Surviving A Week With My Partner’s Family; A Cautionary Tale

Throughout uni, my writing professors have always advised against clickbait titles; but I couldn’t help myself this time. I’m writing this post from Brisbane Airport as I head home to Melbourne after a week in Queensland, where I met my partner’s family for the first time. And despite the title, the reality is that I couldn’t have asked to meet a better bunch.

A few months ago when my boyfriend asked me to come to Queensland with him in July to meet his family, I agreed immediately and almost offhandedly, not stopping to consider any potential hitches or dilemmas that could arise. But of course, the doubts and the nerves began to hit me in the couple of weeks leading up to my departure date. What if his parents don’t like me? Is it going to be awkward sharing a house with them for a week? Oh, goodness—what if his dog doesn’t like me? And telling people the reason behind my Queensland trip only proved to worsen my worries, as everyone I told proceeded to voice the exact insecurities I was already harbouring.

My boyfriend (yes, he does have a name: Joe), a realist if I’ve ever met one, simply said, “If they don’t like you, they don’t like you. I think they will, but there’s only one way to find out”, which—of course—didn’t serve to satiate my nerves at all.

So after about a thousand nervous questions about Joe’s family and much thinking and re-thinking about the contents of my suitcase, I was off.

The week was starting off on the Sunshine Coast in an airbnb with Joe’s parents, siblings, and nieces. Anxious is an understatement. Meeting his whole extended family in one fell swoop? Not exactly what you’d call a gradual introduction. Fortunately for me, his family turned out to be amazing (and I’m now lucky enough to have a new, adorable, four-year-old best friend!).

The rest of the week was spent in Bundaberg, exploring the incredible beaches (being that my standard is St. Kilda Beach, any beach beyond that is incredible to me) and cafés and restaurants in the town. Kudos to you, Joe—you’ve spent a year making me think Bundaberg was the end of the earth, only for me to find out that that couldn’t be further from the truth. Joe’s parents were our personal chauffeurs and chefs for the week; we got completely spoiled the entire week. So spoiled, in fact, that when Friday rolled around and I woke up early to head home, all it took to convince me to stay the weekend was Joe saying, “You should change your flight and stay the weekend”.

In short, the week was absolutely perfect, and any fears or worries that I had before heading up North were diminished the moment I stepped off the train. I’ve always thought that the biggest judge of someone’s character is how they act around their parents; turns out, I’ve got myself a pretty damn good guy, and it’s not hard to see where he got it from.

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