Making it to the “meet the family” stage is a big moment in any relationship. Sure, you might introduce someone you’re casually dating to your friends pretty early in the game, but meeting family generally implies a deeper level of involvement. Although this introduction might be exciting for you and your significant other, there are definitely ways to introduce your new partner to family to ensure the meeting goes smoothly for everyone involved.

It can be tricky to facilitate introductions when the only thing both parties have in common is a mutual love of your company. But some situations and scenarios work better than others for these meetings. The way you choose to conduct these introductions will vary for everyone, but — as the only person who already knows everyone involved — you are the best one to make these judgement calls. Bringing a non-sporty partner to your family’s rowdy Super Bowl celebration might not be the best way to make positive introductions. But by recognizing situations that will make both your partner and family feel at home, you can let everyone mingle in the most relaxed setting possible. This will make the whole process much less stressful and much more positive for everyone involved.

1. Use The Holidays And Give Your SO Some Insight

The holidays are a great time to introduce your new partner to your extended family, as it may be the one time of year you can get everybody in one place. But before you drop your partner into the fray, follow the Huffington Post's advice and prep your partner on your family's basic dynamics. This can help your new SO avoid potential minefields, and identify potential common ground for conversation. Who knows? Maybe your new partner and favorite cousin will hit it off over their mutual love of craft beer.

2. Keep It Casual

Buzzfeed suggests meeting some place public and just plan to swing by for a few minutes. This may be the best bet if you're nervous about a less than stellar meeting.

3. Visit Your Parents At Their Home

As NewsOK advises, bringing your new partner over to your parents' house is a good idea because your folks will naturally feel comfortable and (hopefully) try their hardest to be good hosts. Chances are everyone can enjoy an easygoing conversation gathered around the kitchen table.

4. Stay Neutral For Kids

When you're introducing your kids to a new partner, the Huffington Post recommends keeping the initial meeting short and low-key at neutral locations. Parks or restaurants are great for this first meetup.

5. Sing Your SO's Praises

Your partner is probably trying to make a good first impression on your family, but it's difficult to convey all of your good qualities in a short span of time. To pave the way for a positive meeting, give your family a quick rundown of the qualities that you admire about your partner, as Psychology Today suggests. This will take some of the stress off the initial first impression.

6. Choose A Group

When introducing your new SO to family — especially your children — the Huffington Post advises to hold the first few meetings in a group setting. This will help children feel less threatened and get a chance to know your new partner in a relaxed, no-pressure environment.

7. Don't Forget Fluffy!

As the New York Times reports, pets can greatly affect a family's relationships and dynamics. When your significant other is getting to know the rest of your family, make sure he'll get along with your pets, too. If your dog is kind of territorial, follow VetStreet's advice and try introducing her to your partner in a location outside the home, such as a park or outdoor cafe. This may help future visits go more smoothly as Fido starts to accept your new SO as part of the pack.

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