There’s no such thing as a second impression when it comes to impressing your partner’s parents. You have to be on your A game from the beginning and make an impact that lets them know their child is safe in your hands, making things much easier for you in the long run. Here are the best ways to get on your potential mom and dad in-laws’ good side.
1. Prepare accordingly
We’re not suggesting you get together flash cards, but you need to have as much accurate info as possible to avoid awkward moments and seeming like you don’t care. For instance: be aware if your boyfriend’s parents are divorced, if they’re not closed with him, or if a parent is deceased. You should also be aware of what they do, and of course, what their names are.
2. Dress appropriately
We’re sure you look bangin; in that tight body-con dress you wore out to dinner with bae, but that’s not the outfit you want to rock with the parents. While you don’t have to dress like a nun, a low-key and respectful outfit that’s not too flashy should do the pick. Still, don’t wear leggings and a ripped tee either. Try to find a middle ground between the two that’s not excessively curve hugging or cleavage baring.
3. Etiquette is everything
While you don’t need to be trained like a princess in etiquette techniques, there are some fundamental manners that are important to pay attention to. Make sure you say your please and thank you’s, because it shows that you’re well-behaved in social situations, and were raised well. This will make his parents more likely to introduce you further to the family, since it’ll make them feel proud to be associated with you.
4. Always offer to help
Even if they’re wining and dining you every step of the night and making sure they take care of you, it’s important to display your graciousness by offering to clear or set the table, refill people’s drinks, or ask if there’s something you can do to help. This displays kindness and consideration on your part, which are good qualities in a potential daughter-in-law!
5. A gift is the cherry on top
This isn’t absolutely necessary, but coming with empty hands is a general no-no. You don’t have to drop a hundred bucks on something fancy, but a simple bottle of wine, box of chocolates, or bouquet of flowers can make a big difference. If you pay attention to the details or ask your partner for specifics (like his mom or dad’s favorite candy or plant) then you’re ahead of the game, and it shows you truly care.
6. Turn that frown upside down
If you consciously have a thinking or resting face that intimidates people or resembles a frown, try to consciously smile as much as you can throughout the night, without looking like a crazy person. Smiling emits a warm energy and happiness that others feed off of and mirror socially. Psychologically, those who smile are seen as approachable and trustworthy, with a willingness to engage in friendly chats. Humor is also a great disarming tool.
7. Don’t get too serious
Even if you have lots of opinions about touchy, hot-button topics, this is not the time or the place to bring them up. Try to generally avoid religion, politics, or other polarizing topics that can potentially make things weird.
8. Ask questions
Don’ interrogate them, but asking them questions about themselves is a great way to take initiative in the conversation. People generally love to talk about themselves, so ask them about their pastimes, history, and more that will get them to share personal facts and anecdotes. This shows that you care not just about your BF, but his parents as well — in a genuine way.
9. Be real about who you are
Being yourself will shine through, and help his parents trust you more. It will show that you’re an honest and non-deceptive person — if they ask you questions, instead of giving yes and no answers, provide a thoughtful answer with specifics. At the same time, don’t rattle on all night about yourself or get braggy with achievements — your man has probably already spoken highly of you. Instead, try to stay humble without underselling yourself too much.
10. No PDA
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with giving your S.O. some lovin’, but please don’t do it in front of his parents. You don’t have to sit a distance apart or anything, but try not to hold hands the entire time, and definitely don’t cuddle, fondle, or make out. Even pet names and leaning/clinging on your partner excessively can be too much. Essentially, read the room and the vibe, and try to be as respectful as possible.