Acquaintance with the parents of a loved one can feel like a real challenge. Still, they will evaluate you, meticulously consider you as a candidate for entering the family, and then discuss you with your partner. Social psychologist Theresa E. DiDonato notes that parents really influence their child’s relationships. So making a good impression on the mom and dad of your chosen one won’t be superfluous if you have plans to build a future together. There are some tips on how to behave when you first meet your loved one’s parents in order to make them love you.
Prepare for the question “How did you meet?”
Not all dating stories can be shared with parents. Of course, if you met with your chosen one in the library, looked at each other, and realized that this is love at first sight, you can talk about it. But what if you met at a bar after a few shots? Parents don’t need to know about this. Therefore, discuss with your loved one in advance what you will tell their mom and dad because different versions of acquaintance voiced by you at the meeting will definitely raise questions.
Do your research
It will be strange to go to a job interview without knowing anything about the company in which you intend to work, and just as strange to meet the parents of a loved one without knowing anything about them. Relationship expert April Massini advises preparing well for the upcoming acquaintance.
It’s easy to gather all the necessary information – just ask your chosen one about their parents. Find out where they work, what they love, what their personalities and sense of humor are, so as not to inadvertently ruin everything with a bad joke.
Agree in advance what you can and cannot do at the meeting
Each family has its own ideas about decency and morality. If your parents think it’s okay to show your feelings in front of other people, then your partner’s relatives may consider it’s unacceptable. Therefore, draw the lines in advance. Find out from the chosen one if you can hold hands or kiss in front of their parents or maybe it’s better to keep the tenderness for later when there will be just the two of you. This tip is especially relevant if you are of different nationalities. For example, Ukrainian dating etiquette does not imply vivid displays of passion in front of the parents.
Prepare a couple of distracting conversation topics
Awkward pauses in conversation are something you definitely want to avoid when you first meet the parents of your partner. You can save the situation with some long-prepared variations – topics that you can talk about in the company of barely familiar people and at the same time not be afraid of making the wrong impression or being misunderstood. Thus, you can discuss with the parents the weather, nature, work, your family, hobbies, and pets. It’s better to avoid talking about politics, religion, and money issues.
Offer to pay for yourself
If the dinner takes place in a restaurant, of course, offer to pay for yourself. Even if the parents of your chosen one invited you to this place and insist on paying the bill, such a gesture will not be superfluous. It shows that you are a self-sufficient and independent person who knows the value of money. If the parents don’t end up letting you pay the bill, they’ll still note and appreciate your offer.