Meeting the parents is one thing, but bonding with them is a whole other ball game entirely. Every parent-child relationship is different. Some people are closer to one parent, others are equally close to both parents — situations can vary. If your partner's mom is the center of their world, then it may be best to focus on ways to bond with your partner's mom. If your partner lives for their father, make an effort to bond with them. And, if your partner is incredibly close to both parents, forming some sort of connection to each parent can be really beneficial to your relationship.
The more serious a relationship gets, the more important it can be to have a good relationship with your partner's parents. "As the relationship progresses, their family will become your family," Damona Hoffman, relationship expert and host of the Dates & Mates podcast, tells Elite Daily. If you and your partner's parents don't get along, it may result in some pretty uncomfortable situations when you all get together for the holidays or any special occasion. It may also put a strain on your relationship with your partner. So, in an effort to bond with bae's mom, here are seven ways you can foster a good relationship.
1. Spend some quality time with her.
Spending quality time with your partner's mom may not be something you want to do too soon after you first meet. But over time, as you and your partner continue to get more serious, it may be nice to spend some quality time with just her, not including your partner. "Figure out what your partner's mom is interested in and see if you can join her on it," Hoffman says. "Aim to get solo time with your partner's mom so you can form your own relationship with her," aside from the relationship you have with her as her child's partner.
"Ask her about things she enjoys doing (including work, if she’s working), listen to how she describes things, and share a story that's related as a means to connect with her," Thomas Edwards, founder of The Professional Wingman, tells Elite Daily. "You won’t always have everything in common, but the one thing you’ll always have in common with her are emotions." Showing her that you're willing to be vulnerable with her and share parts of yourself she wouldn't normally see can help create a bond between the two of you.
2. Compliment your partner to her.
Everyone loves a good compliment. Complimenting your partner's mother in any way, but especially in how she raised her child, will make her smile. It may even give you a couple of extra points in her eyes. "Moms appreciate it when they can see that you love their child, so give them extra compliments, and tell mom what you love about her son or daughter when you're together," Hoffman advises.
3. Let your partner fight their own family battles.
As a partner, you may feel the urge to step up and defend bae if their family's disrespecting them. It's your instinct, but it may not help your relationship with their mom (or their family in general, for that matter) — especially if the relationship is still somewhat new. Now, that doesn't mean you shouldn't be there for your boo when they're having family troubles, but it may be better to help from a distance. "Support your partner through hardships with their family but let them fight their own familial battles," relationship and wellness coach Shula Melamed, MA, MPH, tells Elite Daily. "There are likely tensions or issues that long predate your relationship."
4. Contribute where you can.
"Is she cooking? Ask to help! Clean up after dinner? Just help her. Working on something and you think you can help? Just ask!" Edwards says. Even if she turns you down sweetly when you offer her your help, she'll probably remember the fact that you asked. "Oftentimes, just asking is enough to get to know you care, and she can rely on you if she ever needs you, or more importantly, when she especially needs you," he points out.
5. Do things together for your partner.
What better way to bond with your partner's mom than over the one thing you absolutely have in common? Your partner. Planning things together for bae can be a great way to bond because you both know them best. "Maybe co-plan something for him or her," Pricilla Martinez, online life coach at Blush, tells Elite Daily. "Whether that be ... a milestone, or there’s some sort of special event, something where you might be celebrating your partner, and you can do that together. It shows mom that you value their child, and that you’re committed because you’re putting time, and energy, and effort into their child, like they would."
6. Show your level of commitment to their child.
A mom's first and foremost concern is that their child is in good hands. If you can show your partner's mom that you're going to take good care of them, and you have no intention of ever breaking her baby's heart, then she may be more inclined to trust you. Understand "that you’re not overstepping," Martinez says. "You’re trying to figure out where you fit in. But I think really when you’re showing the genuine love and commitment for their child, and even for the family, they start to look at you a little bit differently. And [they] take you more seriously because they see that this is something that may last."
7. Get to know who she is, beyond just your partner's mom.
It can be easy to view your partner's mom as just that: your partner's mom. But, if you can get to know her for the person she is, you may be able to bond with her in a way you wouldn't otherwise. "To find an effective way of creating a special relationship with her, listen to her," Céline Sauvet, dating and relationship expert, tells Elite Daily. "What she has gone through? What are her hopes and dreams? What makes her feel good and happy? Ask her questions."
Bonding with your partner's mom can show your partner that you're in it for the long haul. You want to go the extra mile, and you want their family to love you as much as your partner does. Mom is a great place to start. "Show interest in her life," Melamed advises. "She's more than just a mom. She's an individual with thoughts, ideas, and stories that might be very different than your own!" Or maybe they won't be different at all, and you'll see that the two of you have a lot more in common than you would've thought. You'll never know if you don't try. And who knows? Maybe your partner's mom will become your new best friend.
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