’s coming from an abusive/controlling place.

    Only wild card to throw out there – are there any cultural differences at play? I know a lot of my friends are first-generation immigrants from very conservative cultures, and they wouldn’t dream of introducing a SO to their parents (siblings ARE different and wouldn’t be kept in the dark) unless there was a clear path toward marriage.

    At any rate, I bet Wendy’s right and he’s young. Either physically or emotionally :).

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    • avatar

      MissDre April 14, 2011, 4:29 pm

      Agreed… My ex was West African and several friends told me, in their culture you don’t bring someone home unless you’re going to marry them. But she probably would have mentioned if her boyfriend was of another culture.

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      • avatar

        BroGoddess April 14, 2011, 5:38 pm

        Good to know, as I am also dating a West African…

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        MissDre April 14, 2011, 7:42 pm

        In general, they don’t ever show any form of public affection either. It’s not appropriate in African culture… it was a bit hard for me. He would never hold my hand or even sit very close to me in public. But my best friend is from Kenya, and she explained to me that it’s just the way they are…. in her words, an African couple could attend a party together and spend the entire night on opposite sides of the room.

        I definitely would not change my experience because I loved my ex very much but the cultural differences were often tough for me. I am wishing you guys all the best from the bottom of my heart!!!

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    • avatar

      moonflowers April 14, 2011, 11:49 pm

      Agreed. In Chinese culture, when two people get married, it’s seen as two families coming together. So all of your relatives have the right to criticize any potential spouses of yours, since anyone you married would also reflect on them. If I brought a guy to meet my family, he’d go through a serious cross-examination/interrogation from everyone, especially my grandma, and probably be put to work around the house to test his worthiness or something. I wouldn’t subject any guy to that unless he was really, really committed!

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  • avatar

    Kerrycontrary April 14, 2011, 4:28 pm

    LW, I think you should follow Wendy’s advice and be upfront about how you feel about him not coming to dinner. I mean, its not as if you planned to have your parents come to town to exclusively meet your boyfriend, or as if you asked him to come home to your parents house for the weekend to meet them. Your parents happen to be coming to town, and this would just be a convenient thing to do. I think that your boyfriend is being really immature or he’s a total commitment-phobe.

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  • Jess

    Jess of CityGirlsWorld.com April 14, 2011, 4:34 pm

    Totally agree with Wendy. And I don’t know your parents but I’d add this. I’d be cautious about introducing a guy to my parents if he’s seems in anyway not ready. Mostly because I wouldn’t want to expose my PARENTS to too many men in my life, have them feel disappointed if it didn’t work out, etc. Meeting them is a special privilege.

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  • avatar

    PFG-SCR April 14, 2011, 4:58 pm

    Two months isn’t that long of a time to be dating, no matter how often you’re together. While I can understand the LW wanting her parents to meet her “amazing boyfriend”, many people do feel that meeting someone’s parents implies a seriousness to the relationship…and, it’s only been two months.

    Like a few commenters have mentioned, his reluctance might be due to how his family views meeting parents and what it implies, or it might be that he’s had an uncomfortable experience meeting parents very soon in the relationship with a past girlfriend. Regardless, I don’t think it’s unreasonable that he’s not ready to meet them yet….after only two months of dating.

    I’d let it go at this time if he’s not ready. For one reason, the quote that “You never get a second chance to make a first impression” is true, and if he’s not ready to meet them, he and your parents may not “click” in a way that you hope. Another reason is that the more you push for him to meet them, it might make him feel that you interpret a seriousness to the relationship that he doesn’t feel yet.

    It’s only been two months…if you and this guy are meant to be together, then there will be more opportunities to have him meet your parents.

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  • avatar

    kdog April 14, 2011, 5:08 pm

    Granted I was a few years younger, but when my boyfriend wanted to introduce me to his parents I was terrified. I think when someone doesn’t have a very open/happy relationship with their own family it adds to the anxiety of meeting parents, at least that is definitely true in my case. Obviously I have no idea if this is true for the LW’s boyfriend, but it is an additional possibility to be taken into account. It is also possible that he was close to the family of a previous girlfriend and it caused more difficulty with the break-up, etc. Basically there are tons of reasons that parents are scary to some people. All in all though, if you want to be with someone that can be very open with your parents, than the reasons behind it might not matter too much. I think that I would me more likely to agree with the LW and Wendy if I personally came from a different family :).

