Woman Left ‘Embarrassed’ Over In-Laws Not Meeting on Trip Splits Opinion

A post on Mumsnet has sparked an interesting conversation about when is the right time for partners’ parents to meet and how often they should see each other, and it would seem the jury’s out.

In the post, user Irmagerd1 describes how she has been with her partner for two years, and their parents have never met. “My parents are really keen to meet my in laws. Apparently it’s mutual but I don’t see any evidence of the in laws trying. I know COVID played a part but they’ve been out and about and traveling etc. For a while now. My parents are even willing to drive 2 hours to where they live and get a hotel. They’ve suggested this a few times, or tried to meet up with his in laws when they came to see my partner but it didn’t happen. The in laws have never said anything like ‘Oh we’d love to meet them.'”

She described how when talking about an upcoming visit to her partner’s parents, her parents suggested they go and stay in a nearby city and meet up for dinner.

Woman feeling ignored. Stock images. Users on Mumsnet cannot agree when, if ever, a couple’s parents should meet.
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“My partner just said ‘maybe another time’ And I assume he’s told his parents. If they really wanted to it would be arranged. They are also part time/semi retired, apparently they’ve got something planned one day, but my family will be there for 3 days. I don’t believe that they can’t spare 2 hours in 3 days to meet up with them. I felt embarrassed telling my family. I think my parents will just give up soon and I feel bad, i mean my parents are adults they’ll get over it but I’m not sure if they’ll ever meet at this rate.”

Many took to the comments to discuss their own experiences and views, and while some thought it was strange that after two years (COVID pandemic excepting) the two sets of parents hadn’t met, others didn’t think it was a big deal at all. One user wrote: “I didn’t know this was a thing. Our parents only met a few weeks before our wedding. Since then only for christenings/birthdays.” Another disagreed: “You would think they would both be nosy/interested to see what the parents of the person their son lives with are like? Strange.”

While the outdated and ethically dubious paradigm of the boy asking the girl to meet his mother, and the expectation of delight from said girl and paradoxically the boy running a mile when the girl asks the same, is certainly dying out, meeting the parents does suggest a semblance of commitment in a relationship.

An article on the website LifeSavvy reads: “If you’ve met your partner’s parents, it might be time to return the favor and introduce her to yours.

“Of course, it’s a good idea to check with your parents first, too. Some people are happy to meet every person their child dates, while others only want to be introduced if marriage is on the table.

“And don’t feel pressured to take your partner to meet your parents if extenuating circumstances would make such a meeting difficult.

“However, if there aren’t any extenuating circumstances, and you’ve met your partner’s parents, that’s a good indication it’s time for her to meet yours, too.”

If you have a similar family dilemma, let us know via life@newsweek.com. We can ask experts for advice, and your story could be featured on Newsweek.

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