It’s the moment we all dread when a relationship first starts getting serious. For some, it’s the factor that will either make or break a relationship’s future. The point where it’s time to meet the people that may someday become your in laws. that’s right Ladies and gentlemen, we are talking about your first time meeting your significant other’s parents. Cue scary music and loud booming thunder.
We’ve all seen that terrifying movie Meet the Parents with Robert De Niro and Ben Stiller and ladies, who hasn’t seen Monster-in-Law with Jennifer Lopez? While comical on film, these kind of awkward encounters are the stuff of real life nightmares. But don’t fret, I am going to tell you everything you need to know to make your first time meeting the parents more like a dream come true that a real life horror flick.
The first thing to do to make the whole thing go more smoothly is to prepare. Do some homework and ask your partner what to expect. For instance, if your girlfriend’s father likes baseball look up some of the players on his favorite team. If your boyfriend’s mother is addicted to those reality television shows, watch an episode or two. Finding common ground in order to have something to talk about with them is crucial.
While you don’t have to wear a suit or a church dress, do look presentable. The less skin showing the better, especially in the midriff area. If you are not sure whether or not you should wear it, chances are you should change your clothes. Though, don’t tear your closet apart searching for some magical fairy to pick out your clothes for you. (I’ve tried it and it doesn’t work, Tinkerbell never comes.) Showering is a necessity and be sure to brush your teeth. If you’re prone to bad breath, stock up on the mints and/or the gum.
If you are going over to the parent’s home bring something, preferably food. You can never go wrong with chocolate (unless the mother is diabetic then don’t do it!). Bringing flowers will score you major brownie points (unless the parents are allergic to flowers then leave them at the florist). When my boyfriend first met my parents he came handy with cupcakes for the family, flowers for the mother, and a baseball glove to play catch with my brother. Needless to say he is like a part of the family after only a year.
Do not try to be something you’re not. For example, if you’re a security officer at the airport do not lie and tell the parents that you are a pilot as seen in She’s Out of My League. That just has catastrophe written all over it. Stick to what you know. For instance, if you are clueless about anything sports related, don’t try to act like the next sportscaster.
Be polite and make sure to keep the public displays of affection to a minimum (especially if you are a male meeting your female partner’s parents…unless of course you want to be driven off of their lawn by threat of a shotgun).
If something goes wrong, don’t panic. First impressions are not everything and there will be other chances. The more time you spend with your significant other’s family, the more they will get to know you and you them. As long as you are a respectable human being and treat their child with decency and respect, they are sure to like you.
The most important part is to just relax and be yourself. It is hard for parents to see a potential suitor for their little baby. Mothers tend to see the girls in their sons’ lives as trying to replace them. Fathers tend to see the boys in their daughters’ lives as intrusive bacteria. Suck in that gut, plaster a smile on and go make them fall in love with you! And if they wind up loathing you, well it’s not like you’re dating his/her parents.
Nicole here, native New Yorker who has a secret passion for young adult literature, trashy romance novels, and anything mushy gushy. Uh oh… guess it’s not much of a secret anymore!
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