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  • Heather

    Heather April 14, 2011, 5:35 pm

    My sixth grade boyfriend refused to come over and meet my hampster. I was so upset. Her name was snowflake, and she was adorable! White little ball of fur with grey ears. He thought that meeting her would just be moving to fast.

    He was bad news bears…

    but I’m pretty sure this is a bit more serious.

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  • avatar

    Kate April 14, 2011, 5:53 pm

    Two months is not that long. I would not want to meet parents after only 2 months: no way. And I am over 25.

    Give him some time, and is he is still not into meeting them, and it’s important to you, MOA.

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  • courtney89

    Courtney April 14, 2011, 6:07 pm

    Meeting the parents is a big deal, I can understand hesitation, but com’on just outright refusing? Your totally justified to be hurt by his refusal LW, I would be to. If it were me I would have been like “We’ll your obviously allowed to make your own decisions, but really, it’s just a meal!!” It’s always nervewracking for me to meet the mom and the siblings, especially sisters. And on the other side, i always get nervous for my brother and twin sister and my dad to meet boyfriends because they are all so super protective! it’s a lot of pressure on anyone, but talk to your bf LW and i think he’ll come around:)

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  • fast eddie

    fast eddie April 14, 2011, 5:55 pm

    2 months isn’t very long to put him in under your folks microscope. That’s what it would feel like to him. Or perhaps it’s the picture of your Dad leaning on a large bore shotgun. Just let it alone for another 4-6 months and it’ll be much better. Imagine this dinner conversation.

    You: Daddy this is Justin, he’s been giving me mind blowing orgasms for the last few weeks and from what Mom says his man thing’s bigger then yours.

    Dad: Well Justin as long as your making my little girl happy I’m glad your together but if she so much as hints that she’s unsatisfied in any way shape or form I’ll hunt you down, nail your dick to a tree stump and pour acid on it.

    Justin: Well gee folk I hope you’ll excuse me early tonight I’m taking my vows at the seminary in the morning.

    Mom: Now sweetheart don’t put too much importance on the size of his love mussel, as long he has some faint notion of how to use it…

    Justin: On the other hand maybe I’ll just grab a cab and join the French Foreign Legion tonight.

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  • fast eddie

    fast eddie April 14, 2011, 6:05 pm

    I never meet my wife’s parents before they died during our 6th year together and neither of us regrets that. They were active alcoholics and we lived 2,000 miles away from them on purpose. My wife and mother never met until the weekend of the wedding in our 8th year. Again on purpose, and didn’t that work out nicely? You bet it did!

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  • avatar

    Hana April 14, 2011, 7:29 pm

    This is not relevant at all but this new show totally reminded me of some of the letters Wendy gets. http://www.hulu.com/watch/231740/happy-endings-quicksand-girlfriend#s-p1-so-i0

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  • avatar

    SpaceySteph April 14, 2011, 8:55 pm

    I agree with Wendy, except that I think even being young isn’t a good excuse for his behavior. He either wants to be your boyfriend or he doesn’t, and if he does, he should meet your parents.
    Unless you talk all the time about how insane they are, or how they ate the last guy alive, he needs to man up.
    My boyfriend and I had been together about 2 months when my parents came to town. He showed up in a nice shirt like a champ to go out to dinner with us. I took it as a sign of confidence in himself and in our relationship that he showed up (on time!), shook my dad’s hand, and piled in the car for dinner. Had he tried to get out of it, I would have been very upset.

    They visit a couple times a year and it would have been several more months before he could have had another chance, and he didn’t even suggest he wasn’t ready or that it was too soon. My boyfriend is wonderful. Give yours exactly one more chance– explain to him that its not too soon and its important to you, and then I hope he acts like a man. If he doesn’t, then he probably shouldn’t be in an adult relationship.

