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The Awesome Guide to Meeting the ‘Rents

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Winthrop chapter.

Meeting your significant other’s parents can be quiet intimidating. In fact, many of us don’t know how to act or what to do when meeting the parents for the first time. Luckily, we’ve got the guide for you that will lead you in the right direction when you finally get to meet your girlfriend’s or boyfriend’s parents!

1. Leave your phone at home

How rude does it look when you keep playing on your phone or checking it periodically? This can cause his/her parents to feel like you do not have any interest in getting to know them. This gives you the chance to get to know his parents and bond with his siblings. Plus, putting the phone away for one night may do you some good–after all, you’re with the person that you likely text all of the time.

2. DON’T get all in the feels

PDA alert–NOT! They do not want to see you two getting all touchy feely and in the feels with each other, so save that for when you two are alone. After all, it’s very rude and kind of like a slap in the face when the parents see you two engaging in PDA. Most of the time his/her parents don’t mind the holding of hands or nice kiss on the cheek. Anything else is a no-go. Just be courteous.

3. Lend a helping hand

If you’re over for dinner or any other meal, make sure to offer a helping hand. Ask if you can help prepare the meal or possibly help by setting the table. This will show that you are putting forth an effort and have manners, something that every parent is sure to adore. Once the meal is over, help clean the table and clean the kitchen–can you say wow? No need, his/her parents will be saying it for you!

4. Open mind = open heart

Listening to your signficant other’s parents talk can be kind of boring. Most of the time, you’ll want to butt into the conversation and make a statement that will blow them away, but this may come off as a “know-it-all” remark and can have some negative side effects. If you do this, his/her parents may find your comments to be rude and out of place. So, just make sure that when you feed onto their conversation that you are being polite and not over stepping your boundaries.

 5. Leave your relationship problems behind

Make sure to leave whatever problems you and your significant other may be having out of the picture. No matter whose fault it is, his/her parents do not want to see their child fighting with their S/O or their S/O frustrated at their baby boy/girl. After all, no matter what the situation, your signficant other’s parents will ALWAYS take their side.

6. DON’T overstay your welcome

There probably isn’t anything worse than overstaying your welcome. I know personally, I have had someone come over to visit with me and my family and stayed absolutely way too long! I can remember after he left my mom said, “If that boy ever comes back over, it better be just to pick you up. He spent nearly 5 hours here and 4 of those hours, he was just sitting there like a bump on a log.” Needless to say, my mom sighed a breath of relief when he left. That sure was the end of that very short relationship!

7. DON’T be fake

Come on, we’ve all pretended and acted like we’ve really liked someone and liked their company when deep down, we really just wanted to leave. But, don’t be fake nice. I promise, parents can sniff out a fake within an hour–sometimes it doesn’t even take that long! Plus, your S/O knows you and will be able to tell if you really are not enjoying yourself. It’s just a bad situation all around. But, this does not mean that you should be rude because you do not agree with their statements, their political beliefs, or because you do not want to be there. Just be polite, don’t be mean. Just be yourself; after all, being who you are is the reason why your S/O even brought you home in the first place. In the end, you don’t want your S/O’s parents asking them why they even like you.

8. Follow the rules

Whatever you do, don’t disrespect the family rules. If your S/O takes their shoes off before walking into the house, don’t disregard this fact and walk right into the house becaue you have some cute shoes on. No, take your shoes off. Same rule goes for any other house rule. If you are questioning whether you are allowed to do it, I promise it’s okay to ask. It shows that you care.

9. Don’t be stingy

Realize that your S/O problably has not seen their family in quite some time. Don’t hog their time and make them spend what little bit of time they have with their family with you. Sure, spend time with him/her and make sure they know you care, but giving them their space shows not only him/her that you care, but shows their family that you care for all of them.

10. Dress for the occassion

It is never okay to meet the ‘rents wearing something that you would wear to the gym–and admit it, ladies: we are all guilty of sporting our yoga pants and over sized t-shirt on a daily basis. But, even though that look is extremely comfortable and you do happen to look *somewhat* cute, don’t show up to meet your S/O’s parents looking like a slack college student. Instead, dress for the occassion! A nice blouse and jeans is always a great idea, and you should also do your hair and makeup. I promise, by wearing something nice, his parents will notice that you put thought into meeting them. (Plus, every other time they see you, you’ll probably be in your *basic* college girl outfit and they will take note that you dressed nicely the first time to meet them.) 

Needless to say, whenever you get to meet the parents, it means that you and your S/O have hit a major mile mark in the relationship. You want to make sure that you present yourself in the best way that you can! Follow this simple guide and you are sure to have his/her parents falling in love with you!  Best of luck collegiates!

Caitlan Walzer is a sophomore at Winthrop University majoring in mass communication with a concentration in broadcast journalism. She is originally from San Diego, California and then in 2000 moved to a small town in South Carolina. She enjoys competing in pageants (is a part of the Miss America Organization) and is a licensed makeup consultant for Merle Norman Cosmetics. Caitlan is an active student at Winthrop, enjoys watching Netflix, being an active member within her sorority, spending time with her friends, and, of course, drinking Starbucks.   
Winthrop University is a small, liberal arts college in Rock Hill, SC.