The Bachelorette hometown dates prompted us to revisit what we learn from meeting a man's parents.
Episodes of The Bachelorette tend to be "the most shocking and dramatic yet"—thanks, Jake and Vienna—so we revel in the hometown dates episodes, which lean sweet rather than shocking.
On the most recent Bachelorette ep, Ali visited Roberto in Florida where he used a sexy baseball uniform and a home field advantage to further solidify his connection with her. Then, she went to Cape Cod to see Chris, whose family undoubtedly provided the sweetest moments of the episode (and possibly even the season). And Ali was probably as eager as we were to learn about taxidermy from Kirk's father in their Wisconsin home. Finally, our bachelorette was off to Chicago, where she was forced to deal with Frank's insecurities and doubts about "forever" yet again.
As we watched Roberto's father question Ali about her ambition and personal goals (in a room decorated with Roberto's trophies, no less); Chris's father educate us about love; Kirk's father show off his strange collection; and Frank's warm family compensate for his lack of confidence, we wondered how each experience would affect Ali's decision in the rose ceremony.
And the first rose went to...
Roberto. Duh. Then to Chris L., and finally to Frank. We'll miss you, Kirk.
Although Ali assured her bachelors that her decision had nothing to do with their families, we can't help but think that had Kirk's father been an avid coin collector instead, Kirk's chances of being in the final three might not have been so slim. Watching Ali's tearful goodbye, we got to thinking: how much can you tell about a significant other by meeting his family?
While meeting the family may not tell you everything you need to know about your man, you'd be wise to remain observant, as there are a few things you can learn about him no matter how casual, tense, heartwarming or just plain weird the meeting.
Observation #1: His Values
While your man has undoubtedly matured and grown into an individual since he last lived under the same roof as his parents, if he's bringing you to meet them, chances are they're close—or at least important to him—and he probably shares a lot of their core values and beliefs. 10 Signs He's Not The One
Observation #2: His Love Style
"I see my brothers and how happy they are. I know how happy my dad and mom were. I'm very jealous of that and I want to find the person that makes me smile." We know we weren't the only ones whose hearts melted when Chris told Ali that he hoped he could have the marriage that his parents had. Though every person is wired differently, that we first learn how to love (or how not to love) from our parents is still true. Most of us end up communicating our love in the same way that it was first communicated to us.
Observation #3: His Potential for Parenthood
The same goes for his parenting style. Although there are certainly things we each might change about how we were raised, we do learn from example. This isn't a hard fact, but if a man was spoiled as a child—and still acts spoiled with you—chances are he's going to spoil your children. This doesn't mean that if your parenting styles differ, your future is doomed. It simply means that you'll have to learn how to compromise and make decisions together. And take note of how he treats his parents and siblings. Sometimes, it takes a good son to be a good father. How I Know We're Ready For Kids
Observation #4: Family Dynamics
Though your relationship is just between you and your beau, you should expect his family to be a part of your future life together. Sometimes, bringing you to meet his family is simply a means of testing out how well you interact with them. Though it won't necessarily make or break the relationship if you don't click with them instantly, it's still beneficial to see what the holidays could be like.
Observation #5: His Future Self
Alright. We added this one in mostly for fun but, sometimes, you can get a sense of what your future spouse might look like with a few grays by meeting his father. If his dad's a silver fox, add that to your pros list.