(Closed) Our parents meeting for the first time… Nervous!

posted 6 years ago in Family
  • poll: Our plan is:
    A good one: Mingling for an hour over drinks, and then catching a comedy show sounds fun. : (11 votes)
    39 %
    An awkward one: Consider an alternative. (Please explain) : (17 votes)
    61 %
  • Post # 3
    4803 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: September 2011

    You said you wanted real advice, and to be honest I think it’s more than a bit strange that for their first time meeting you two are having them attend an event without you and your Fiance or your parent’s spouses. I would have everyone over for dinner or something instead. Because at the show you and your Fiance won’t be there to help the conversation flow, bring up things your parents may have in common, etc. It’s almost like a blind date or like you’re trying to dorce them to be friends, when really they just need to meet. And obviously your parent’s re-marriages haven’t been easy on you, but their new spouses are your step-parents, it seems weird to leave them out. I can see why your dad is uncomfortable with it, I’m sure you’d feel awkward if you were specifically asked to not bring your Fiance to a family event.


    I’m sorry OP, I feel bad because I don’t want to make you any more nervous about this than you already are – but the whole thing, especially them being at the show without you and your Fiance, could be a recipe for total awkwardness depending on how they get along.

    Post # 4
    714 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: August 2013

    @Arganique:  I really over-stressed about our parents meeting for the first time (we’d been together for 4 years and we all live in the same city but for some reason they just never met!) But everything went even better than I could have imagined!

    Just out of curiosity, why aren’t you and your Fiance going to the comedy show? It might make you feel better/more in control if you’re there to supervise.

    I think that because your parents know that it’s important to you they’ll put on a happy face and make it work, and if it doesn’t does it REALLY matter? I mean of course ideally you want everyone to get along, but if the worst happends then they’ll just have to meet a couple more times and it might just be a funny story?

    Post # 5
    7679 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: November 1999

    @Arganique:  I have divorced parents who don’t get along at all. If one is uncomfortable (as in the case here) I suggest they never meet until the wedding (where they can be seated well apart). Like my parents have for their children’s weddings.

    You say they have to meet. I disagree. Why do they all need to meet at the same time?

    Why don’t your fiance’s parents meet your parents separately? I’m sure that’s what your fiance did. And what everyone else has done in the last 8 years who has met both your parents. So why should it be different with your fiance’s parents?

    My alternate suggestion is: tell your dad to skip it, and arrange for him and his wife to meet FI’s parents at another time.

    Post # 6
    985 posts
    Busy bee

    I think the mingling and then a show would be a good idea – that is similar to how my mum met my SO’s parents (dad was unable to attend). I agree though that you and your Fiance should be there as well. While I know there won’t be much discussion during the show, afterwards and in any intermissions/breaks it could beawkward for both parties. If they want to meet up again without you then they can arrange that themselves but for the first time I think you and Fiance should be there for some common ground and so they don’t feel as if they’re sort of being forced to get along. 

    I also agree with PPs that having FI’s parents meet your mum could be separate from them meeting your dad. 

    Post # 7
    4046 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: November 1999

    I don’t know why your parents have to meet his parents at the same time? Why not have them just meet your mom/her spouse or just your dad/his wife, I don’t understand why it has to be at the same time. It seems very awkward to have your divorced parents basically go on a double date with his parents.

    I think it would be much less awkward if they didn’t have to sit together at the show ( so if they are not getting along, they only see each other at the breaks/intermissions), or if you were there to supervise. Otherwise you will be left wondering how it went.

    Post # 8
    1356 posts
    Bumble bee

    Honestly, I have to agree with PPs. It’s weird for them to talk for an hour and then have to sit next to each other. What you really want to achieve during their first meeting is getting past the awkward stage – they can only do that if they are able to talk. And yes, you should be there. I know it’s traditional that the parents meet by themselves, but I’ve always found that to be excessively awkward. 

    About the new spouses… I think it’s also very strange for the in laws to meet the new spouses that first time. If they are newly married, I’m assuming these new spouses are not really like parents to you. So why should your in laws have to meet them, and why should they meet you in laws? That seems very odd to me. I’m someone who totally agrees with the couples being “social units” but in this case, I think their presence would make it weird for everyone (except your father, perhaps). But then again, it might take some of the pressure off, so I say go with your gut feeling on this one. Your father should absolutely respect your decision.

    Good luck! I hope it goes well. Your post made my stress level go up a notch from thinking about my own in-law/parents meeting 😉

    Post # 9
    1835 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: November 2012 - Oak Tree Manor

    @Arganique:  Ugh I’m sorry that’s such a complicated situation!!

    I think it’s best for your parents to meet your FI’s parents separately, or as a PP suggested, invite them all over for dinner. For all of the awkward “first meetings” (my parents meeting my DH’s parents for the first time when we were dating, meeting my brother’s girlfriend for the first time, etc.) I’ve found the least awkward way to do it is to go out to dinner. Could you plan a dinner date for you and your Fiance, FI’s parents, and your mom and her new husband? And a separate dinner date for you and your Fiance, FI’s parents, and your dad and his new wife? That might be best, rather than forcing your parents together – you want the first time either of your parents meet your FI’s parents to be as stressfree and easy as possible, so everyone can feel comfortable and get to know each other (rather than focusing on old grudges – it might be hard for your parents to think about anything other than that if they’re meeting your FI’s parents at the same time).

    Post # 10
    2638 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: November 2006

    I agree I think it’s very strange to basically send his parents and your divorced, remarried parents on a double date . . . without you and your Fiance.

    Post # 11
    1278 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: March 2013

    @Wonderstruck:  Why arent u and Fiance going to the show? I dont understand that. 

    Post # 12
    680 posts
    Busy bee

    I think it would be best for you all to maybe meet for dinner somewhere for the first meeting, that way, it can be short and sweet if things get a bit awkward. If things go well, you all can go out for drinks afterwards and continue to talk. 

    Post # 13
    4803 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: September 2011

    @mjwyatt84:  I think you meant to respond to the OP…I was also questioning why they’re not going to the show. I think @daybyday: described it best, it is like a double date and kinda awkward.

    Post # 16
    4464 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: February 2012

    I have divorced parents and I have to be honest, I would never put them together in a situation like this. If it matters, my parents have been divorced for 14 years. I would have my father and his partner (as a couple) meet my fiance’s parents, and then I would have my mother and her fiance meet my fiance’s parents. I actually think it’s a tad disrespectful to your parent’s new spouses, considering that they are now a unit and partners. I think it’s unfair to your parents to have them meeting these very important new people and not have their own partner standing next to them through it. 

    ETA: I just read your update. I think it’s a good idea to have them meet at the sushi restaurant instead. Your fiance and you will be at the restaurant with them the whole time? I think it’s best to have you guys there. Will your mom’s husband be invited to the sushi restaurant?

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