"I accidentally met my casual fling's entire family."

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. 


"I’m really sorry, I know you said you didn’t want to meet anyone but my family just came home with dinner."

"Is everyone in there?"

He nodded. I paused for a moment, feeling a little agitated by the situation. I could turn around and leave, but that felt a little extreme. If I went in, I’d have to stand in a room of strangers who loved the person next to me when I really only wanted him for sex. I had about ten seconds to react.

He took my hand to lead me inside, and I decided to let him. 

We entered through the door and were immediately met with a glob of people. My stomach dropped to my feet, and I couldn’t look anyone in the eye. 

"Hey everyone, this is Charlotte."

I can’t be totally certain, but I’m pretty sure no one even responded. What they did do, was look at me. Especially his mother. I could feel that even without meeting any of their eyes.

"This is exactly what I wanted to avoid," I thought to myself as we awkwardly walked past them into the basement. Since then, I’ve met quite a few of my fling’s family members — his cousin, his grandmother, his stepdad, all of his sisters. All the while, we aren’t even dating. 

In the month I’ve been seeing him, I’ve met way more family members than I ever did during my long-term relationship, and I barely even know this guy.

It made me wonder if there is ever a truly ideal moment to meet your partner’s family? To me, I think it’s all about context. 

When you meet someone’s family, it really is the clearest insight into why that person is the way they are. You get a fuller, more complex understanding of them. You can literally see where they’re coming from. 

Usually, you’d only want to do this if you were serious about the person. If you wanted to know them on a deeper level, and start to develop ties with every aspect of their life. 

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Though I much rather would have waited to meet this guy’s family, if I had even decided to meet them at all, it’s actually made seeing him a little more intimate in a way I unexpectedly have been enjoying. I feel safer, more secure, and in turn freer when we have sex, even if I’m not thinking of a long-term relationship. 

I feel like I can trust him. He has nothing to hide. In the end, that makes for the best sex of all. 

Plus, if we ever get serious, I’ve already jumped through one of the major hoops in a relationship. 

So really, I guess he saved me a step. 

Feature Image: Getty. 

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