The last serious relationship I had went on for a little over three years. We had been pretty serious, at one point even considering marriage. We knew everything about each other, more than we’d ever known about other people in different relationships. We went through car accidents, deaths in the family, moving homes, holidays, and all of life’s random, chaotic events. We went through a lot together.
But here’s the interesting thing — I never once met a single member of his family.
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Over the course of several years, I spoke with his mother briefly on the phone maybe two or three times. This was usually during special occasions, like holidays or birthdays. We’d discuss very surface-level topics: "I like blueberry pie, too." "Oh, yes, he loved the vinyl record I got him!"
On the other hand, we were up at my parent’s house almost every single week. We chatted over dinner, movies, hot tea, covering a range of topics from silly to deeply emotional. My family had almost become his family.
When a relationship ends, sometimes it’s ending more than the relationship just between you and your partner. It’s ending your relationship with their family, too. This calls into question an idea that enters any person’s head when they start seeing someone new, someone they really like:
When will I meet his/her/their family?
Some people are excited by this prospect. Others cringe and hope the day conveniently never comes. Recently, I tend to be more of the latter. That’s why meeting my casual fling’s entire family a month after ending my long-term relationship was so incredibly awkward.
I met Josh on Bumble. My intentions for just sex could not be clearer (I think I even said this word for word!). He was so handsome, and unlike any man I’d been with before. I decided to go for it.
The first time we met, he came to my friend’s house. We decided to keep seeing each other, albeit very casually.
When going to my friend’s house wasn’t an option anymore, he invited me over to his place. He was living at his parent’s house for the moment while saving to move out. This gave me pause, but I liked him and I didn’t take the relationship seriously anyway, so I said sure.
Prior to arriving, I sent a very delicately worded text: "Hey! I’d rather not meet anyone tonight, if that’s okay. I’d rather just keep this between you and me."
He responded that he totally understood, and I felt relieved.
I pulled into his driveway and sent the obligatory "Here" text. His 6'1" stature sauntered towards me, his long hair kept back with a backwards cap. He reached me and leaned in.