It’s getting serious. She wants you to meet her parents. You want to meet them because she wants you to meet them, and you love her. If your girlfriend wants you to meet her parents, chances are you are in the running to become “the one”. Meeting her parents can be a nerve-wracking experience, wrought with potential disaster. In fact, it’s been the subject of many a comedy, most famously “Meet The Parents” and it’s sequels starring Robert De Niro and Ben Stiller. It can also be a positive experience as potentially your first introduction into her family. Using these five tips, meeting her parents for the first time can be a breeze!
1. Do Dress the Part
Your girlfriend fell in love with you, so she doesn’t mind your tattoos, piercings, distressed jeans, and beat up Converse sneakers. However, her parents may be more traditional and most parents will still prefer a well-coiffed, clean cut guy for their “little girl”. Once you’ve won them over you can let your style shine, but for now it’s best to keep it mainstream and classic. On the other end of the spectrum, no need to be unnaturally fancy or overdressed either. However, when in doubt it is always better to be over-dressed than under-dressed when meeting the ‘rents.
2. Don’t be an Eddie Haskel
Eddie Haskel was the overly-polite, sugary sweet neighborhood kid on the classic show, “Leave it to Beaver”. He was annoying and fake and her parents will see right through that behavior. Of course, being polite and conscientious never goes out of style, but being dramatically polite will seem fake.
3. Do Treat Their Daughter Right
One of the things her parents will be looking for is how you treat their daughter. They will be scrutinizing how you speak to her and how you treat her. Here is the time to be especially chivalrous and caring. Offer to get her drinks, open the door for her, pull out her chair, speak to her lovingly and complimentary. Of course, you should be doing these things anyway, but meeting her parents is the time to take it up a notch.
4. Don’t Be Controversial
There’s a reason people say that one should never discuss politics or religion at the dinner table. These topics tend to breed arguments and negative feelings between people who disagree. Keep the conversation light and stick to topics that aren’t controversial when meeting her parents for the first time. If they happen to bring up such subjects, gently steer the conversation toward other things. For example, her father asks who you’re voting for in the next election. Even if you already support a candidate, it’s best to say you’re still considering your options and you who feel will do the best job. No need to start your relationship on a negative foot!
5. Do Your Research
A few weeks before meeting your girlfriend’s family, it’s a good idea to ask her about her parent’s personalities and interests. This way you’ll have things to talk about that interest them and you won’t inadvertently offend them. For example, bringing her mother flowers seems like a sweet gesture until you find out she’s horribly allergic to roses.
Meeting her parents doesn’t have to break you out in a cold sweat. You don’t have to be phony or hide who you are, but employing some of these valuable tips can go a long way in future family relations if you plan on being with your girl for the long haul. Good luck!