There is little more nerve wracking than the first time someone introduces their partner to their parents.
For everyone involved.
Both halves of the couple worry that the parents will judge their every move, disapprove of the partner's choice of profession, or decide that they aren't good enough for their son or daughter.
Making both the child and significant other wish more than anything that they knew what was going through the heads of the parents.
Redditor Umikaloo was also curious to know what parents are thinking the first time they meet their children's new partner, leading them to ask:
"Parents of reddit: How do you feel when your kid brings back a girlfriend/boyfriend? How do you decide whether you like them or not?"
If They're Happy, I'm Happy...
"It's not up to me to like them, it's up to her. If she does, then I do."
"I care that my daughter is, safe, happy, motivated, handling her own business."
"Apart from that, I'm just enjoying watching her experience things, and hoping she includes me in some of that."- Mahhrat
It Can Be Just As Nerve Wracking For Them.
"Met my daughter's boyfriend the other day.'
"I must admit I was a bit nervous and I remember very well being 18 and what I was thinking/wanting, but had a word with myself to be welcoming and warm and to treat him as an equal, my daughter's friend, and therefore my friend."
"Anyway, he’s a nice young man so it’s all good."
"But to answer your question I guess if he’s nice I’ll like him if he’s a d*ck I won't."
"Either way as far as my daughter is concerned I’ll like him."- dou8le8u88lewatching you meet the parents GIFGiphy
Just Give It Time
"I come from a middle class Indian immigrant family and my parents were never cool with us kids having boyfriends."
"So when at the age of 25 I brought my boyfriend home, they were a bit hesitant and took a long time to open up to him."
"My mom went all mother-in-law mode and felt she had to keep up appearances."
"If he came over and she was laying on the couch, she would get up and act all formal."
"The first day he met my dad, I asked my dad afterward what he thinks of my boyfriend, his response was 'don't lose him, that's all'."
"Now he comes over and hangs out with them without an ounce of formality."
"They all have little inside jokes with him, my siblings included."
"My parents went car shopping and I didn't get to go so my dad asked if the boyfriend and I would go take a look at the car one day after work."
"They just really wanted him to check it out too, which felt so special to me because they value his opinion and he's part of the family now."
"I never would have imagined that my family would welcome him like this."
"Melts my heart."- annnabear
Parents Have A Way Of Surprising You
"Not a parent, but this was my experience with my mother when I was a teen."
"So, as a teen, my mother pulled me to the side and gave me the 'gay talk'."
"You know, the ''I'll still love you even if you were gay' talk."
"I asked her why she thought I was gay and she said it was because I never bring any girls to the house."
"Guess what I did within the next few days?"
"I brought a girl in the house."
"Guess what my mother did?"
"She kicked her out and gave me a lecture on how inappropriate it was to bring girls to the house."
"Yes, it makes no sense."- Mr-Klausfamily guy no girls allowed GIFGiphy
Young, YOUNG, Love
"My 4yo daughter introduced me to the 5yo neighbor kid as a bf."
"She told me he's really good at running fast and he appreciates snails as much as she does."
'Needless to say, this is a keeper."- LittleMissEmmet
What Does This Even Mean?
"My daughter just started dating."
"She was mortified when I picked them up and asked if everything was Gucci."- raynbowz13
Just Be Polite, And Wait It Out...
"My daughter, 13, wanted me to meet her first 'real' boyfriend."
"I was nice and pleasant, but I knew it wouldn't last cause he was all looks and no brains."
"Of course, as jr high relationships go, it was about a 2 month ordeal."
"I think all parents should try and be cordial, unless the person feels like a serial killer or something."- littlecakebakerAriana Grande Couple GIF by Justin BieberGiphy
"I have always instinctively known within seconds of meeting them. I've liked all but one of my son's partners, and the one I didn't feel right about was the one who screwed him up."
"I’ve given my daughter the best advice I can give her and she’s leaps and bounds better at relationships than a lot of older adults I know (she’s nearly drinking age where we’re from)."
"That’s not to brag though as a lot of what I told her was don’t do the same dumb sh*t I did. Well that and to always know her worth."
"The moment someone makes her feel less important than they are they get the boot."
"She doesn’t try to fix people she dates. You are who you are and if you’re not right then oh well (a direct quote)."
"Honestly it’s something she said to me once that helped me be better off when dating (married now)."
"I’d made the remark that I hadn’t understood some sappy things people do when they’re in love."
"She looked me dead in the eyes and said “That’s because you’ve loved but never been in love.” She wasn’t wrong and as much as I sometimes hate to admit it she rarely is."
"That caused me to examine the relationship I was in under closer scrutiny than I ever had before."
"My husband today is the most amazing husband and father we could have asked for but never realized (until now) that we deserved."
Give Me A Reason Not To
"Not a parent so I called my mom. She stated and I quote:"
“I like all of them until they give me reason not to. Then I never tell you whether I like them or not, so I don’t influence your own judgement. I cannot choose for you, although sometimes I wish I could.” - Mrs. UnappreciatedSon
"It's about respect, if she treats him right, and compatibility."
"On the other end, not her dad, but my girlfriend's roommate is this old grizzled marine dude. She told me that he liked me because I didn't try to get him to like, which apparently most people do. I was just myself and acted naturally, which he appreciated. Just be yourself and the people that will like you will like you, and the people who won't won't. But always be respectful."
"My stepdaughters boyfriend came into MY house and we were talking about computer games and he had the audacity to tell me why red dead 2 was better than god of war. IN MY HOUSE!! But respect to the lad for that, he stuck to his principals and a year later still argues with me about gaming stuff."
Same Brand of Weird
"My eldest is 15, and boys in high school can be....gross. The way they speak to girls (and girls to boys) is just so far out of line it makes me ill. But her boyfriend is respectful to her and her family. Most importantly they're the same brand of weird. They facetime 19 hours a day I swear, but yesterday they had an entire conversation about penguins both using the same weird fake Russian type accent. He's her safe place and without very good cause, I'd never get in the way of that."
Blown Out of Proportion
"Here's my dad's take. He liked my ex-BF at first because he was initially polite and friendly, and I was very happy with him. However, my dad started to notice red flags later on and his opinion of him changed. For example, when we came back to my place from a day trip, he had sulked because I didn't show the enthusiasm he wanted about his favorite landmark. My dad told him that he should forgive me, but he still would not stop whining. My dad later told me that his reaction was blown out of proportion. Basically my dad would decide whether or not to like any guy I bring home based on the way he treats me."
"Edit: I did not show zero interest in what my ex liked. I just wasn't as over the top excited as he wanted me to be."
Reflection of Parenting
"I love to meet his girlfriends. In a very self-serving way, I think his ability to attract charming ladies reflects the quality of my parenting."
"On one hand, I like whoever brings joy to his life. On the other hand, I prefer to be around polite and well-spoken people. A bit of nervousness on her part indicates that meeting me is important to her."
It's ingrained in parent's DNA to worry about their children.
And all parents have an idea of how they want their children's lives to turn out.
Hence their immediate trepidation when they bring their first significant other home.
Of course, their trepidation doesn't always come from a place of judgment, but rather a place of sadness.
As the first partner is a bittersweet reminder that their children aren't children anymore.