When it comes to the act of dating, there’s a couple of moments that will leave anyone sweaty and nervous. Some of these big moments could be the first date or the first time meeting her friends, but nothing will shatter your resolve as much as the first time you have to meet her parents.
It’s a scary situation, so let’s take a look at some do’s and don’t – just in case.
Unless they specifically claim otherwise, you’re talking to “Mr.” and “Mrs.”. I’m fully aware of the fact they have first names, but you’d not on a first name basis just yet. That’ll happen when it has to happen.
Bring a Gift
It doesn’t have to be something big, but a nice bottle of wine to share over dinner can break the ice in more than one way. Just remember that red wine is for red meats only. Everything else goes with a nice dry white. Thank me later.
Don’t Look At Your Phone
Yes, we know you’d rather be somewhere else, but stop making it so obvious. Be in the moment and at least make it look like you want to get to know everything about these people. Your internet persona can survive unattended for a few hours.
You only get one shot at a first impression, so at least dress for the occasion. You don’t need to arrive in a full costume, but ironing a shirt never killed anyone. At least not if you do it carefully. Jeans are fine as long as they don’t have holes in them or look overly washed.
Work may be bugging you to hell and back, there’s no reason to bring that up in the first conversation you’re having with your future in-laws. You’re a great person that has everything worked out and can offer their daughter the stability she needs, remember?
Show Your Girl Some Love
And by that I don’t mean start making out on the couch, but look at her affectionately, make eye contact frequently, laugh at her jokes, touch her gently, … Show these people that you actually love their daughter.
Every family has their quirks that you’re not aware of as an outsider. Ask your girlfriend for some pointers on what topics to avoid and which topics to actively work towards. Maybe her dad loves politics, but not the part of politics where foreigners get to vote. You’d be better off being aware of that minefield before you enter the room.