You’ve been together for a while, and it’s all going well. As with all relationships, some milestones will need to be overcome if that relationship is going to last. Meeting their parents is one of those hurdles, and it can be one of the hardest. Seeing their children growing up is always hard, and seeing their son or daughter in a potentially long-term relationship is a reminder to parents that their child is no longer dependent on them for everything. That means you need to make sure that you deliver the best first impression possible. Here’s how to impress your partner’s parents when you meet them for the first time. Get it right, and you could be welcomed into the family much sooner than you think.
Dress For The Occasion
You don’t need to hire a tuxedo or wear your most expensive dress, but you should always take the time to wear some appropriate clothing. If you’re meeting at a restaurant, dress accordingly! If you’re meeting at the family home, ask questions of your partner to find out a little more about them and what they’ll expect. Families can be very different, and what’s appropriate for one family will be wildly off for others.
Take a Gift
You don’t need to splash out on a Faberge egg, but taking along a gift of some kind is always a smart move and will always be appreciated. Don’t take a six-pack and hope for the best. Think about conveying the right first impression, and don’t spend more than you can afford. It might be tempting to splash out on a ridiculously expensive bottle of wine, but it’s much smarter to go for a little bit of luxury instead. Gifts like fine chocolate from Dallmann Confections will always impress and won’t break your bank balance either.
Avoid the PDAs
The last thing that parents are going to want to see is you draped all over their son or daughter with your tongue down their throat and your hands wandering. Affection is fine, of course. Holding hands is about as far as you should take things. Public displays of affection are one of the big no-nos when meeting your partner’s parents. Of course, parents will know that you’re going to be more affectionate in private, but there’s no reason to rub it in their faces. You’ll make a much better first impression if you can keep your hands off one another for the occasion.
Don’t Take Over the Conversation
When you’re nervous, it can be all too easy to let your mouth run away with you. Try to avoid that and let the parents do as much of the talking as possible. Be polite, and if there’s a lull in the conversation, then feel free to fill in gaps, but don’t spend more time talking than you do listening. Another point to be aware of, conversation-wise, is that one of the main subjects of discussion is going to be your partner. After all, it’s shared common ground. Don’t let the conversation turn into a tell-all or a ‘pointing out quirks’ session.
The most important thing to remember about meeting your partner’s parents is to relax and be yourself. Be polite, respectful, and proud of your relationship. Get that first meeting right, and your relationship stands a much better chance of lasting for the long-term.