Bringing a guy home to meet the people you are embarrassed to share blood with can be a very exciting time in your new relationship (unless it’s at a funeral). If you’ve taken your time to properly pace a relationship, then there’s rarely a reason to introduce anyone to your family before three months or so have passed. Why, you might ask?

  1. Who knows what the hell will come out of their mouths?
  2. It automatically makes you a more serious couple and…
  • You may still need time to decide if he’s the right person for you.
  • He may get scared that it’s getting too serious, too soon.

Obviously, there are cases where there may be a graduation or bar-mitzvah involved, but do everything in your power to keep him and your family separated like milk and meat for the first few months. Your best bet may actually be to go dateless to the bar-mitzvah. Living at home with family? Then have him pick you up outside the house so he does not have to be subjected to your mother.

What About Meeting His Family?

Sometimes a man will jump in immediately and introduce you. Although this is a good sign that he sees you as more than a glorified hooker, be sure that you’re comfortable with the situation and ready to meet his family—it’s a big step. If he hasn’t introduced you to anyone within six months of dating (parents, siblings, or cousins), then it’s time to wonder why.  Either they live too far away, or he just doesn’t see you as anything serious.

Now on to mom, the only member of his family worth noting. You may have assumed that this is the one part of a relationship where you stand at a significant advantage over a shiksa and you’re home free just because you’re Jewish. Guess again. While it’s true that when you first meet his mother, she will be happy just for the simple fact that you are Jewish, there may be some issues hidden from plain sight. However, before we can delve any further, we need to accept that there are two types of Jewish mothers:

  1. Type 1: the “as long as the girlfriend is Jewish and has a pulse” mother.
  2. Type 2: the “no one’s good enough for my son” mother.

Now, type 1 is obviously easy to deal with. You still need to show her respect, but she is easier for you to woo than Lindsey Lohan to alcohol.

The type 2 mother is an entirely different story. She is oftentimes a woman who never had much of her own career and therefore needs to remain in control of her children. Now, here’s where a combination of charm and smarts can come in handy…

If you approach a type 2 mother as you would a type 1 mother, you may make some fatal mistakes such as walking into their home as if you own the place, being over-confident, and not showing her the amount of respect she seems to think she deserves. The type 2 mom is out to prove she’s the number one woman in her little boy’s life and that she knows what’s best for her son (even though she is probably the cause of his problems). Just play along and be polite. As for the rest of his family, just act nice, and you’ll be in the clear.

7 Tips to Impress a Type 2 Mother:

  1. Compliment her clothing style or home.
  2. Find commonalities.
  3. Show that she’s the boss when she’s around him. Let her tell him what to do, not you.
  4. Be overly polite and avoid being overly opinionated. Do not give her a single reason to discriminate against you.
  5. Pretend to respect her opinions.
  6. Bring a gift (wine, flowers, or tea) if visiting her home.
  7. Write a thank-you note for a dinner or something she gave you.

All in all, dress nice and be nice. I hope this advice helps — and you have a ball meeting his mother!

Ms. Avi is author of the dating guide for Jewish women Secrets of Shiksa Appeal: Eight Steps to Attract Your Shul-Mate. Find out more and like her page on Facebook at Secrets of Shiksa Appeal. Available on in soft/hardcover and Kindle.
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