Hey Readers, it’s huggable Heather again with advice for all the ladies! A question I commonly get from all sides is about parents – his parents, her parents, my parents and your parents. Today’s topic is, “How to Introduce Your Asian Boyfriend and Your Family!” While I already addressed meeting his parents in another article, I’d like to take a moment and talk about how you can bring your new Asian boyfriend back to the family and knock everybody’s socks off.
1) Pre-emptive strikes:
I found myself doing this in general when I would talk about an Asian boyfriend to my family, but it’s best clear some air between him and your family before he walks in the door. One question that is generally unavoidable is “so…what kind of Asian are you?” pretty much within an hour of introductions. To make this a little less awkward, I tell everyone about where he was born, if he speaks a second language, when he moved here, and any other Asian-related things about him before they meet him. That way they don’t ask him directly and come off as nosy or cause him to feel uncomfortable.
Another thing you can do before he meets the family is prepare him. Granted, the point of your man meeting the family is to connect two parts of your life in the most natural, organic manner possible, but sometimes a little help goes a long way. Tell him things he can do or say that may give him a leg up in your family and be more accepted. One weird thing my family does constantly quote movies or Simpsons episodes, so if there’s an opportunity to quote them, I tell guys to take it.
2. “The dog/baby test”:
The dog. The baby. The grandma. The younger brother. The favorite uncle. Everybody has someone in their family that the clan trusts completely. Depending on the structure of your family, it could be different than another’s. My family has a 1 year old baby who is picky about people she attaches to, so if you get on her good side, the rest of the family generally accepts you. You can prepare your Asian boyfriend by telling him things to do to make that happen. If your grandma enjoys card games, tell him he should initiate a round of canasta. If the uncle prefers the Red Sox to the Yankees, remind him to bring a Red Sox hat to the next family barbecue. If the younger brother is sitting alone, ask him to bestow upon the boy some of his “man to man” knowledge. If he can win over that one person, the rest of the family will soon follow suit.
3. Keep checking back on him:
Your family is awesome. You love them dearly and, even though they have their flaws, you think the world of them. That’s just great, because they think the world of you. However, they have no idea who this new person is and he has no idea who they are. While it will get more relaxed over time, it can be stressful the first time you bring him home. Before consenting to any activity or food, ask him if he is comfortable with it. Maybe he’s just not ready to go on a 4th of July picnic with the extended relatives or maybe he doesn’t want to see what church your parents go to each Sunday. If you push him without asking, he will resent you later on. To avoid any fighting, a simple confirmation from him before agreeing to a gathering. Not only will he thank you for being considerate, your family will see that he wants to go to these things and that will reflect positively on him.
My Asian boyfriend meeting my family has always been a fun yet stressful situation for me. I avoided it for as long as I could because I didn’t know what to do. Over the years, I’ve learned what I’ve done wrong and what I could do better as I went along, but there’s always room for improvement. Until perfection happens, I have to work with the knowledge I have, which has serviced me well. I’m these tips and tricks are enough to help you and your Asian beau charm the entire family.