Family oriented – What does it mean?

There are many ways that we have to describe people. We might call them kind, funny, thoughtful, hard-working. But one word that can go into a bit more depth about someone’s character is family orientated.

Being family orientated is what a lot of people strive to be. And it’s what many people will try and look for when searching for a romantic partner.

To be family orientated means to have your family as the main focus in your life. At points in your life, you may forgo money (by not accepting a promotion because you’ll need to spend time away from your family) or sex (you need to get home to your kids).

What it isn’t

There’s a bit of myth about “family orientated” that it means to spend too much time with your family.

It doesn’t mean that you will always be trying to make yourself unhappy in the hope that your pain is going to cause pleasure to them. It also doesn’t mean you would rather stay in an unhappy marriage than get a divorce.

You will need to go to work because without working, you will not have the money that you need to be able to provide what you need for your family.

It’s a good thing

One thing that I should be clear about is that to be “family orientated” is a good thing.

Family is so important. If you’re a parent, you are responsible for making sure your children turn into good people who give back to the world. This is a fantastic achievement.

In our modern world, particularly for men, our value as human beings is often determined by how much money we’re making. But that’s not the most important thing about us.

Being able to raise a child who turns into a fantastic person is far better than making a lot of money.


“Family Orientated” might not be talking about people. It could be talking about a business.

A family orientated business is one that opens its doors to the whole family, kids, parents, and grandparents. They are child friendly, but not a playground.

For example, many of the pubs that I used to work at were “family orientated”. We tried to appeal to children and their parents.

The vast majority of chain pubs are going to be family orientated. Other places that describe themselves as “family orientated” will be zoos, theme parks, and some shops.

Can it be faked?

Being “family orientated” might not always be real.

With YouTube and Instagram being super popular today, we’ve seen a sharp rise of family vloggers and bloggers.

These are people who will post pictures of their spouse and children for the world to see what they’re up to. This can make many feel inadequate and think they’re not doing a good enough job.

But it does raise an important question. Are they doing this for their family, or are they just doing it for the fame and money?

Many of these families live extreme lifestyles that most of us will only ever be able to dream of.

But there are two sides to every coin.

Most of these “family bloggers” would argue that actually, they are doing it for their family. Since this topic is a trendy one, people are likely to click on them, and more clicks will mean more ads. And of course, more ads are going to mean more money.

Some have managed to make a hell of a lot of money from this system. This is money that can be invested in the children’s future and enable them to live a happier and more comfortable life.


Orientated has an interesting etymology.

As you know, orientated is talking about the direction something or someone is facing. This can be speaking literally or metaphorically.

Initially, the word meant facing east.

In the 1800s, it just meant the “direction of facing”. So you could be orientated west, north, or even south.

In 1870 it began to be used in a metaphorical sense. Not talking about directions on the compass, but instead talking about where our minds were looking at. This was the time when people first started saying “family orientated”.

To be “family orientated” means that your mind is facing your family.

Orientated vs Oriented

Some of you may have noticed that throughout this article, I’ve been saying “Orientated” and not “Oriented”. And there’s a good reason for this…

I’m British.

Many words in British and American English are very similar but ever so slightly different. The most popular example is aluminium vs aluminum.

Many of these differences come from the fact that in America, printing presses would charge for the letter. Therefore, it would make sense to make a word made up of a few letters as you can get away with.

In England, this was never an issue, so we still use real words.

How to do it

Being family orientated is a good thing. But I’m not going to lie to you and tell you it’s an easy thing.

Sometimes, you will need to decide what’s going to be best for your family. Should you spend more time with them, or spend less time with them so you can make more money for them?

This is never a simple choice to make.

You will also need to sacrifice your social and romantic life for the sake of your family. And you will need to tighten your belt a little bit sometimes.


If you’re family orientated, your family is the main focus of your life. Everything you do, you do for their benefit, not your own.

However, this does not mean making your family unhappy just so you can keep them together.

It can also be talking about a business, rather than a person.

There is some debate as to whether or not family vloggers are faking it. But that’s a debate for another time.

Orientated originally meant facing east, but then went onto mean “direction of facing”, before being used to talk about mentality.

And if you’re American, you will misspell it as “Oriented”.