“When I took my first serious girlfriend home to meet my family, my parents were cool. We were young so they didn’t take the relationship too seriously. But my younger brother, was like, ‘She’s kind of disgusting. I don’t like her personality. She kind of looks like a rat almost. Yeah, dude. She’s ratty.’ And then one time she came over and he tells her to her face, “Honestly, I love my brother. I don’t think you’re worthy of him, and I have a nickname for you, and it’s 'Rat.' That’s all I have to say.” -- Brian, 28
I guess the moral of the story is that if you’re bringing someone home, just make sure no one in your family suddenly channels Jack Nicholson’s character from The Departed. Siblings and other relatives aren’t neutral parties. And given the fact they didn’t birth you and raise you for 18+ years, they’re a lot less likely to bite their tongue if you bring someone home they don’t like. Beware.
“I met this girl when I was studying abroad in Argentina. We started dating, and her mom and grandma were flying in to visit. She goes, ‘They’re so excited to meet you, and they’re so glad that you’re Jewish!’ And I tell her, ‘Uh, I’m not Jewish.’ And she just put her head in her hands and went, ‘OH MY GAWD. Just don’t tell them your last name.’ She ended up telling them after they left, we broke up eventually but my Semitism was the least of our problems.” -- Joey, 27
If your family takes the Old Testament so seriously that they wouldn’t approve of someone who’s a fan of the sequel, make sure to dot your I’s and make sure your partner doesn’t cross themselves (or eat pork). Unfortunately for some parents, religion can be a deal-breaker, even if it isn’t for their kids. The truth is you’re going to have to tell them eventually, but best to get on the same page before you wind up at a Kosher restaurant together, and your boyfriend asks for cheese on his burger. Oy vey.
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Julia Reiss is a writer and stand-up comedian who once let a boy she was dating talk to her mom on FaceTime. Follow her romantic missteps on Twitter: twhttp://twitter.com/@thereisspiece.