Where did the time go? It seems like just yesterday that you were carelessly swiping through Tinder. Things get serious quickly, and all of a sudden you find yourself about to sit down and meet your S.O.’s parents. Sometimes the first meeting can feel more like a job interview than a friendly get-together. In some ways it is like an interview because you want to convince them that you are the right fit for their child and their family. If you go in with the right attitude and preparation, it can make the whole process go more smoothly. Here are five tips:
1. Get a feel for your S.O.’s family life.
No two families are the same. Each family develops their own culture. You’ll feel more at ease when you meet your S.O.’s parents if you have a basic idea of how things work in their household(s). Do they eat dinner together? Which do they value more: hard work or family time? Are they open to talking about touchy subjects like partying and relationships, or do they have certain taboo topics? If you feel awkward asking direct questions, try to casually weave the topic into conversation. Any information you can learn beforehand will make you more prepared. Plus, you’ll learn more about your S.O. and make your relationship stronger.
2. Show your appreciation with a token or words.
Good manners never go out of style. Don’t forget to show appreciation and say thank you at the end of your time together. If they are inviting you to their house, a small token gift will go a long way. This is where tip #1, knowing your S.O.’s family culture, comes into play. For example, if you know that their religion discourages alcohol, skip the bottle of wine. Food items are usually a safe choice.
3. Don’t be afraid to talk about your accomplishments.
Most parents see their kids as talented individuals and they would be proud for them to have an equally talented S.O. Don’t shy away from mentioning things that show you in a positive light. Do you volunteer at the children’s hospital or lead a dance team? You can bet that your S.O.’s parents would love to hear about it. Now is not the time to be humble.
4. Find something in common.
If you can find a common interest between you and your S.O.’s parents, you’ve hit the conversation jackpot. Downton Abbey? Olive Garden breadsticks? 80s music? The important thing isn’t what you bond over, it’s that you find a conversation topic that you can all get excited about.
5. Understand that it might not be about you.
Even when you do everything possible to make a good impression, you may find that you and the parents just don’t click. It might not matter who your S.O. brings home, because the parents would be unreceptive to anyone. Maybe they think that you’re both too young to be serious or maybe they just can’t let their baby go. If things go sour with the parents for reasons beyond your control, remember that it’s you and your S.O. who are in a relationship. When problems arise, family-related or not, it’s between the two of you to work things out.
Image Credit: 1