Congratulations, you figured out how to land a great relationship - now, what do you do when you meet the parents? Meeting the family is a huge step, and if the parents love you, it's a very big win. But how, exactly, do you get your significant other's parents to like you? Have no fear! These tips for meeting the parents should help you make a stellar first impression.
Impressing the folks may not be as hard as you think. It's a combination of remembering basic manners and acting like a well-adjusted adult - whether you feel like one or not. Steer clear of controversial topics, keep your phone away, remember your pleases and thank-yous, and stay engaged in conversations. While it's important not to overdo it - as people can usually sense dishonesty - playing up your natural charm is a surefire way to win over your boyfriend or girlfriend's parents.
Below are some tips for meeting your significant other's parents that will put you on the right track to being a veritable member of the family. Which tips do you find most helpful and effective? Vote up the best advice below.
Think back to all those formalities you learned back in kindergarten. Shake hands, follow house rules, and remember please, thank you, and excuse me. A little etiquette goes a long way.
Especially important at the first meeting. You never know where people stand, so stick to subjects where you can find common ground. Talk about recent movies, your favorite books, great vacation spots, funny childhood stories, but leave current events and your religious beliefs off the table.
Booze makes a great social lubricant, which can help you come off more candid and genuine with your partner's folks. There's nothing wrong with a glass of wine or a beer, but no one wants their son or daughter dating a lush. Know your limits and decline refills once you start feeling the booze.
Parents love it when you are being mindful of ways you can be useful! Always offer to help out with dishes, take out the trash, or anything else that can make their life easier.
It's become acceptable to take our phones out in basically any circumstance. But, with your significant other's parents, give them your undivided attention. Checking your texts, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or anything else can wait.
Like it or not, appearances are going to matter when you are trying to make an impression, so go for something dressy casual. Avoid anything too revealing or too unconventional.
Parents tend to be protective of their kids, so if you fumble the first impression, it may be hard to recover. When you first meet the folks, smile, make eye contact, offer a firm handshake, and tell them it's nice to meet them.
Parents love to hear they're doing a good job. It can never hurt to, say, mention you can see where your partner gets their awesome sense of humor, great personality, or generosity. Bonus points if you can work in an anecdote about something sweet their child did for you.
Common ground will both endear you to your partner's parents and keep conversation flowing comfortably. What's something you all have in common? Do you have the same tastes in movies and television or a mutual enthusiasm for a particular hobby? Play that up!
Everyone loves talking about themselves, so ask your partner's parents about their tastes, jobs, lives, and more. A simple "What do you do for a living?" or "Where are you from?" can get the conversation flowing and show your partner's folks you want to get to know them.
Your partner's parents probably don't want to see you hanging off their child all night, but don't completely avoid physical contact with your partner out of fear of offending. Hand holding and the occasional pat on the shoulder are fine and show you care - but try to avoid anything too cozy for comfort.
Your partner's parents will appreciate someone genuine rather than someone who schmoozes to win favor. Obviously, you can play up the compliments and enthusiasm a bit, but give honest answers to questions and let your true personality show.
It can never hurt to ask your partner about their parents' tastes, opinions, likes, and dislikes. This way, you can go into the situation with fodder for conversation, a sense of how to behave, and knowledge of what topics to avoid altogether.
Even if you're not interested, pretend you are. No matter what they're talking about, act like it's the most fascinating thing you've ever heard. People tend to like people who are interested in what they have to say, and your significant other's folks will be no different.
Compliment the food, tell them they have a beautiful home, and thank them for their hospitality upon arrival and departure. You don't need to be fake, but flattery can go a long way if it's sincere.
Your partners parents want to make sure you fit in with the whole family. Be polite to siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and anyone else you encounter.
Be cordial, of course, but avoid cordial to the point of stiff. Act warmly, address them kindly, and indicate interest in their lives beyond their child.
Your significant other has probably vented to you about their parents. Your input on these matters may be valuable to your partner, but - when you meet the parents - set all that aside so you can be as pleasant as possible. Leave any assumptions based on your partner's stories far behind.
Whether it's bringing a bottle of wine to dinner or a small gift for the holidays, this token of respect will seriously impress. And - if you're not sure what to get - ask your partner for a little guidance.
Even when we are not talking, our bodies are speaking volumes. Sit up straight, don't cross your arms, cover your yawns, and don't stare at the floor.
It's important not to act like you know your partner better than their parents do. They will appreciate it if you ask for their input on things like gifts, food, and vacation plans. It's an easy way to show respect.
Whether you came over for dinner or spent a weekend at the family summer home, a handwritten thank you note is bound to impress. It's an old fashioned, thoughtful gesture that will certainly endear you to your partner's folks.
No one wants to see their child with someone who's unreasonably high maintenance! Try to go with the flow. Don't be choosy about the restaurant or food. Be down for whatever board game you play or movie you watch. Even if you don't like something, stomach it for a few hours to impress the folks!