Introducing Your Boyfriend to Your African Parents: #GirlTalk with Demi Akin
How to introduce your boyfriend to your parents – It’s totally not an easy thing to do! That’s why I’ve sought out some hot tips from the graceful Demi of Demi Akin – a DIY superstar, fashionista and a girl whose Relationship Resume looks pretty good!
One of the evergreen jokes about African parents is how they expect you to sashay through the education years – primary, secondary and university – without even breathing near boys, then all of a sudden expect a husband (ozzband) to appear once you’re done with university. This doesn’t apply to all of us, of course – some parents want the husband to appear while you’re in university, some after your compulsory National Youth Service (NYSC) and some, once you start making money. Some tie it to a particular age – 25 and unmarried? Ah! Their enemies in the village have triumphed over them.
One of the evergreen jokes about African parents is that of how they expect you to sashay through the education years - primary, secondary and university - without even breathing near boys, then all of a sudden expect a husband (ozzband) to appear once… Click To Tweet
Let’s face it – not all of us can be open with our parents. This can stem from a lack of communication, or just a different set up for the relationship – your parents are strict and take no nonsense. The thought of you introducing someone you are dating to them gets your heart racing. Perhaps this interview would be able to shed some light – no matter how small – on how to overcome this fear.
GIRL TALK WITH DEMI AKIN
How long have you been together for?
Chi and I have been together for 3 years and 10 months although we’ve known each other for over 14 years in some way.
How and where did you meet?
Well, we went to the same secondary school but we hardly spoke. We weren’t friends and in fact, how we started talking remains a mystery; but we’ve agreed to tell people we ‘met’ on Facebook lol. That’s where the ‘relationship’ started because I was in the UK and he was in Nigeria when we started dating.
How long was it before you introduced him to your parents? Are your parents strict?
I think I introduced him to my parents 2 weeks after we started dating #lol but I don’t necessarily recommend that for everyone. I introduced him to my parents that early because
1 – My parents are okay with the idea of me and my siblings dating
2 – I just got out of a bad relationship a few months back and didn’t want another time waster (even though I was just 20). So I wanted to ‘scare’ him away quick if he wasn’t in for the long run.
What was it like introducing your boyfriend to your parents?
It was normal to me. My mum already knew him because she taught in our secondary school. My dad was the one person I was a bit scared to tell but a few days to my 20th birthday, he said to me “You know if you have a boyfriend you can tell me”. So I ceased the opportunity and told him about Chi. I think my situation is very unique and not necessarily the typical Nigerian/African family situation.
Do you think one should obtain permission to date from their parents before seizing the bae?
In my opinion, No. Even your heart doesn’t ask you for permission before you fall in love with someone; Although it’s very important to get your parents blessing in your relationship before you invest so much into it. I advice anyone who asks this question to let the guy visit your home a few times just to see how your parents ‘react’ to the person. You can tell a lot by their body language and the way they treat the person.
I advice anyone who asks this question to let the guy visit your home a few times just to see how your parents ‘react’ to the person. You can tell a lot by their body language and the way they treat the person. #dating101 #africanparents #girltalk Click To Tweet
Believe it or not, parents know when their children have feelings for someone, especially if you have that person over a few times. They’ll naturally begin to make an effort to interact with this ‘friend’ of yours; even if it’s just to make sure you’re not hanging out with the wrong crowd.
How to Introduce Your Boyfriend to Your Family
If one had a boyfriend, but has strict parents, what are your 3 top tips for introducing a boyfriend to your family?
1 – Start small
Don’t introduce your boyfriend to your entire family. If you have siblings, start with your siblings first. If your siblings like him, then it’s a good sign and it will be easier to introduce him to your parents eventually. It’ll also make him more comfortable with the idea of meeting your parents because he already has a ‘connection’ with other members of the family. If you don’t have siblings, introduce him to a close friend or cousin that you’re really close to. It’ll have the same effect.
If you have siblings, start with your siblings first. If your siblings like him, then it’s a good sign and it will be easier to introduce him to your parents eventually. - @ms_demiakin #africanparents #girltalk #dating101 Click To Tweet
2 – Invite him for functions/events where your family will be
This could be a picnic, a barbeque, a wedding or any event that inviting a friend will not seem suspicious. You don’t want to make it so obvious that this person is special so it has to be an event where any friend of yours can attend too.
The point is to create opportunities for brief interactions between your boyfriend and your family. This will help them get acquainted with him and if your parents like him or not, they’ll definitely let you know. Click To Tweet
The point is to create opportunities for brief interactions between your boyfriend and your family. This will help them get acquainted with him and if your parents like him or not, they’ll definitely let you know. We can all relate to those moments when your mum asks “That your friend that came, who is he?”.
Now, if you’re asked such a question and you feel they’ll freak out if you say he’s your boyfriend, reply the question by listing his ‘credential’ rather than putting a tag on the sort of relationship you have with him. Something like “He’s name is XYZ…”, ‘We work in the same office…” or “We go to the same school… “; “He’s goes to our church. He’s parents are XYZ…”.
3 – Just do it
At some point you will have to come clean with it, at least if it’s a relationship you’ll like to go beyond boyfriend and girlfriend level. So don’t be afraid but also make sure you understand how your parents reason with regards to dating. Some parents don’t want to hear about a boyfriend till you’re done with uni. That’s fine, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t date. Just wait till you’re done with uni before you introduce him to your family.
Final Thoughts on African Parents and Boyfriends
Asides from that, I feel most African parents just see relationships as distractions and in all honesty, asking you not to date is their way of saying don’t get distracted with a relationship. Relationships are hard work.
Believe it or not, all our African Parents do is done in love. They are only looking out for their baby girl. - @ms_demiakin Get the full gist on how to introduce your boyfriend to your family - in particular your African parents in this post! It's a… Click To Tweet
There are a lot of ups and downs and emotional instability is not something you need to deal with at certain stages of your life. So don’t see them acting a certain way as bad thing. Believe it or not, all our African Parents do is done in love. They are only looking out for their baby girl.
Am I the only one that absolutely loves Demi’s answers? I know they’re not a one-stop solution to this problem as everyone is different, but I wish luck to anyone out there who might be having this problem! You have to do it someday, hey?
Ever had problems introducing your boyfriend to your parents – What are your top tips? Do you think you need permission from your parents to date?