Every relationship has milestones – some move faster than others. However, meeting the parents is a real deal-breaker in a relationship for both parties, so it’s crucial to play your cards right when this stage finally arrives. Whether you kissed under the mistletoe at Christmas or you’ve just started dating, meeting the parents is a big deal that shouldn’t be taken lightly.
To help you survive this ordeal without any lasting trauma, we’ve put together a few handy tips on how to meet the parents and make a great impression first time.
Dress to impress
It goes without saying that you shouldn’t turn up in your tracksuit bottoms or a little black dress to meet your date’s parents. Think smart, stylish and clean-cut, and you’re unlikely to go far wrong with your outfit. We’re not talking suit and tie – unless you’re going out for a fancy meal, that is. Just make sure you look well presented and leave those more outlandish wardrobe choices at home.
Show some respect
You and your partner may secretly love a bit of toilet humour or the occasional crude joke, but it’s unlikely to go down well with your potential new in-laws. Think before you speak and put a filter on those spontaneous outbursts, to ensure that the conversation stays vanilla on this first rendezvous. You may find that they enjoy an innuendo just as much as you, but better safe than sorry in these early stages, eh?
Remember your manners
If you’re going out for dinner, restrain your caveman instinct and hone your manners for the evening. You’re unlikely to get a yellow card for eating the ‘wrong’ way round, but stick to a few basic ground rules. Avoid elbows on the table and eating with your mouth open if you want to stay in the good books of his/her parents, and try not to wolf down your dinner as soon as it arrives!
Make a connection
In an effort to abide by all of the above, you’d be forgiven for feeling a little under pressure. But remember, you’re not being interviewed by a pair of robots; Mum and Dad have a personality too, and they’ll be eager to see yours. Ask questions, make light-hearted jokes and share your enthusiasm for your partner and favourite hobbies, and even the most critical parents are bound to warm to you by the end of the evening!
You don’t need to be Prince Charming or Kate Middleton to impress the parents; put on the charm offensive, and it’s easier than you think to woo Mum and Dad. So long as you don’t send any alarm bells ringing, and they can see how head over heals you are for their son or daughter, you’ve got a good chance of surviving the dreaded meet the parents.
Yet to find someone worthy of an introduction to Mum and Dad? Give online dating a go to meet local singles near you!