“I don’t care about whose DNA has recombined with whose. When everything goes to hell, the people who stand by you without flinching–they are your family.” ― Jim Butcher, Proven Guilty
I remember watching this one wildly unpopular movie with Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaughn called, Four Christmases, involving a couple who end up having to visit all four of their divorced parents for the holidays. In the movie, Witherspoon and Vaughn’s characters are a couple who had been dating for three years, seemingly without any problems, who realize that they didn’t know each other as well as they thought. *Spoil Alert* Somehow it took finally meeting each other’s friends and family to really understand and get to know one another.
Bringing home new friends and significant others to meet family and old friends is a huge part of any relationship. You can learn a lot about a person by hanging out with them, but there is always some other piece of that person that gets revealed when you meet the most important people in their life.
The saying, “You are the company you keep,” holds a lot of truth. Usually, you like aspects of the people that closely surround you. You often hold things in common with them and enjoy their company. In a sense, these people that closely surround you are an extension of yourself. They sometimes mirror the pieces of your personality that you don’t always initially show to new people, and they oftentimes bring that piece of yourself out when you surround them.
I’ve realized that, because of this, it really is important for me to introduce the newer people in my life to close friends and family. I do value the opinion of the people who have become an extension of myself, and who have helped make me the person that I am today. But their opinion may not always be a huge factor in deciding whom I keep in my life because it is ultimately my decision.
I do take note of whether a new person rubs members of my friends and family in the wrong way, and I really like it when the extensions of me really like these newer people. I notice this even more now that I have made it a priority to bring these newer people together with the people that are already fairly close in my life, and I’m beginning to notice some of the differences in reactions of my close friends and family with each newer person, and I definitely want to pay closer attention to these interactions in the future.