It has happened to the best of us. We introduced “Mr/Ms Right” to our inner circle- and a few weeks later, the relationship went belly-up. As you sit and scrub the egg off your face, as well as, every trace of him/her on your social media, you begin to slowly realize how epic a fool you made of yourself.

We generally want people to respect the choices we make, especially when it comes to selecting a partner. I mean… We all know a hopeless romantic who meets someone new every month and after about 2 weeks of dating, swears they’re in love. *Sidenote – If you don’t know a person like that… You’re that person.*

Everybody plays the fool sometimes. But here’s some guidelines to follow before bringing a serious partner around friends and family.

1.) Date them for at least 90 days – It’s a huge milestone to mutually and consistently date one person for 90+ days. Hell, that’s 1/4 of a year. If you’re dating someone that length of time and still aren’t comfortable considering future plans with them, you’re probably wasting your time.

2.) Take a weekend road trip with them – Traveling can be stressful. It also provides the perfect opportunity for you and your partner to fully expose yourselves to each another. Sitting in the car with someone for hours can be nerve-wrecking. You’ll have to deal with their snoring while you focus on their road. You’ll be forced to handle differences in music choices with the diplomacy of a foreign ambassador. You’ll likely have to stay in a small hotel room for at least two days-  which will probably lead to you all smelling each others sh!t at some point (I’m just saying). Lastly, you’ll get a chance to see how they handle themselves for an extended period of time without any breaks from you.

3.) Communicate multiple times daily and know their patterns – The 90 day rule is no good if ya’ll only text each other good morning and good night. Go old school. Call them. Visit each other. Observe their body language as they tell you how their day went. Notice their nuisances when they get anxious, upset, happy, and/or sad. Get to really know who you’re with. This will help you manage the communication between them and your friends/family when they meet up. Let’s be honest, friends can be protective, you need to know if/when boo thang is getting nervous or feels ambushed.

4.) Handle a controversial issue… In public – There are times when following social cues just doesn’t work. You and your partner will not always get along, and you may even end up in a sticky situation while in public. It’s important to see how far they delve into private matters when in public. Establish a mutual code of ethics regarding what you keep private vs. what’s socially acceptable before going around loved ones.

5.) Best friends need to be introduced first, then close family, then rest of the world– Allow your closest friend to meet your lover first. Let them get a feel for your new partner. Wait a few weeks and then introduce them to other close friends. I’d suggest no more than 2-3 people at a time. Eventually they’ll all start talking and exchanging opinions (There’s no way around it, but you can manage the entire process). After your close friends, allow your family in… then the rest of the world.

*Introducing your partner to the world is another post for another day, so stay tuned*

Follow these rules and hopefully this will be your last time going through this process.