We all know that meeting the parents of your significant other is a big step in any relationship. The fact that it is this big step causes some people to over-think the process –or even avoid it. On the other hand, there are people who race towards this moment at full speed ahead without stopping to think about if they are really ready for that next step. Here are some tips on how to make sure you are ready to meet the parents and how to get through the meeting alive and well!
Are you ready to take the next step?
Don’t rush into it! Make sure that you are at a place in your relationship where you feel confident and secure. Time spent getting to really know and appreciate your significant other will make you more comfortable (and actually eager) when it comes to meeting the parents. Also, if you want their parents to take you two seriously as a couple, you want to make sure you have time on your side to “prove” that what the two of you have is something serious and not something that is fizzling out by the end of the week once you learn each others’ names.
So you’re meeting the parents!
Show up prepared!
Try to learn names before you get there and even faces if pictures are available. Also, a few fun facts about each person allows you begin to get to know them and can also help you remember their names. Ask your significant other for topics that are “off limits” due to the potential for a heated conversation (ex: sometimes politics brings out the boiler) and maybe even a few suggestions for good conversations in case you need them.
To bring a gift, or not to bring a gift?
If you are meeting your significant other’s parents at their house (especially if you’re having dinner there), it is a good idea to come prepared with a gift. Think of what you would bring other hosts/hostess’s: wine, chocolate, fruit basket, flowers, etc. When in doubt, ask your significant other what they think their parents would appreciate (or even if they would appreciate a gift).
Be on time!
Regardless of how terrible you are at planning or how inevitable it seems that you will show up late for something, be on time for this. You are trying to make a good impression and no one is impressed by tardiness.
Hopefully you are rolling your eyes because this one is so obvious. Say please and thank you. Don’t throw things at the wall (or anywhere for that matter). Clean up after yourself. Push in your chair. Don’t make out with your SO in front of their parents’ faces. Be a good listener (it’s in the eyes, people!). Don’t interrupt. Throw in a sincere compliment or two if you can (emphasis on “sincere”).
Dress like…you’re meeting your significant other’s parents for the first time. Kidding. You want to look nice and presentable. Avoid things like sweats and excessive bare skin. If you’re concerned about over-dressing or under-dressing for the occasion, ask! Your SO should know what will be well-received or tactfully un-noted with their own parents.
Your significant other’s parents are just people. You’ve met people before. There is nothing to freak out about. Take a deep breath and just be yourself (you know, your on-time self). After all, most parents just want their children to be happy. If their son or daughter likes you, they already have at least one reason to like you!
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