Date someone who is excited to spend time with your family, not someone who keeps asking you how much longer until you are going to leave an event. Not someone who keeps trying to find excuses to stay home in the first place. Not someone who keeps whining about ‘wasting’ his weekend stuck with the people you care about most in the world.
Date someone who treats your family like his own.
Someone who shows up at your mother’s house with her favorite type of flowers for the holidays. Someone who gives your father thoughtful cards with handwritten notes for his birthday. Someone who makes your parents feel like they are appreciated, not only in the beginning when he is trying to impress them, but years down the line when he could have gotten away with becoming lazy.
Date someone who treats your grandparents with his fullest respect. Someone who will refrain from cursing or getting drunk in front of them. Someone who will listen to their stories about when they were younger and show actual interest instead of pretending to listen while nodding along and stealing glances down at his phone.
Date someone who will get on the ground to play with your little cousins and siblings. Someone who will play hide and seek, peekaboo, or Mario Kart when he’s asked to join. Someone who will make a point to treat every member of your family with kindness, even the youngest ones.
Date someone who will pet the family dog, even if that means getting fur all over his clothes. Someone who will get the cats to like him, even if that means spending the entire night trying to catch their attention. Someone who will get along with all of the animals because he understands they’re an important part of the family too.
Date someone who you are proud to show off at family functions. Someone who you are excited to invite to weddings as your plus-one. Someone who you know everyone will walk over to and say, “What a cute couple.”
Date someone who makes you feel safe and comfortable the same way your family did when you were younger. Someone who you are confident about spending the rest of your life alongside because you cannot imagine having it any other way. Someone who you can picture hanging holiday decorations with and hosting Thanksgiving dinners with at your very own house one day.
Date someone who makes you feel like a part of his family too. Someone who invites you along to every occasion because it wouldn’t be a real holiday without you there to celebrate alongside him. Someone who encourages you to call his parents mom and dad because you are basically married without the paperwork. Someone who makes you feel comfortable and included during every family function because you are part of an unshakable team.
Date someone who is more than your boyfriend. Date someone who you consider an unofficial part of the family long before you slip a wedding ring onto your finger.