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Introducing Your Lesbian Partner to Your Family

Family acceptance is more likely if they know specific things about her, like her talents or interests.

It can be a challenge introducing your lesbian partner to your family but it is an event that needs to happen. That does not mean that it needs to happen right away but it is something that you are going to want to do eventually. Remember, whether you are in a homosexual or heterosexual relationship, going home to meet mom and dad is a big deal. It can be nerve wrecking for both sides. If you are in a lesbian relationship, this meeting may be even more stressful. With a few big, deep breaths and some guided steps, introducing your lesbian partner to your family can be a much easier and smoother transition than you have ever known in the past.

Communication is the First Step

Just like in any good relationship, whether it be platonic or romantic, communication is key. Make sure that you communicate to your family the importance of meeting your partner, and practice amply listening to your parents. Sometimes they may not be ready seeing you physically with someone of the same sex romantically. This may not be pleasant news for you to hear, after all of the success you have made by bringing their awareness to this issue and successfully finding acceptance. Nonetheless, be patient and listen to what your family has to say. Maybe in a week or two they will soften up to the idea. It might take a few months. Just let it happen without being forceful about the introduction.
Let your parents know that it is all right for them to ask questions at any time and to, you might say, tutor them to get to know your partner. Don’t make it up to them. Just as it may have been difficult for you to come to the realization that were truly attracted to women, it is difficult for your parents to understand and they do not want to offend you. Let their concerns be heard and not brushed over or dismissed. Lastly, part of accepting you and your lifestyle is arranging a meeting between your family members and your partner. During that meeting, your family gets a push to not just acknowledge your homosexuality but actually come to terms with it, by accepting your partner in ordinary, daily-life interactions.

Be Open About Your Relationship

Many people find it difficult to “translate” their relationship into terms that a heterosexual couple would use so that their family understands. Luckily, there is no need for this type of translation because it is the same. This is an important person who is sharing her life with you. You might be casually dating, dating or quite serious. Let your parents know the status of your relationship. If you are casually dating, you might want to reconsider bringing this person home. It is important that you show your family that you are in a committed and serious relationship as this generally helps families to recognize that in no way is your lifestyle a phase, that you are truly and happily in a lesbian relationship for the long term.
Your parents should never dismiss your relationship — showing that you are in a dedicated relationship often helps to put this message across. Do not allow them to call your girlfriend your mate or your friend, because she is your GIRLFRIEND and should be treated as any girlfriend should be treated whether in a homosexual or heterosexual relationship. Do not allow your parents to treat her as unequal to your brother’s girlfriend or sister’s boyfriend. Make sure that your parents show your girlfriend the same guidelines and respect that they would to your sibling’s significant other. One example of this is if your parents do not allow girlfriends to stay over in the same bedroom, that your girlfriend has different sleeping arrangements or vice versa. This will always vary with the parents’ beliefs and household rules.

The Introduction

There are many ways to introduce your partner. One of the best ways to make an introduction is by introducing your partner a little before she arrives. In the upcoming weeks to the meeting, talk to your parents about your girlfriend in more depth. This will stimulate other points of conversation during the meeting and also help your parents to stop fixating on the fact that your girlfriend is a lesbian and more on the fact that she is a normal person with lots of interests and great things to offer you and her family in the long term.
When your parents feel ready to meet your partner, make sure that you choose a comfortable setting for your parents. This may be in your apartment or in their home. You can also try meeting in a neutral location, such as your parent’s favorite restaurant. You want it to be a place where everyone will feel welcomed and invited. Also, try to make this special introduction to both parents instead of one at a time. This may be difficult for parents, one knowing the partner before the other one does. You want a smooth, direct meeting introducing your partner to your parents as your girlfriend with both of them present in a comfortable environment.

Be Happy

Your parents’ overall concern is for your happiness. You might be nervous or scared, but you need to show them how happy you and your girlfriend are together. This happiness that lights across your face will be transmitted to your parents. In return, your parents will see this happiness and hopefully be more inclined to the well-being of the relationship. As long as they know that you are happy, they are more likely to be happy for you and accepting of your new partner. So always stay positive during this initial meet-and-greet. Even if there is an awkward moment or something may have seemed negative, continue to be positive about the relationship and the meeting.
Allow for everyone to be heard at the dinner table. You don’t want to speak for either your partner or your parents. You can surely start a conversation and help to guide it saying “Yes, Christine is an excellent teacher, tell them more about your classes, Chris.” Giving everyone the opportunity to speak and be heard helps to make the communication and transition easier. Also try to place focus on something other than being a lesbian. Talk about anything that any other couple would talk about. Stay relaxed and if at any time you feel overwhelmed just take a deep breath and a sip of water. In the end, you will see the success of the evening and the advancement that you just took with both your partner and your parents.
Good luck and be strong. This is an amazing part of your experience and journey introducing a person that you love into your family. Be receptive and understanding of your family. It may take time for them to understand but they will eventually see your true love and the happiness that you share with this incredible person.