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How to Meet the Parents: The Non-Phoebe Way

Meeting the parents can be a pretty daunting experience but before I start on this, it needs to be said that I am not an expert on it. Trust me, when it comes to meeting my other half’s loved ones, I’m just as nervous as you are. However to combat any “meeting the parents” fears, I’ve found the perfect model: Phoebe from Friends! We’ve all seen the episode, and I think you’ll agree that it is the perfect definition of “what not to do” when you meet the parents for the first time. However, by simply following these handy tips, meeting the parents doesn’t have to be a painful experience, and before you know it they will love you just as much as he does!

1. Don’t be someone you’re not
We’ve all seen the moment where Phoebe meets Mike’s parents for the first time and suddenly turns incredibly posh: whilst it makes such good entertainment, you’re not going to win any brownie points by doing it.  Your boyfriend likes you for who you are, not who you can turn into, so don’t pull a Phoebe and act differently around his family.


2. Be lovely – it’s that simple

No one can deny that if you’re lovely and polite it will look like you actually want to be there: the best way to do that is smile! This might not seem like the most helpful advice, but if you’re nice to his family and parents, it’s difficult for them to actively dislike you.  For example, if you’re visiting him at home, offer to help clear up or if they take you for dinner make sure you say thank you.  Phoebe lesson: she did pretty well here – she was so nice to his parents, but she tripped up by not being herself, eradicating her nice-ness and replacing it with weird-ness!

3. Don’t stress about it!

If you start stressing then you immediately look uncomfortable and will end up either saying something you don’t mean (for example that you had hepatitis – not first meeting convo!) or nothing. Nothing at all. Uhoh- there really is nothing worse than an awkward silence! If you act like yourself it will be a lot easier to stay calm! Look at it this way: if he wants to introduce you to his parents then it’s unlikely that he thinks they’ll hate you!  Be comfortable: if you want a glass of water and you’ve been shown where the cupboard is, then take one. But I wouldn’t recommend going through the fridge…  Just look how badly it went when Phoebe allowed herself to stress too much, it’s really not worth it girls. 


4. Lengthen that skirt a touch…

If you think your skirt is too short, it probably is too short so go for something a touch longer! This also includes making sure that your top isn’t too low and that your dress covers everything it should.  It doesn’t mean you necessarily have to wear a maxi dress or that you can’t wear anything above the knee, but do have a serious think about what you pack! What can we learn from Phoebe here? She brought out a twin-set and pearls, which is obviously fine, but it wasn’t her. Be careful here girls: I’m not for a second suggesting you go and buy an entirely new wardrobe, so put your debit card away.  Dress like you would for any other occasion (no, the ball dress isn’t required here) but make sure that all key areas are suitably covered!

5. Take or send a little something

DON’T spend a fortune on this, it just has to be a token gift. Something as simple as a box of chocolates for the family and a bottle of wine for his parents is perfect.  If you’re staying with him then it’s just a nice little way of saying thank you for having you.  Even better, if you don’t want to give them something when you’re there because you’re too shy then you can easily send flowers after you’ve left. As a friend of HCX has noted “taking a box of chocolates and writing a handwritten thank you card is a nice gesture showing you want to make the effort to get to know the family better.”

When it comes to a relationship that you could potentially describe as serious then meeting the parents is part of the deal, and it’s a really exciting step forward in any relationship.  Just think of it this way, now he has to meet your parents! Good luck girls!



Photo Credits: http://twicsy.com, http://www.seriously-maybe.com

Lauren is the President/Editor-in-Chief of Her Campus Exeter, as well as the Manager of UK Expansion and a National Writer for HerCampus.com. While she has worked with Her Campus Exeter it has achieved Pink Chapter Level status and has grown to its current status as one of the most successful chapters internationally. She's determined to grow Her Campus in the UK this year and so is looking foward to working on increasing the number of HC UK chapters and to helping the established chapters improve and develop. This summer she was lucky enough to intern in the Her Campus Head Office in Boston, and had the most amazing time -- any time she can go back, she will! In her spare time Lauren loves to play tennis, catch up with her friends, go for long walks in the Scottish countryside or to watch chick-flicks under her duvet. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram @laurenhudson25.
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