In this article, we will examine why your boyfriend may not want to meet your family, what it means for the relationship, and what you can do about it.
Taking the step to introduce your boyfriend to your parents is commendable. However, taking your boyfriend to meet your parents is quite tough for many people.
If you take the person too early, it could scare him away, and if you take too long to take him to meet the parents, he might think you are not serious about him.
Timing is everything. So what if you have taken the broad step of taking your boyfriend to meet your family, but he doesn’t want to meet them? What then?
It can be heartbreaking if you want your boyfriend to meet your family, but he does not want to, or you are ready to meet his family, but he won’t let you meet them. This may show that your boyfriend is not serious about the relationship.
In some instances, your boyfriend may be pocketing you. Ana Jovanovic, a psychologist and life coach says, “Pocketing is a situation where a person you’re dating avoids or hesitates to introduce you to their friends, family or other people they know, in-person or on social media, even though you’ve been going out for a while. Your relationship seems non-existent to the public eye.”
Reasons Your Boyfriend Doesn’t Want To Meet Your Family
It may be discouraging for you when you are ready to introduce your boyfriend to your family, and he does not want to meet them. You may wonder why he is not as excited as you to take the next step in the relationship.
Here are several reasons your boyfriend may not want to meet your family.
1. He Is Not Ready
Sometimes the simplest answers are the right ones. For example, if you want to introduce your boyfriend to your family and he is not ready, he may not want to go.
Your boyfriend may feel it is not yet time for the introduction and delay it. Other times he may need to accomplish something before meeting your family.
For instance, men are seen as the providers in a family, so if your boyfriend does not have the financial capability, he may not want to meet your family because he is afraid your family will judge him harshly if he does not have the financial capability.
On the other hand, he may not feel psychologically ready to deal with in-laws. It is understandable from the stories we hear about people being mishandled by in-laws.
2. He Is Pocketing You.
Your boyfriend may refuse to meet your parents if he is pocketing you. When a partner is pocketing you, he will not want to introduce you to the world as his.
He will not post you on social media or show you off to his friends and family. In turn, he will not want to meet your family because he is not comfortable with the world knowing you are together.
There is a big difference between pocketing and not being ready. According to Rachel Perlstein, a licensed social worker, transparency is the key difference between pocketing and not being ready.
When a boyfriend is not ready or feels it’s not the right time, he will out rightly tell you so. However, if he is pocketing you, he will take you around in circles and try to avoid the conversation altogether.
Knowing if your partner is pocketing you can be quite tricky; however, there are some signs you can look out for; according to Jovanovic, some of these signs include the following;
- He doesn’t make plans with other people– your boyfriend is pocketing you if he does not go out with you to events or activities that involve his friends and family. He ensures that you are not anywhere you can meet them.
- He meets you at discrete places– if your boyfriend only wants to meet you out of town or in discrete places where you will not meet someone who knows him, he is pocketing you.
- They don’t talk about people in their social circle– if your boyfriend barely talks about people in his circle, he may be pocketing you. He does not want you to be familiar with his world. He is afraid that you may ask to meet them if he talks about them.
- He doesn’t post you on his social media– in this era of social media; people are posting the people who matter to them all over their social media. So, if your boyfriend is active on social media, but there is not one picture of you, he is pocketing you. He does not want people to ask who you are or ask to meet you.
- He never properly introduces you– if you happen to run into someone he knows, he will not introduce you. According to Jovanovic, they will not hug or kiss you in front of someone they know, so they don’t signal that you are dating.
- He doesn’t talk about you– if no one in his life has heard about you even after months of dating, it is because they do not know you exist. He never talks about you to his family and friends.
- He makes excuses when you ask to meet his or your family and friends– if your boyfriend comes up with excuses every time you ask to meet his family and friends or when you want to introduce him to yours, he is pocketing you.
3. He Is Afraid
Sometimes your boyfriend does not want to meet your family because he is afraid to meet them. No matter your age, you will always be daddy’s little girl; I know I am. So, your boyfriend may be afraid to meet your family because of having to face your dad.
He is afraid of all the questions that they may bombard him with. If you come from a large family, it may be worse because everyone wants a piece of your boyfriend; he may be afraid of the overwhelming questions and conversations.
On the other hand, you may be from different economic and social backgrounds, and he is afraid that your family may think he is not good enough for you. Or maybe you have different educational backgrounds and levels, and he worries that your family may look down upon him.
4. He Doesn’t Like You
I know this is heartbreaking, but your boyfriend may not want to meet your family because he does not like you enough.
It is one of the worst reasons your boyfriend may not want to meet your family. When you take the step to introduce your boyfriend to your family, it means you see a future with him, and having him not want to meet your parents because he doesn’t like you will break you.
Maybe he just wanted to date you casually, and now things are getting too serious for him. So, when you bring up the conversation to meet the family, he will shoot it down.
