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As we approach the holidays, I thought it would only be fitting to share my cheesy, Hallmark-style love story: my boyfriend and my parents. My boyfriend is really good with parents. He’s good with relatives in general. He can talk to anyone and is a perfect plus-one to awkward family events. He is charismatic, easy-going, and kind. Parents eat that up, especially my parents who are used to my siblings and I bringing home people who aren’t usually any of the above. 

By the end of his first time staying at my house, my partner was teaching my little brother bass guitar, planning a fishing trip with my dad, buying wax melts with my mom, and thrifting with my sister. This all happened completely independent of me, if anything, I am more aloof than him now. I would come out of the bathroom and find them all playing the “bird game,” a board game my brother taught my boyfriend. When I would ask my partner to grab water or something for me, my parents would gush about how nice he was the moment he was gone.  

This is particularly impressive to me, since the first time I met his parents I was terribly nervous and awkward. I am not as awkward now, but nowhere near as comfortable as he was right away. Now anytime I call or Facetime my parents, they ask if my boyfriend is with me, how he’s doing, or to say hi to him on their behalf. 

When I went home for Thanksgiving break, my mom had a whole bag of presents for me to bring back to him (she gave him one of the marching band shirts from my high school, a bunch of wax melts they picked out together, and a snack she bought at the store because it made her “think of him”). 

This doesn’t even include the present they are getting him for the holidays. Every other time I have brought someone home to meet my family, it has just been another layer of stress. Yet my boyfriend makes it all easier now. I love him…almost as much as my parents do.