We learn a lot from television and one of the things I definitely remember watching as a kid were shows about American teenage girls bringing their dates home to meet the parents. Usually the father would welcome the boy inside and then proceed to interrogate him about his intentions with his daughter. He would almost always make it absolutely clear that he COULD and WOULD hurt the boy if he did anything to his little girl, or if he tried getting to any bases with her… regardless of how much she might have wanted him to too. The problem I had with these scenes as I grew older was that they never actually came true for me. I don’t know about other Latinas, but for me this dating scenario just never really fit the bill of my reality!
It could also have something to do with the fact that I didn’t really do a lot of dating as a teenager. Make that zilch! Though if I had, I don’t know that my parents would have expected any of my dates to just come knocking at our door. What’s more. I don’t think they would have appreciated it. To me it seemed they were only willing or interested in meeting a guy once things started getting serious. Other than that, having ALL these guys – you know, had there been any – in and out of their lives didn’t really interest them.
I did make me wonder back then… “what if the guys I was dating were actually crazies or something? were my parents not worried about this stuff?” But I guess they trusted my good judgement enough to know that I would be safe. Then again, had I dated as a teenager things might have been completely different.
Now in college, I did do some dating! Of course by then we don’t really expect our parents to be meeting any of our dates at all. Which they didn’t by the way. In this new digital age, getting dates for me didn’t only happen in person or through blind dates. I actually met a couple of people online as well. And thank goodness for that, because I wasn’t ever very good at meeting people in person.
So yup, I got me some dates online. Chat rooms were very popular in those days, and instant messaging was a good source too. I should make the clarification that online dating can be very dangerous, but I did always tell my family where I was going and made it a point to meet my dates in very public places.
I actually met some very nice guys like this, but it was always a “very nice to meet you, and buh bye” kind of situation. Until I met THE ONE that is. I didn’t know he was THE ONE immediately, of course. But as time progressed I was so happy I took the time to actually get to know him better. He was totally worth it.
Now how and when I knew he was THE ONE, that is a whole other story for another blog post entirely. Basically, I knew we had something special because we had the best communication possible. It felt like I could talk to him about anything and everything and we just clicked! Not only that, his smile was also oh so… *sigh*
In the end, my parents did meet my boyfriend, now husband, when we started getting serious.
I don’t know about your parents, but I think mine felt like they didn’t need to meet every guy I dated, not even the ones who would’ve lasted a while. I think many Hispanic parents are more traditional and they want us to first decide whether our dates are worthwhile before bringing them home for dinner. Remember, we got lots of familia who tend to talk and if we are bringing different boys home all the time, well, let’s just say that would give people LOTS to talk about.
Sybil Monciváis Sánchez has worked for a local Spanish television station since 2003, in the Community Affairs Department. She is a wife and proud mother of three. You can follow her on Twitter at @sybil_sanchez.