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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

Meeting your SO’s family is an important moment in any relationship. It’s well known that you never get a second chance to make a first impression. So, when it eventually comes to meeting your SO’s family it’s important to be at the top of your game and make a positive impact. Now, that doesn’t mean it has to be the scariest event ever. It’s important to remember that your SO’s family are not going to set out with the intention of hating you – I know that sounds obvious now, but it was a fear of mine!

It’s natural that you’re going to be nervous so here are some ideas to make sure you behave like yourself!

Do Your Homework!

Before the day, make sure you’ve talked to your partner about their family, because your partner’s family will have asked about you so you might as well find out and be prepared. Understand who you’re meeting before you meet them and talk to your partner about what to expect before you walk in. Find out what the vibe will be like whether they’re reserved or loud etc because knowing what the situation is like will make you feel more comfortable when you first meet them.

Be Yourself

It goes without saying this is probably the most important rule before you meet your SO’s family.

You want to show them you’re kind, pleasant, engaging and care about making a good impression by asking questions which help the conversation. Some good examples are asking about where the parent grew up and how did they meet. These questions may seem obvious but they are ultimately conversation starters that will help you all get to know each other better

Your Outfit

Stressing or worrying about your outfit is honestly a waste of energy. As long as your pragmatic and wear an outfit that is appropriate then wear something that expresses your character. It’s best to dress with something comfortable and something that expresses your character. It goes without saying if you’re going out for a meal then wear something appropriate to that.

Stay Away From Your Phone

Put your phone on ‘Do Not Disturb’ or the equivalent, not on silent, especially if it vibrates on silent! Checking your phone or replying to messages is a definite no when meeting your SO’s family for the first time. It comes across as rude, impolite, and basically shows you don’t value their time or presence.

That said, the only acceptable time to be on your phone is if you’re showing a photo/video etc something where they have asked to see.

Help Out

One of the best things to do is offer to help out. This is especially good if you’re nervous because it keeps you busy and shows your good manners. It’s important to be sincere and honest about your offer to help, because if they do take you up on your offer you can’t bail out or say no – that’s rude! Additionally, if they decline, be respectful and don’t insist because that too can come across rude.

Bring a Gift

It’s always a good idea to bring gift (usually a small one) to your SO’s family when you meet them for the first time. General presents such as flowers, chocolates, or a bottle of wine are good. Additionally, you can ask your partner for a specific idea regarding your SO’s family interests or tastes. For example, if it’s a specific type of chocolates, or flowers or type of alcohol (or indeed not alcohol) or a present for their pet. By personalising your gift to your SO’s family, you make a good appearance and look like you’ve tried.

Keep the Conversation Light

You may have strong opinions on certain issues and regardless of whether it’s about politics or religion, to name two examples, it’s better not to bring up these strong opinions on the first meeting. This doesn’t mean you should never express your opinions and thoughts but meeting your SO’s family for the first time is just about actually meeting and getting to know one another.

Smile

Finally, remember to smile! It seems very obvious but when you’re nervous or caught up in the moment, remember to check yourself that you’re smiling. It’s more likely to make your SO’s family feel relaxed by seeing that you’re comfortable and happy.

I'm the Sex and Relationships Editor for Exeter and a third year student studying Classical Studies and English with a passion for literature, art and film!
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