Meeting the parents is always an event. You've got to plan out the perfect outfit — something that says, "I've got my life together, but I still know how to have fun (just not, like, too much fun)" — and drill all sorts of tidbits and key facts into your brain. His mom likes orchids and roots for the Red Sox, but his dad's a Yankees fan and obsessed with fly-fishing. Something to that effect, at least. But one aspect of meeting that parents that's impossible to really plan for? How the heck to address them. Seriously though, what do you call your boyfriend's mom? Or your girlfriend's dad?
When you're growing up, this is a much easier question to answer. Everyone's parents are "Mr." this or "Ms." that until a first name basis is established. But, meeting the parents as an adult (or whatever it is that we are?) is a little stickier. Is it immature or suddenly stuffy to continue with the formal suffixes, or disrespectful to jump straight to first names?
I turned to the only people who really know how to answer this all-important question: Real life parents.
Now, there are a handful of factors at play here, including geographic location. For instance, Southern parents (especially Southern mamas) generally prefer prefer to be addressed by a suffix and their first name — i.e. Ms. Beth, instead of Beth or Mrs. Wheeler. Northeastern women, on the other hand, seem to prefer going by Mrs. This or That, or just jump straight to first names. As someone who split her adolescent years between the Northeast and Southeast, I definitely picked up on (and TBH, was perpetually confused by) this split.
So much to unpack here, guys.
But I'll let the these various moms and dads explain it. Here's what 10 parents across the country had to say when asked what they'd like their children's boyfriends and girlfriends to call them.