Thanksgiving is rapidly approaching. For most, it’s a day to give thanks for the many blessings you have received. But for some, it’s a day of nervousness and utter uncertainty. You see, the holiday season is a crucial time for couples who intend on taking their relationship to the next level. This includes doing something that’s worrisome, possibly crazy, and maybe even a little dangerous: meeting the parents. For some girls, charming adults is in their blood. But for most, it’s not. You and your significant other might come from different backgrounds, different social statuses, and different beliefs. Knowing this, many girls tend to overthink the situation and invent horror stories about an event that has not even happened yet. “What if I don’t eat properly? What if I insult them? Is this outfit too revealing? Will I smile enough? Oh God, I hope I don’t smile too much!” And the common question: “Will they like me?” With all these thoughts running rapidly through your head, you have a higher chance of psyching yourself out. But fear not! Here are some do’s and don’ts for meeting the parents.
#1: DON’T Over-Compliment
Let’s say a guy’s trying to flirt. “You’re so beautiful,” he says. “I love that outfit on you”. Now, you may be flattered at first. But after about the seventh praise, you’re a bit worn out and more than a little annoyed. You’re so funny. You’re so smart. You’re awesome. You should be a model. You could be on TV. I love your laugh. I love your smile. I love you hair. Your eyes are beautiful. Where have you been all my life? Blah, blah, blah. If you don’t want a guy overpowering your thoughts with constant compliments, don’t do it to his parents. Parents don’t want to meet you so that they can hear how much you like the kitchen décor; they want to meet you so that they can see the type of person you really are. They want to get to know your personality. But if you’re so worried about complimenting his mother’s shoes, you won’t be expressing yourself in the right manner. Plus, many adults would consider that “brown-nosing”, and nobody likes a kiss-up. A compliment or two is always nice to hear, but trust me. The last thing you want to do is annoy a parent.
#2: DO Embrace the Food That They Have
Unless you’re a vegetarian, a vegan, or cannot eat certain foods for religious purposes, this is a huge step that should be taken. Your boyfriend might have already told his folks what you do and do not like. But if you notice something on your plate that you’re not use to seeing, try it out. Eat it anyway. You might actually like it. If you don’t, just eat around it. It’s important to show an interest in the food they’re serving instead of being judgmental towards something you haven’t even tasted. It’s insulting, rude, and makes you seem like you have poor character. You can be picky at your house, but try something new when you’re meeting the parents. If all goes well, they can have dinner with your family next time.
#3: DO Observe At The Dinner Table
This may sound a bit strange, but eating Thanksgiving dinner with a new family can really help you figure out exactly what kind of a family they are. Are they conservative? Are they laid-back? Are they loud and friendly? Are they quiet and reserved? All of this can be figured out over a good meal. Observe them. Listen to the topics they talk about. Note their views on those topics. See how they converse with one another. All of this will tell you what kind of family they are and how comfortable you’ll be with them. If you think this is slightly creepy, think again. They’re going to be doing the exact same thing to you.
#4: DON’T Complain
Realize this: not every family is going to do what your family does. If they have a chicken instead of a turkey, don’t complain. If they sip coffee and tea after dinner instead of stuffing their faces with desserts, don’t complain. If they want you to take your Prada shoes off in their home, don’t complain. It’s one night. Go make your own turkey when you get home. Go buy some apple pies from McDonald’s when you leave. Your Prada shoes aren’t going to walk away. You don’t have to keep all your opinions to yourself, but be respectful of other family preferences and traditions.
#5: DO Make Fast Friends With The Opposite Sex Parent
It’s something that can be observed within several families: mothers have more sensitivity towards their sons and fathers have more sensitivity towards their daughters. So when his parents meet you for the first time, they don’t just think, “Oh, that’s my son’s girlfriend”. No, you are a possible daughter-in-law. With that being said, the sensitivity factor is always a good one to have. Make friends with his father. That way, you'll have someone to defend you even if his mother isn’t convinced. Fathers are more inclined to welcome the girlfriends of their sons with open arms. It’s a proud day when a man gets to meet the woman who he believes will be his future daughter-in-law. So be kind and funny. Do this for both parents, but make sure that his father is on your side. Besides, sons love to make their fathers proud.
Hopefully these tips will help you overcome your “first-time” jitters. Remember, it’s only for one night. Once you’ve won their approval, the comfort level will work for itself. Just think about what kind of person your parents would want for their own child.