Introducing a special someone to your family at the holidays? Consider these tips: Ask Ellie

Dear readers: It’s Christmas and countless singles, couples and families are apparently asking themselves, “Is it too soon to DTR (Define the Relationship)? Are the holidays the right time to meet my SO’s (Significant Other’s) family?”These are the brain-searing questions sent to relationship writers from promotions people at dating-related companies — in this case, the California-based online dating website “eHarmony” — linking the season to the desired topic of finding/keeping a partner and hopefully a joint future, during Christmas. With a promise on their official site, stating “We're Here to Help You Find Your Perfect Match,” would-be-daters are currently being asked to make some decisions based on eHarmony’s seasonal research:Example: one in three Canadians are happy to introduce a partner to their family within the first three months of a relationship. Daters within Generation Z (a.k.a. Gen Z, also called “zoomers” born within the mid-to-late 1990s till the early 2010s) are eager to meld families, with 53 per cent introducing their significant other to their family within the first one to three months. That apparently significant fact compares with just 30 per cent of Millennials (Gen Y, the cohort following Gen X including anyone born between 1981 and 1996). Far less confusing is this simple fact from the research conclusions: “53 per cent of Canadians find it very important that their family likes their significant other.”Whew! That’s a relief for the many parents and close relatives of daters, being introduced today and over the next few weeks to potential additions to the entire family. But there’s no research helping them decide if the SO is the right person for their beloved adult daughter or son. That’s up to the dater, calling for some cautionary thoughts from me:Don’t make quick judgments. Take time to listen to the would-be partner. It’s likely they will be somewhat nervous about how they’re perceived. Some will try to impress with accomplishments, others at being amusing. What matters is how they treat your offspring, who may also be trying too hard for you to approve of their choice.Respect your adult child’s feelings and avoid being critical of their preference even if you see a character trait that concerns you. Speaking up too soon can cause a reverse reaction, wherein your child has to defend their choice.In sum, enjoy the holidays! The new year that follows is the time for new beginnings, and if necessary, new reflections on how to understand and accept the people brought into your family circle.FEEDBACK Regarding the mother of teenage boys worried about the late-night female visitors to men renting a neighbourhood house (Dec. 3):“I like the “say nothing” approach. If there’s no open violation of any bylaws, like noise, then it’s none of anyone’s business.“There are very many potential “G-rated” explanations.“e.g., if someone’s ill and those “coming and going” are health-care workers?“Could they be running a legitimate business? There are many businesses where starting hours and closing hours are not 9 to 5 e.g., bakers, food servers, bartenders, etc.“Could they be legitimate entertainers? I’ve attended PG-rated bachelor parties where the “female entertainers” are only there to chat with occasional hugs for photos. Or could they be an up-and-coming band? “Also, her kids at 16 may already know what’s going on and have more “factual” information than the mother.“Say nothing and let any neighbourly relations evolve without preconditions.”Ellie’s tip of the dayChristmas is a good opportunity to introduce your potential partner to your family. But if either of you is hesitant, then not yet.Ellie Tesher is an advice columnist for the Star and based in Toronto. Send your relationship questions via email: ellie@thestar.ca.

Introducing a special someone to your family at the holidays? Consider these tips: Ask Ellie

Dear readers: It’s Christmas and countless singles, couples and families are apparently asking themselves, “Is it too soon to DTR (Define the Relationship)? Are the holidays the right time to meet my SO’s (Significant Other’s) family?”

These are the brain-searing questions sent to relationship writers from promotions people at dating-related companies — in this case, the California-based online dating website “eHarmony” — linking the season to the desired topic of finding/keeping a partner and hopefully a joint future, during Christmas.

With a promise on their official site, stating “We're Here to Help You Find Your Perfect Match,” would-be-daters are currently being asked to make some decisions based on eHarmony’s seasonal research:

Example: one in three Canadians are happy to introduce a partner to their family within the first three months of a relationship.

Daters within Generation Z (a.k.a. Gen Z, also called “zoomers” born within the mid-to-late 1990s till the early 2010s) are eager to meld families, with 53 per cent introducing their significant other to their family within the first one to three months.

That apparently significant fact compares with just 30 per cent of Millennials (Gen Y, the cohort following Gen X including anyone born between 1981 and 1996).

Far less confusing is this simple fact from the research conclusions: “53 per cent of Canadians find it very important that their family likes their significant other.”

Whew! That’s a relief for the many parents and close relatives of daters, being introduced today and over the next few weeks to potential additions to the entire family.

But there’s no research helping them decide if the SO is the right person for their beloved adult daughter or son. That’s up to the dater, calling for some cautionary thoughts from me:

Don’t make quick judgments. Take time to listen to the would-be partner. It’s likely they will be somewhat nervous about how they’re perceived.

Some will try to impress with accomplishments, others at being amusing. What matters is how they treat your offspring, who may also be trying too hard for you to approve of their choice.

Respect your adult child’s feelings and avoid being critical of their preference even if you see a character trait that concerns you.

Speaking up too soon can cause a reverse reaction, wherein your child has to defend their choice.

In sum, enjoy the holidays! The new year that follows is the time for new beginnings, and if necessary, new reflections on how to understand and accept the people brought into your family circle.

FEEDBACK Regarding the mother of teenage boys worried about the late-night female visitors to men renting a neighbourhood house (Dec. 3):

“I like the “say nothing” approach. If there’s no open violation of any bylaws, like noise, then it’s none of anyone’s business.

“There are very many potential “G-rated” explanations.

“e.g., if someone’s ill and those “coming and going” are health-care workers?

“Could they be running a legitimate business? There are many businesses where starting hours and closing hours are not 9 to 5 e.g., bakers, food servers, bartenders, etc.

“Could they be legitimate entertainers? I’ve attended PG-rated bachelor parties where the “female entertainers” are only there to chat with occasional hugs for photos. Or could they be an up-and-coming band?

“Also, her kids at 16 may already know what’s going on and have more “factual” information than the mother.

“Say nothing and let any neighbourly relations evolve without preconditions.”

Ellie’s tip of the day

Christmas is a good opportunity to introduce your potential partner to your family. But if either of you is hesitant, then not yet.