7 tips for the first time you meet the parents

Tips and advice for the first time you meet your partner's parents and family.

Love + Sex Relationship Advice Simon Elstad

This article was published on May 20th, 2020

The day he asks you to meet his parents, just know that relationship is serious. You don’t just introduce anybody to your family. Now, meeting the parents is both exciting and terrifying. You’re not sure if they’ll like or loathe you. And while you’re in a relationship with their son (not them), it helps to know you have their support and blessing.

You’re probably eager to make an excellent first impression. However, that’s not always possible. Things could go hellishly wrong on that day through no-fault on your part. Fret not. We got you. Here’s how to ace that first meeting with your bae’s parents.

1) Relax

Yes, seriously, relax. Panicking does you no good. If anything, it ruins even that small chance you have of impressing your potential future in-laws.

Think of it this way: This is just another meeting. Whether the parents like you or not doesn’t change your love for your boyfriend (and vice-versa).

Take a few deep breaths. Visualize the occasion going on without a hitch. Keep that same calm composure on the material day no matter what.

2) Get the family history

Get the family cheat sheet from your partner before the grand meet. Learn what his parents like, what they enjoy, and what they genuinely detest. Find areas of common interest and potential topics of discussion.

Quick tip: Bonding over something you both dislike (sports team, crappy weather), creates a stronger bond than bonding over something you both admire.

3) Be yourself

It sounds cliché, but that’s some solid advice when meeting the parents for the first time. You might feel the temptation to act how you think they want you to act, ignore it.

Pandering to their expectations might win you points in the short term, but it will crush you over the long run. That meeting is just one occasion. If the relationship survives, you’ll be meeting his folks more often. You can’t keep playing a character. It’s tiresome and unsustainable.

Furthermore – and more importantly – your boyfriend fell in love with you, just the way you are. He knows exactly who you are when bringing you home, and that’s all that matters.

However, being yourself doesn’t mean being a prick. You can assert your personality without being a dick.

4) Be polite and respectful

Now more than ever, let your manners shine through. If everything else fails, at least let your partner’s parents remember you as a courteous and polite young man.

Regardless of how you feel about them, show the utmost respect. It’s the same thing you’d wish if it was your partner meeting your parents.

How do you demonstrate these traits? Easy. Say, “please,” and “thank you.” Bring a small gift – something for the home would do. Compliment them on their home. Offer to help when possible, for example, in offering to help set and clear the table.

5) Don’t drink too much

Drinking and meeting the parents, just like drinking and driving, are never good ideas.

Booze lowers inhibitions and gives us fake courage. You’ll end up doing stupid things like speaking too loudly, slurring words, blurting out crazy things, and generally ruin the experience.

You’ll not only embarrass yourself, and your boyfriend, but also leave a bad taste in the mouths of your potential in-laws.

6) Dress the part

Forget that tight, shiny, rainbow-colored jacket and booty shorts. That’s not the impression you want to make. However much you want to emphasize your personality, remember that you’re meeting people who may not accept you or your lifestyle.

Opt for a conservative outfit that doesn’t offend people or give them the wrong idea. Better yet, ask your partner about the parent’s general dressing style and then try to match that.

7) Avoid touchy subjects

Controversial topics will kill the mood faster than bad food. Folks will tolerate a crappy meal but dare raise a touchy subject, and all hell breaks loose. (Just think of the dinner table at home around Thanksgiving).

So how do you navigate this minefield? Find and stick to neutral topics. Save the touchy topics for another time. If you’re wondering, politics, religion, money, sex, and sexual matters are just of the hot button issues you should avoid.

What do you discuss? The weather for one…lol. It’s cliché, but everyone bemoans crappy weather—just what you need to break the ice.


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