No matter how close your boo is to their family, knowing some ways to bond with your partner’s grandparents can get everyone to connect. Whether you sit down around the table and ask them stories about their childhood or you try to teach them how to work their cellphones, bonding with your partner's grandparents comes in all shapes and sizes. Of course, everyone's family looks different. If your partner is closer to their aunts or uncles or another member of their community, getting close to the important people in your boo's life can be super meaningful to them.
Talking to your partner's grandparents can be a great way to learn more about your partner's family, as well as the past in general. Hearing where they were during major cultural moments in history or learning more about their childhoods can help you better understand why your partner is who they are. Though everyone is unique, family can be a fundamental part of someone's identity, and learning more about the people who raised your special someone can teach you all sorts of things about them.
And if you're looking to bond with your boo's grandparents, here are 10 ways to get the conversation started.
1. Ask them to tell you childhood stories about your partner's parents.
Ask to hear some embarrassing or silly childhood stories about your partner's parents. Did they try to open a bottle of Coca Cola on the kitchen counter and end up getting soda all over the newly painted cabinets (literally my uncle Steve)? Did they fight with their siblings over ABBA records? Sharing stories is a great way to connect, and hearing about your partner's parents will teach you even more about their family history.
2. Go to a mid-day movie.
Seeing a movie in the middle of the day is a fun treat for everyone. Whether you link up for a wholesome kid's movie or go see something a little more adult, offer to buy all the snacks and popcorn they desire and take them out for a matinee.
3. Offer to help them with something.
It's not always easy to ask for help, especially as you grow older. If you notice your partner's grandparents have tons of boxes in their basement, or they could use a little tech lesson, offer to help them around their house or to teach them something.
4. Call them with your partner.
If your boo is super close to their grandparents, they may already have weekly phone dates. Even if they don't chat 24/7, ask your partner to put you on speakerphone the next time they do. Getting used to having friendly conversations with them over the phone will help you all bond when you see each other IRL. And taking the initiative will show them and your partner how excited you are to get closer to their family.
5. Print out literal paper photos and share them.
Long before Instagram and TikTok, people would print out literal photos to share with each other. If you and your boo just went on a fun trip or you have a collection of photos from different dates and everyday life, hit up a CVS or RiteAid with a photo center and print out a couple of pictures. Share them with your partner's grandparents and tell them they can keep them.
6. Talk about vintage items.
From old magazines and records to a leather jacket you found at Goodwill, sharing vintage pieces can be a great way to connect with people from older generations. You can ask them about their favorite styles and memories of buying certain items during certain time periods.
7. Remember something they said.
Actions can speak louder than words. Of course, if you're actively remembering something they said and then bringing it up again at a later date, it's an action and words altogether. If your partner's grandparents mentioned going to Florida or told you about their favorite places to get bagels, remembering and bringing it up later can show them that you're paying attention and want to connect.
8. Ask to see their wedding album.
I'll never forget the first time I ever saw my nana's wedding album. It was huge and ornate with fancy paper and beautiful cursive writing, and she looked like a literal princess in every photo. Ask to see your partner's grandparents' wedding album, and sit with them as they tell you stories about their first kiss, when they got engaged, and all the silly behind-the-scenes memories of their big day.
9. Go out to brunch.
Food is the ultimate source of bonding. Of course, when you're hanging with people on the older side, you may find that they prefer to eat earlier in the day. Rather than getting dinner at 5:00 p.m. (which, TBH, can be fun, too), try going out for brunch and trying all of their favorite foods.
10. Go shopping for an upcoming event.
Grandparents want to feel like they're a part of your life. If you and your boo are going on a trip soon or you have an event at work or school, tell them about it and ask them to help you pick out an outfit. Ask them about their favorite trips or their memories from their own office and school.