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Meet the . . .

I'm rather perplexed by the supposed pressure we put on ourselves before meeting possible future in-laws. I've put pressure on myself before and it ended up not being a big deal. I've had friendly relations with my previous girlfriends' parents and I'm happy to say that has continued with Jenny's family (I met her mother and one of her sisters a few weeks ago, and I will meet the rest of the family at Christmas.)

When we're teenagers, there's a bigger sense of pressure. The whole, "Why are you dating my daughter?" awkward conversation and all. Since every girl I asked out in high school turned me down (sad trombone), I never had to deal with that. No questions like, "What are you going to do with your life?" or "Where do you plan to go to college?" When I got to college, I had a relatively pressure-free experience with my college girlfriend.

These days, on paper (and in the eyes of suspicious skeptics), I sound like a questionable 33-year-old who doesn't seem to have every duck in the row. Guy who lost his full-time job and is a freelance writer? Guy who plays drums but doesn't play in a band? Guy who has a library of books, DVDs, LPs, and CDs? Sounds like a non-winner to the superficial. I'm lucky that I date someone who sees through the superficial, sees my charms, and recognizes my potential. (I see the same with her.)

Stereotypical stuff, as in the stuff that the Meet the Parents franchise is based on, might be funny with nervous tension. I try to not fall into that crap. I've always stuck by this attitude: if I don't want to introduce a girlfriend to my parents, then I shouldn't date her. Might sound limiting, but there are some perks to being picky. I don't want to choose between my parents and her. I'd rather have her be welcomed with open arms every time we see my parents (and vice-versa with her parents).

Building longtime relationships is important to me. If you want to take dating seriously with somebody, you need to consider what all you're getting yourself into. I most certainly do.

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