Rules/Tips for Meeting the Parents of your Significant Other
First impressions are everything. It can be stressful meeting your SO’s parents because you want them to love you as much as your SO does. Plus, you want to like them as well. So, how do you WOW them? Meeting the parents is a lot like a blind date. Both parties are slightly awkward and uncomfortable, but both want it to go well. To ensure a smooth evening, stick to these tips.
- Find out information about them. Before you meet the parents face-to-face, ask your SO for some tidbits about each parent. How old are they? What are their hobbies? Are they religious? It can give you an expectation of how the evening will go, and can give you an idea of good and bad conversation topics.
If his father is a passionate right wing conservative, and you bleed blue for the Democratic party, then leave politics behind. There is no need to get into a heated political discussion on the first meeting. This will only do damage to your budding relationship. Even if he spouts off a comment that you don’t agree with, it’s best to let it be. It’s not about changing your SO father’s opinions, but rather getting to know the family.
Stick to topics that will get them talking about something they love. Is his mom an avid gardener? Then mention her beautiful flowers, and watch her gush about all of the hard work she does in the yard.
- Listen more than speak. Ask his parents open-ended questions and listen. More often than not, people love to talk about themselves. Actively listening shows that you are interested and engaged in what their life is like. Nothing is more flattering. Plus, they’ll probably give you some great stories about your SO while he was growing up. Stories that you’d never otherwise hear. Learning about who his parents are can teach you a lot about who your SO is on a deeper level.
- Offer to help. Remember, you’re the guest, and you’re entering their family evening. Go with the flow of the family’s routine by not interrupting what they have planned for dinner. Instead, try to include yourself. Offer to help in the kitchen or bring a dessert for after dinner. Sometimes, working alongside a parent can open up a door for a more intimate connection. But, if his parents insist that they don’t need anything, then don’t force your help on them.
- Keep the conversation light. You can say the truth without giving away all of the gory details. Did you and your SO meet from your friends crazy party and hooked up afterwards? That’s fine, but his parents don’t need to know all of that. Clean it up by saying you met through a mutual friend. It’s true, but less graphic. Also try to stay positive as much as possible. Is everyone around the table bashing the ex-girlfriend? Even if it’s all true, don’t chime in. Keep your response light with “yes, I’ve heard,” and try to change the subject. They will take notice if you talk negatively of other people. It’s best not to poke at karma anyways.
- Say “Thank You”. A simple thank you can go a long way. Be gracious and thankful for taking time out of their day to meet. A thank you shows that you valued your evening together, and his parents will be apt to spend more time with you in the future.
Rest assured that your SO’s parents want to like you. They want to support whoever is important in their child’s life. Find some common ground interests to talk about, and keep the conversation light. Don’t be a chatterbox, say your “please” and “thank you’s”, and soon enough you’ll be invited back for dinner.