Meeting our boyfriend's parents is a big step, and one of the most difficult moments of any new relationship. We go from that feeling of, “When is he going to introduce me to his parents?! Is he really taking this relationship seriously or not??” to, “Oh my God, I am going to meet his parents! What I am going to wear?”
But the time has finally come, and we all have been there, freaking out about how to build a good relationship with his parents from day one. But worry no more; I've put together a few things that have worked for me so you can also nail it like a pro.
Tip # 1 - Understand their background
The first thing you need to do is gather as much information about them, so you can understand their background and expectations. Ask your boyfriend where his parents come from, how their childhood were like, their jobs and interests and anything that can become a valuable information.
This way you can prepare yourself to be chatty and ask interesting questions. It will also help you to find out the best way to behave and dress accordingly. And don't be afraid of asking your boyfriend all these things. Remember he also wants them to like you. He can give you precious tips, as he probably knows where others have failed.
Tip 2 # - Make a great first impression
Now that you have all the information you need, it is time to get ready and make a great first impression. Stick a big smile on your face, and be prepared to answer with the truth and only the truth to all possible questions that might come. You won't be able to fake it for very long anyway.
Also, make sure you will be highly interested in any story they might tell you, especially the embarrassing moments of your boyfriend's childhood. Ask about the things they enjoy doing, but stay away from controversial topics, such as religion, politics and money.
Rest assured that they also understand the struggle of meeting a boyfriend's parents; they have been there! Also remember this is an awkward moment for them, too.
Tip # 3 - Don't try to be best friends
You might become great friends with your boyfriend's parents someday, but it won't happen overnight. You are strangers to each other, so don't be concerned if you all don't seem to get along in the beginning. Your relationship is probably also in the early stages, so no reason to be rushing things.
Yes, some parents tend to see a new girlfriend as a threat, but, usually, they only need some time to get to know you and be sure that their son has made a good choice. So be patient, and walk your way into their hearts, step by step.
Eventually, things get much easier and you will be happy to see them around in the future if the things work out between you and your boyfriend. As the actor Mathew Broderick once mentioned, “Having a baby changes the way you view your in-laws. I love it when they come to visit now. They can hold the baby and I can go out.”
Tip # 4 - Don't get involved in any family issues
No matter how long you've been dating your boyfriend, always have in mind that you are not part of his family. Even if you ever marry him, your place will always be a different one. So try your best to stay away from any family issues that might come up, as nobody likes an outsider poking in their businesses.
Of course, do support your boyfriend in every way you can. But, please refrain yourself from giving an opinion about what you haven't been asked or trying to fix what has nothing to do with you. You probably don't even know the full story, neither are you there to write a review or to become the family counselor.
Tip # 5 - Show you love their son
Above all, make sure they notice that you love their son and you will do your best to make him happy. This probably is their major concern, and you will need to reassure them that you won't disappoint them on it.
Take it easy on PDA, but express how much you care through words as often as possible. You can mention how much you admire his confidence or the way he got his new job, for example. And don't try to compete for attention; when he is with his parents, they have priority, not you.
Even if you never manage to be best friends with your boyfriend's parents, it should be quite easy to create a respectful and healthy relationship with them. You just need to understand and accept them as they are, and let them know you aren't a threat, but an extra resource in their mission to make their son happy.
On the contrary, you should also see them for what they are and be confident about yourself. You all will get along very well if you are willing to play your role honestly and with an open heart.