You’ve met a great guy, you’ve been together for a while and you’re pretty sure you’re in love -- now you just have to meet his family. Before you freak out and try to avoid the inevitable first encounter, we have some tips to help you get through it calmly and make a great first impression.
1. Ask questions.
Conversation can be tough with new people -- especially those you're supposed to impress. Pressure to charm his parents can leave you tongue tied, so rather than panic over not having anything to say, ask questions. People love to talk about themselves if you let them, so use this first meeting as an opportunity to learn as much as you can about his family. What do they do (or what did they do if they're retired)? What are their hobbies? Do they have any funny stories about your boyfriend's younger days they want to share? The point is to shift the spotlight away from you and onto them.
2. Help out.
Help out where you can, or at least offer. Some people prefer to do everything themselves (from serving the meal to cleaning up afterwards), but it won't go unnoticed if you at least make it known that you're happy to help. It will help endear you to his folks, and he'll be happy knowing you're putting some effort into the meeting.
3. Be complimentary.
Flattery will get you everywhere, especially where his parents are concerned. The trick is to do it in such a way that it sounds natural, not overly rehearsed or fake. Rather than walk in and tell his mom how great she looks and how much you love her dress, her hair and her rose garden, be more specific: Remarking on her choice of artwork, the way she seasoned the roast chicken or the stylish way she decorated the bathroom will get you further than empty niceties that seem too general to mean anything.
4. Don't expect miracles.
Be prepared for the possibility that his parents won't be lining up to adopt you immediately after your first meeting with them. Just because they haven't asked you to become part of their clan and come for tea next week doesn't mean they don't like you, though. Relax, try your best to enjoy yourself, and don't expect miracles. Some people need time to get comfortable with others.
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