4 Questions To Ask Your Partner's Parents When You First Meet Them

Meeting a partner's parents for the first time can make anyone feel nervous. After all, if your partner has a close relationship with their family, then a first meeting gone wrong has the potential spell trouble for your own relationship. That's why finding a genuine way to bond with their parents early-on can be so important. Fortunately, making a memorable first impression isn't as hard as you think. Having thoughtful questions to ask your partner’s parents when you meet them is a great way to demonstrate your desire to connect with them

According to psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Grant H. Brenner, putting in the effort to be the best version of yourself, while also being authentic, is an important first step to cultivating a good connection with your partner's family. "Put your best self forward," Brenner previously told Elite Daily. "Regardless of what you think about parent-child relations, you are never going to cause problems for yourself down the road by making a favorable impression with your partner's parents. So be on your best behavior, but at the same time, be yourself." Once you've gotten past the small talk, here are some questions to ask to get a deeper sense of who they are.

What is your favorite family tradition?

According to Anita Chlipala, founder of Chicago-based relationship therapy firm Relationship Reality 312, getting to know your SO's family traditions can help you bond with their family. "You grew up differently than your partner, so get to know their rituals [and] customs," Chlipala previously told Elite Daily. Needless to say, even if you find their family traditions strange, it's still important to "respect their traditions and the way that they do things."

Where did you grow up?

Instead of asking about their childhood directly, which could come off as a bit invasive, showing interest in where your SO's parents grew up can reveal a lot, and can help segue into a natural conversation about their childhood, education, and young adulthood. This is especially true if one or both of your partner's parents have a different cultural background than your own.

How did you meet?

Few things get couples talking like the story of how they met, and assuming your partner's parents are still together, this question can keep the mood positive. It can also shed light on your partner's parents dynamic as a couple, which may help you better understand your partner. "Our parents' relationship shapes how we are in a relationship in every facet," LCSW and owner of Serendipitous Psychotherapy, Kelley Kitley, previously told Bustle. "We observed their communication style [and] their approach to physical touch. It's the first modeling we are exposed to."

What are you passionate about?

"If you meet someone for the first time, there’s really no reason why you shouldn’t be curious about them," Chlipala reiterated. Being curious about their passions is not only helpful on a practical level when it comes to future gifting, but it will also show them you care deeply about what excites them, and you want to learn more.

Even though meeting someone's parents can be a little intimidating at first, as long as you genuinely try to put in the effort to make a good impression, there's a good chance it'll go well. In the end, even if you don't end up finding something to bond over during the first meeting, remember: Building relationships doesn't happen overnight. There's no rush.