You’ve recently come out as gay, bisexual, or pansexual and you want to introduce the person you’re dating to your parents but not sure how they might take it.
We know you may be feeling anxious or nervous right now. So here are some things to think about to make it easier for you.
Think about when you might introduce your new partner. Of course, it is up to you when you want to do this but just bear in mind that there’s a potential that if your family have taken your coming out badly that they may need time to adjust. However, on the other hand them meeting the person you have started dating could help show them that your sexuality is real and that you are happy.
If you are looking for advice on coming out to your parents, we’ve written nine tips to help get you started:
Think about how and when you might share the news that you’re dating someone and let them know that you’d like to introduce them.
It might help to think of it as warming them up to meeting your partner. Telling your parents about the things you have in common and how they make you feel happy might lead to your parents naturally asking when they might get to meet them. If not, then you could ask your parents when they’d feel ready to meet them.
Where to meet
Picking a neutral place for the first meeting could help relieve any potential pressure. Some people find it helpful to pick something low key to avoid everyone feeling like they have to dress up and feel even more uncomfortable. Some people find it helps relax things a bit to meet whilst doing an activity such a going to the cinema or for a walk in the park.
If you still live at home, you might want to think about how safe and comfortable you feel about inviting your new partner to stay overnight. Some people find it helpful to invite their partner over during the day a few times so that their parents can get more used to them before inviting them to stay overnight.
Of course, though this is not about making your parents comfortable. However, thinking and pre-empting how they might react could help create situations where both you and your partner feel more comfortable and safer.
Reach out for support
Obviously, you can’t force your parents to accept your partner. It may be that with time they start to accept your sexuality more and in turn accept your partner.
However, this might not happen, and this can be a painful place to be in. Remember support is out there. Try to reach out to people you can trust to talk about how you’re feeling and get support.
Give it time
Even if your parents are not accepting of your new relationship, they may still be watching from the side lines. They hopefully will begin to see that you’re the same person as before you came out and that now you’re happier and more confident in who you are.
As time passes it’s possible that your parents will come to realise that this is not a phase and that you’re bravely living your life with honesty.
Chloe Foster has a background in working in mental health and youth work. Today she runs Sussex Rainbow Counselling where she specialises in counselling LGBTQ clients online.
Chloe holds a postgraduate diploma in psychotherapeutic humanistic counselling from The University of Brighton. She is also an approved accredited registrant member of the National Counselling Society, and an accredited gender, sexuality and relationship diversities therapist with Pink Therapy.