Relationships are great, especially with the right girl. Hanging out, spending time with her sure is awesome. But the real test comes when she invites you to meet her parents.
Meeting your girlfriend’s parents for the first time, that’s where the real challenge pops up. Dealing with your partner’s parents is always a tricky job. Especially if you are serious about a future with her. And you must show them that you can take care of their daughter and are not the hooligan they’re going to believe you are.
Every parent is protective of their daughter. So, they will judge you to the extremes and test your abilities to the limit. It becomes important that you make the right impression on them as that impression’s going to stay, for the rest of your, if you’re lucky enough, married life.
Here are some foundation points on how to build up a good relationship with her parents when you first meet them.
- KNOW THEM BEFORE YOU MEET THEM
Well, obviously, before meeting her parents, do your homework. Find out some background details about them, like what are their hobbies, what do they do for a living, what are some of their achievements and so on. You’ll also be better off knowing what upsets them, what impresses them and how to win their hearts. So, listen carefully to your girlfriend when she talks about her parents and try to make a judgment of how you might have to behave.
- GROOMING, DRESSING AND MAKING THE FIRST IMPRESSION
Next, present yourself in the best light. Rummage through your closet for some good, casual clothes, probably a button-down shirt and some clean, neat jeans or pants. Groom yourself thoroughly, such as combing your hair and scrubbing your face. They are going to notice everything, right from the stain on your shoes to the ink spot on your collar. Probably, you could put on a light jacket too. Try going for the clean-shaven look if a beard or stubble is not your strong point.
- PUT ON YOUR BEST BEHAVIOR
Yes, it’s time to remember all the moral science classes that you had to go through in school. Put out your best behavior in front of her parents. You can always start by addressing them as Mr. and Mrs. or probably Sir and Ma’am. Then offer to do some of the chores such as setting the table, or cleaning up after it. They might not accept your offer to do all these, but they’ll appreciate you for offering. These are small, gentlemanly habits that will convey the right impression to her parents. Also, try not to get lost in checking your phone. Be attentive to the ongoing conversation.
- CARRY SOME CONFIDENCE, BUT BE YOURSELF
This comes as no surprise that you need to act confident in front of her parents. While it is okay to be nervous about meeting them, it is not okay to let them know how nervous you are. Go for a firm handshake when you are introduced, and keep a smile on your face. Just try not to overdo it and become cocky. Also, one thing many guys mess up is that they are never themselves. There is no need to be some sissy that you are not. Be as confident and bold as you are around normal people like friends, just tone down some of the foul-mouthed stuff and the inappropriate talk.
- BE ATTENTIVE TO THEM AND TALK TO THEM DIRECTLY
Next, talk to THEM. Don’t let your nerves get the better of you. Look them in the eye and converse. Don’t talk indirectly through your girlfriend. Converse with her dad about general current affairs and any other things he might be interested in. The homework you do will come in handy here to give you stuff to talk about. To her mother, talk about how beautiful the house is, or ask about her garden, if she has one, and so on.
- AVOID NEGATIVITY AND IGNORE TAUNTS AND JUDGEMENT
Try to talk about positive stuff, such as an upcoming promotion. Don’t talk about stressful topics or problems that you are probably undergoing currently. And remember that they have all the rights to judge you for whatever you do or say, so ignore the jibes and harsh comments, and put in effort to be polite. Avoid topics such as politics where there might be chances of getting into heated discussions.
- BE AFFECTIONATE WITH YOUR GIRL
And last of all, show them how caring and sweet you are towards your girlfriend. Pull out the chair for her, hold her hand, and give her a hug before you leave. Just try not to do too much of PDA. Don’t fall over each other. Just show enough affection that shows to her parents that you do love her.
After all these, don’t forget to thank them for the evening. Also, let your girlfriend know that you had a good time, regardless of whether you had one or not. Think of it as more of an interview, and not as a fun time.
If you are lucky, her parents might be fun, good people who will make you comfortable enough to talk to them with ease. But more often than not, they will be tough to impress.
So, put on your armor and ride out to meet them, keeping these battle strategies in mind.