Hi, OP here - I'm super surprised this got posted! Just to clear some things up: my boyfriend is American and studying here in the UK. I have met his sister and we get along super well, but not anyone else in his family, nor do they know he's dating someone. From what I understand, his parents - especially his dad - aren't really big on relationships, especially when studying, as they can be seen as a distraction. I know for a fact that it was his mom as they usually do voice calls and I sit quietly, but she wanted a video chat so I shifted rooms on this occasion; there's definitely not another girl in the picture! I spoke to him about it after the call and explained that it upset me a little and made me feel like he had to hide me, and he was very apologetic and felt guilty - he told me this was his first serious relationship and he wasn't really sure what the right steps were in terms of parents or when they should happen which I actually found quite sweet. This is definitely not a deal breaker - he is so wonderful I wouldn't let something like this ruin our relationship! He just Skyped his mom again tonight and told her the news, so it's no longer an issue. He has met all my family and they adore him, so no issues there!