    Oh, I’m not pregnant or hormonal, but I am quite fed up with men thinking they can act like babies. Thank goodness mine isn’t one of them.

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    • fast eddie

      fast eddie April 16, 2011, 5:44 pm

      You say that now but just wait until your teenage children become sexually active.

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    spot April 14, 2011, 9:18 pm

    @Wendy–I think there is an error in the first sentance of the last paragraph:
    “Chances are, given a little time, he’ll realize what a big baby he’s being and agree to have dinner with his parents.”——-did you mean have dinner with “your” parents?

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    AnitaBath April 14, 2011, 9:24 pm

    I think the way he handles it says more than anything. The importance put on “meeting the parents” varies wildly from person to person and culture to culture. Some people see it as, “Hey, meet this guy I’ve been spending a lot of time with,” while other people see it like, “OMG isn’t he amazing you need to meet him because we’re going to be together for a VERY LONG TIME!” I’m personally in the first camp, but I understand the second one.

    It’s hard to tell exactly how he reacted from the letter. If he tried to bow out of it gracefully, I think that’s a lot better than if he just freaked out like a little boy.

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    SpyGlassez April 14, 2011, 10:18 pm

    The weekend that my BF and I were to have our first date, my family was having a Halloween get together. This was technically BEFORE we had dated, but since I had talked about it to him (as the reason why I couldn’t go out the first day he suggested), I invited him to come. It was very informal, mostly my younger sister and her friends and myself and a few friends and my parents. I didn’t really think he would want to, since we hadn’t even dated yet, but I wanted to be polite. He declined, and I thought that was completely appropriate.

    A month later, after we had been going out, he invited me to Thanksgiving dinner with his parents, because his mom really wanted to meet me. I was nervous, but I went anyway. My boyfriend met my family a month later at Christmas-time, which was just a little over the two-month mark. He was more nervous about meeting my parents than I was about meeting his, and in his words, “It’s kind of a guy thing about meeting the parents, especially the dad.” Your boyfriend might be more nervous about it than he lets on, especially if he wants to make a good impression. He might also, as several people have suggested, think of meeting siblings as “casual” but parents as “serious” – in essence, something you do in later stages of a relationship. Maybe he will be ready if you explain why it’s important to you. Hopefully you can work this out so you are both satisfied.

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    Betty April 14, 2011, 10:45 pm

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with him not being into meeting her parents after 2 months. 2 months hardly counts as a relationship in my opinion, especially if you didn’t know each before dating. I’ve invited guys to meet my dad after just a few weeks of being exclusive because my dad is my buddy and a good time. I wouldn’t even consider introducing my guy to my mom and the rest of the family until 6 months or more. It’s totally understandable that the LW is disappointed but to act as if he’s done something wrong to not be ready for this yet seems very unfair. Also? Exclusivity does not a serious relationship make.

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    RMM0278 April 15, 2011, 6:28 pm

    Okay I might be a little crazy here, but I totally disagree. Here’s why.

    In my family, the only people we ever brought home were future spouses. It’s a pretty big deal, and I feel the same way about meeting someone else’s parents. I intentionally don’t bring home guys I haven’t been with for that long because to me it sends a message to parents that I’m not ready to send. I don’t want to be faced with the questions and the follow-up questions. Putting a face to an SO changes -everything- regardless of who’s involved. It just does.

    I wouldn’t feel comfortable meeting this girl’s parents for those very reasons.

    It’s not just a friend or a coworker; it’s a parent. Positive or negative, they have expectations. If I don’t know where I am in this relationship or how I feel long-term, I won’t want to do the Parent Thing until I’m ready. It has nothing to do with being scared.

    Two months isn’t that long. I don’t know what is, but I feel like she needs to respect this guy’s feelings for now. Take Wendy’s advice, though, but wait it out.

    Remember…meeting the parents might not be a big deal for HER parents but it may be to him. My hunch is that this event represents two totally different things to them, and she should ask him that.

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