What To Expect When Meeting Your Brazilian Partner’s Family
Anybody who has dated a Brazilian can tell you that family is deeply important in their culture. You’ll usually meet your partner’s family very early on in the dating process, probably in the first month. If their family is far away and you’re only meeting them after a while, you might be even more nervous than you would have been meeting them right away. Here are a few things to keep in mind to help you with the meeting.
1. This isn’t a big deal to them
In many cultures, meeting the parents is a big milestone in a relationship. This only occurs after commitment has happened and marriage isn’t far away. If this is what it is like in your culture, it’s no surprise that you feel pressure about meeting your significant other’s family. And yes, family, not just the parents. In Brazil they value extended family much more than they do in other parts of the world. You’ll need to be friends with aunts, uncles, cousins, second cousins, nieces, nephews and the list goes on…
Luckily for you, they aren’t there to judge you. Meeting your partner’s family early in the relationship is common practice in Brazil and the occasion isn’t formal and interview-like in the same way it is in other parts of the world.
Just be friendly and respectful and you’ll do just fine. Don’t be stiff and formal.
2. The family’s opinion does matter
While it remains true that the meeting won’t be formal and they won’t go out of their way to judge you, you will need to make an effort with the family over a longer period of time. Regular visits, inviting them to your house and giving the whole extended family gifts on important holidays are all a part of the Brazilian family structure.
If you often decline invitations and your home isn’t open to them, it will not reflect well on you. Dating a Brazilian means dating their whole family. You can forget about marriage if you don’t fit in with the family.
3. Brazilians don’t like coldness
Being distant, aloof or generally quiet can come across as being rude in Brazilian households. While it may feel strange to have so many people hugging and kissing you, this is common practice in Brazilian households. Don’t decline the physical contact, this will be taken as an insult. Furthermore, they will be very involved in your personal lives. This might seem invasive at first, but it is based on a system of support. Knowing that you can always count on your partner’s parents if you face trouble could actually be a comforting thought.
4. Their parents will be living with you one day
It’s looked down upon to put the elderly in nursing homes in Brazilian families. This is seen as abandonment and a lack of gratitude for what the parents have done for their children. It’s therefore in your best interest to get along with your future roommate.