The first time you meet your partner's parents can be a nerve-wracking experience. After all, you want to make a good impression a
nd start the relationship off on the right foot. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to help the first meeting go smoothly.
7 Tips for Meeting the Parents
First things first, make sure the timing is right and that you and your partner are ready to involve family in your relationship. If so, follow these tips for meeting the parents to help calm your nerves and have a pleasant experience.
1. Get Some Insight Beforehand
Take the time to learn about your partner's family. What are their interests? What are their values? This will help you find common ground and make conversation. Ask your partner if there are any “off limits” topics and respect those boundaries during the first meeting.
2. Follow the Dress Code
You want to feel comfortable and confident while meeting the parents, but it’s a kind gesture to “follow the dress code.” Dress codes vary from family to family, so ask your partner what’s appropriate to wear before the visit. If you're unsure, err on the side of caution and dress more formally than you normally would. Wearing clothing that is too revealing or casual can make you appear disrespectful or disinterested in making a good impression.
3. Be Yourself
You want to make a good impression, but you also don't want to pretend to be someone you're not. The best approach is to be yourself. Be friendly and polite, and take the time to get to know the parents. Ask them about their lives and interests, and share some personal stories. By being genuine and kind, you'll make a great impression and set the foundation for a strong relationship with your partner's parents.
4. Go with the Flow
Meeting the parents can be awkward at first. Rather than feeling like you need to force conversation, try to relax and roll with whatever comes up. By going with the flow, you can show your partner's parents that you're respectful and easy-going–two qualities that will endear you to them in no time.
5. Be Present
One simple way to show respect and convey that you're taking the meeting seriously is to keep your phone turned off and out of sight. This sends the message that you're focused on the conversation and invested in getting to know them. Of course, there may be a time when you need to take a call or check your messages, but try to limit this as much as possible.
6. Keep the PDA to a Minimum
It's natural to want to show affection for your partner, but keep the PDA to a minimum. After all, you're meeting their parents for the first time, and you want to make a good impression. Remember, you are still a stranger to them. You don't want the parents to think you're disrespectful or inappropriate.
7. Be Gracious
While you’re worried about meeting the parents, the parents are probably worried about meeting you. The first introduction can be a little uncomfortable for everyone. So, be gracious. Try not to take things too personally and keep an open mind. If you instantly click with the parents, that’s great! But it’s ok if you don’t. Building trust in a relationship takes time. If all goes well, hopefully, this will be the first get-together of many!