So, you’re gearing up to meet your boyfriend’s folks for the very first time! Bet the anticipation has left you with mixed feelings of excitement and nervousness. After all, you want to get into their good books for good!
Thoughts of how to make your future in-laws like you have probably flooded your mind by now. But fortunately or unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question.
However, following the time-tested dos and don’ts of meeting the boyfriend’s parents can definitely brighten up your chances of getting them to genuinely like you.
Here are a few tips in this regard:
1) Dress to Impress
Deciding what to wear to meet your boyfriend’s parents can be confusing. You want to look modern, yet exude traditional elegance. Hence, wearing revealing outfits like deep-neck blouses or miniskirts should be avoided. At the same time, don’t dress like a prude. His parents may think that you’re trying too hard to impress them.
It is best to keep in mind the location, the occasion, and the people you will meet while carefully choosing your outfit for the day. Obviously, you need to stay true to your own sense of fashion, but if you think it could overwhelm your man’s family, go low key. This way, you’ll surely blend in with them.
Once you’ve developed a strong bond of trust with them, you can start dressing the way you normally would without the fear of being judged.
2) Be Pleasant and Courteous
You will do well to take a bottle of wine for your hosts, offer to help clean up after dinner, complement the food, and invite the hosts to your place in return for being invited to theirs. By doing so, you will not only be exchanging pleasantries but also winning hearts. Your diplomacy skills will be closely watched and appreciated by them.
Don’t be fake with your guy’s parents to make a lofty impression. Be down-to-earth and authentic. Whatever you do, don’t go overboard with trying to come across as polished. They may just end up thinking you’re conceited.
3) Compliment Your Boyfriend’s Home
Whether or not you really like your boyfriend’s parents’ place, be a good soul and compliment their home. This will work as a great ice-breaker, and also make the family feel good because almost everyone loves their house. By saying something nice about it, you will make them happier.
If there is anything in particular in the home décor that you like, for example, an artwork or a corner table, compliment it specifically. Doing so will give your words that much more credence.
4) Talk to All Members of the Family
If your boyfriend has siblings, they’ll definitely want to meet you too. Being friendly with them will make you the center of attention during dinner. If the siblings are younger and you can make them laugh, your boyfriend’s family will surely take an instant shine to you.
Making casual conversation with your man’s siblings will earn you brownie points with his parents. At the same time, don’t ignore his grandparents if they’re in the family as well. Be polite and initiate conversation with everyone so that things don’t get awkward.
5) Prepare in Advance to Answer Questions
It is only natural for your boyfriend’s parents to ask you questions related to your education, career, future plans, and your thoughts on marriage. Be prepared with good answers to these questions as your response will be important to his parents.
Ambiguous answers may make you come across as someone who is clueless about the direction her life is taking. Prepare and practice the answers beforehand, and be ready with convincing replies.
6) Avoid Talking about Sensitive Topics
Since this will be your first meeting with the boyfriend’s folks, topics such as politics, religion, divorce, sexuality, and finance can be tricky to discuss. You never know how they will react to what you say and become distrustful of you. They may also think that you’re with their son for purely selfish reasons.
It is, therefore, best to avoid talking about sensitive matters until you have developed a mutually-respectable and trusting relationship with them.
7) Don’t Be Touchy-Feely
While you and your boyfriend may have great chemistry together, you may want to keep it under wraps when you’re around his parents. Sexual gestures such as kissing, holding hands for no reason, patting his bottom, and so on are best avoided in front of them.
You can always display your fondness for your boyfriend by giving him a pat on his back while complimenting him or giving him a high five when he says something funny. These gestures are perfectly acceptable.
Remember, not everyone may be comfortable with your public display of touchy-feely affection. In fact, your boyfriend’s family might think that these are your attempts to stake claim over him and push them aside.
8) Show Your Support for Your Boyfriend
Your boyfriend’s parents will be happy to see you support him and be appreciative of the things he does for you. Laugh at his jokes, say nice things about him, and let the parents know how much you adore their son. If you’re engaged, talk about his impeccable taste in selecting a beautiful ring for the woman he loves despite having no experience in such things. Subtly mention the big and the small things he does that you love him for in your conversations.
9) Be Yourself
After meeting your boyfriend’s family and spending some time with them, try to do away with formalities and develop a healthy and natural relationship with them. The rehearsed efforts to make them feel good about themselves will have to stop sometime. Let your real self-show and shine through as they lap you up for who you really are. Don’t become another person every time you’re with them, else it will become extremely difficult for you and them to feel comfortable around each other.
Making the effort to adequately prepare yourself before meeting your boyfriend’s parents is always a good thing. After all, the first impression is the last impression. Your getting on their good side is as important to your boyfriend as it is to you. It is, therefore, crucial that you’re aware of what to do and not to do to floor them when you get the chance. If you’re scheduled to meet his parents any time soon, the above tips will hold you in good stead when D-day arrives!