5. He Feels It’s Too Early
Your boyfriend may not want to meet your family because he may feel it is too early to do so. For example, if you have been dating your boyfriend for a few months and want to introduce him to your family, he may feel the timing is not right.
Before you introduce your significant other to your family, it is important that you first know him and understand him before you take the next step.
Taking your boyfriend to meet your family too early might make him run for the hills.
Signs It Is Time To Meet The Parents
Meeting the parents is a nerve-wracking experience for most people, and you want to get it right. So here are signs that it may be time to meet the family.
- You are exclusive– if you are exclusive, you may be ready to meet the family. You cannot go introducing every Dick, Tom, and Harry to your family.
- You talk about the future– it may be time to meet the family if you are talking about the future with your boyfriend.
- He has met your friends– if your boyfriend has met most, if not all, of your friends, it is time to take the next step and introduce him to your family. At least you know how people in your life perceive him, so there may be no surprises.
- He has met some of your family– if you ran into some of your family in town and introduced your boyfriend to them, it may be time to introduce them to the rest of the family. Trust me, everyone at this point knows you have a boyfriend; news spreads like wildfire.
- You are both ready- if you both feel ready for the introductions, then go for it. There is no better time than when you both feel ready.
- You are proud of your boyfriend– if you are proud of who you are dating, family introductions are not hard. Unlike when you have a slacker boyfriend, you will not want your dad to meet. For example, I once dated a guy who looked like a dream guy, but he was a slacker; he didn’t want to work and would rather be stoned while his business ran down. He never once met any of my family; he was not someone I was proud of.
What To Do If Your Boyfriend Doesn’t Want To Meet Your Family
You can’t wait for your boyfriend to meet your family. You have even repeatedly played the scenes in your mind, but your boyfriend does not want to meet your family. What do you do?
Here are a few pointers on what to do if your boyfriend doesn’t want to meet your family.
1. Speak with Him About It
If your boyfriend does not want to meet your family, speak with him and understand his reasons. Sometimes it may not be because he doesn’t want to meet, but he may be afraid to meet them.
If he is afraid to meet them, you should reassure him and help build his confidence before the meeting. Alternatively, you can have him meet some of your family members, like your brother or sister, in a more relaxed environment before he meets the whole family. This will help ease him into the family.
It would help if you also discussed the family members and what to expect when he gets there. For example, if he is meeting the extended family, tell him what to expect from the nosy aunt and which cousin to avoid; we all have one.
Prepare him about the family cultures. For example, what do you do when you meet? What type of questions should he expect from the family?
Talking about the family and meeting some beforehand will help him acclimate to the family culture and be more at ease.
According to Hannah Beckett-Pratt, a registered counselor, meeting the parents is just meeting the parents unless you expressly articulate otherwise.
2. Be Patient
Sometimes your boyfriend may not want to meet your family because he is not ready to meet them yet. Or it may be too early in the relationship to meet the family.
If this is the case, you should be patient and give your boyfriend time to get used to the idea. If he is afraid to meet the family, he will have time to work on his nerves and build more confidence.
He will also need time to familiarize himself with your family culture and the family members through the stories you tell; this way, he will not feel like he is going in blind.
Please do not nag him.
If your boyfriend is not ready to meet the family, do not nag him; give him time to get ready, as pestering may make him run.
3. Leave Him
If your boyfriend doesn’t want to meet your family because he is pocketing you or does not like you enough, it may be time to leave.
We all deserve someone who is proud of us and shows us off. So, if your boyfriend will not show you off to his friends and family and does not want to meet yours, it may be time to throw him to the curb.
You cannot build a future with someone who is not ready to be with you.
Related Readings: My Boyfriend Doesn’t Want To Meet My Friends
Final Thoughts on Boyfriend Doesn’t Want To Meet My Family
Meeting the family can be a nerve-wracking experience for couples. If you are ready for your boyfriend to meet your family, but he doesn’t want to meet them, you may be discouraged.
However, before you jump to conclusions, you should understand why he doesn’t want to meet them.
He may be afraid, too early in the relationship, or he may be pocketing you. If he doesn’t want to meet your family because he is afraid, you should talk to him to build his confidence.
You may also introduce him to a few family members and talk about your family culture to acclimate him to your family.
It is time to leave if he doesn’t want to meet your family because he is pocketing you or doesn’t like you enough. You deserve someone who sees a future with you and is ready to be seen with you.
Photo by Lisa Fotios on Pexels.com
Sarah Williams is an author at CandidHaven.com she is an expert in human psychology having graduated with an M.S. in Psychology.
Sarah has extensive experience in relationships and dating therapy having worked for over 6 years with different groups of people including teens, dating couples, and married people.
She is a lover of life, and self-development and believes everyone deserves to be in a fulfilling relationship. Sarah loves reading self-help books and doing research on human psychology.