Two, I was totally unprepared for who I was about to meet. You have heard and seen the “traditional Italian family” right? Think of “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” but place Italian there for Greek. Okay? Right!? Everybody eats together, prays together, fights together, and, well, you know where I am going. Anyhow, super invasive, super talkative, lots of food, and WAY too much back history. I mean come on, we had only been together for a month, literally, 4 WEEKS, and there you go...by the end of the night I was starving (too scared to eat even though there was plenty), flustered, overwhelmed, nervous, anxious, and tired. Yes, tired. I ended up staying 5 hours! Not because I had to, but because I couldn’t just up and leave. I had too many family photo albums to look through!
Honestly, though, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Despite all of the laughter, talking, pictures, and food, I found that it was a lot easier than I imagined. Part of it was because I had read all of the worst case scenarios online (now, those are scary. Trust me. Don’t read them too deeply.). The other part was that I just didn’t know how to prepare myself for it. I went in thinking one thing, and walked out feeling very much differently. In hindsight, there are some kernels of thought that would have been useful.
For one, DON’T OVERTHINK IT
When we overthink things, we set ourselves up for failure because we know that in our heart, we can only present ourselves as who we are. Also, overthinking brings on anxiety and worry because it places your mind into the possibilities of the future, but you are living here in the now.
Second, BE YOUR BEST SELF
SO, really, he chose you. Chances are he loves you, or he is super close to saying that ‘L’ word, don’t you think he wants his family to fall in love with the ‘YOU’ that ‘YOU’ are too? It’s okay. Not a single person is perfect, but to him, you are perfect enough for him to bring you into his home. This was a hard concept for me!
Third, INITIATE CONVERSATION and INVITE QUESTIONS
It is impossible to settle your nerves completely. Come on, these are new waters and this is SCARY! But something that I have always said to myself, like holding a rubbing stone in your pocket, a little conversation is a great way to break the ice. It also shows that you are genuinely interested in their special family member. Just as they are going to want to get to know you, you can also get to know them. Again, it’s okay.
Fourth, DON’T PAY TOO MUCH ATTENTION TO BACK STORIES.
So, this is for those dramatic entrances right? The ones where you are prepared for the worst...like, “my dad is crazy. He is going to ask you weird questions.” That kind of stems up some anxiety, right? Well, whether he is or whether he isn’t allow yourself to be the judge of that. Prejudgement can actually cause you to have early assumptions that aren’t always accurate.
Finally, ENJOY YOURSELF.
Please. At the end of the day, this experience is one of your many firsts that you may have with this significant person. Take time to live in the moment by taking small breaths, smiling through your nerves, and squeeze your lover’s arm when you get a little tense. This is fun; it is memorable, even if it hasn’t happened yet, it, like other things wonderful, will come to pass as one of your greatest times, or, in my case, most unique!! We want to hear about your stories! Share below!