Don’t You Love Meeting the Parents?

Do you find meeting your boyfriend or girlfriend’s parents a scary ordeal? I sure know it can be!

You may have tons in common…or it could be like visiting a foreign country. What do you do to prepare to meet the family? How do you make a good first impression?

Here are my top tips for weathering the first family visit:

  • The first thing you should do is ask a lot of questions. What are they like? What do they like? What bugs them? What do the parents do for a living? Learn a thing or two in advance and take notes so you are prepared with basic knowledge when you get there.
  • When you’re going to visit, never go empty-handed. Always bring something to the host or hostess. It can be as simple as a bottle of wine (if they drink), flowers or some kind of food.
  • Next, the key to being liked is usually to get in tight with Mom. You want to leave a good impression with Dad, but Mom is the one who will guide the impression of you with other family members and often even with Dad.
  • Stay away from hot topics – avoid conversations about politics, religion, your past dating history. It’s best to go in neutral and stay neutral. Don’t let yourself be lured into this tough conversation territory either.
  • Compliment your partner in front of their parents. Mom and Dad are always proud of their child – point out how smart or sucessful he is, how beautiful or accomplished she is. Show Mom and Dad that you appreciate your partner.
  • Help out – if they served you dinner, offer to help with the cooking or with cleaning up.  Clear the dishes from the table for the host.

Was meeting the parents ever a disaster for you? Or, with the holidays on their way, do you have an upcoming family visit that you’re nervous about and preparing for? Share your story or plan your approach here…

Photo credit: katesheets’ Flickr photostream


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Categories: Discussion


I'm a married publicist who holds a Master's degree in psychology, with a concentration in Marriage and Family Therapy. I'd like to make the world a better relationship at a time.

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