Maybe you’re meeting his parents for the first time, or maybe this holiday season will be the first time you’ve spent quality time with them. Either way, you’re nervous, right? Worry no more — this is your comprehensive guide to winning over his parents with flying colors.
Meeting our significant other’s parents for the first time is incredibly daunting. After all, they’ve probably heard a lot about you, started to form ideas in their heads about what you’d be like, and are anxious to get to know their son’s new girlfriend. Even if this holiday season won’t be the first meeting, it’s bound to be nerve-wracking. Expectations around the holidays are always high, and after an incredibly challenging year, even more so.
Gaining the approval of our significant other’s parents, while not totally necessary, feels pretty important. Without it, our relationship with our partner can face trials and tribulations down the road. Plus, who doesn’t want to get along with the family our guy grew up in?
So, how exactly does one win the affections of our significant other’s parents?
Know How To Respect Them
We were all taught the importance of respecting our elders — a lesson that never stops being relevant. And since, in all likelihood, we’ll be going to our partner’s parent’s house for holiday festivities, it’s crucial that we consider how best to show them respect.
If we don’t agree with their views, it’s best not to bring them up.
Finding out what their religious and political beliefs are, and whether they’re more concerned with propriety or are more lax, will help us navigate how best to respect his parents. If we don’t agree with their views, it’s best not to bring them up. It’s not about hiding who we are, but about being thoughtful and polite towards our differences, and respecting the way they run their household.
Ask Lots of Questions
Nothing is worse than walking away from a conversation only to realize we gabbed about ourselves the entire time, and left knowing nothing about the person sitting across the table from us.
One of the most effective ways to get on someone’s good side is to make them feel incredibly interesting — don’t we all want to feel that way? Come prepared with a few good, uncontroversial topics of discussion — starting with a simple, “So, where did you grow up?” and progressing to, “Do you ever miss it?” “What was your favorite part of growing up in Texas?” This will not only make them appreciate our effort to know them, but it also takes a bit of the pressure off us having to talk about ourselves!
Find Ways To Connect
We might not share some of the same beliefs as our significant other’s parents. Maybe we share none whatsoever. This doesn’t mean there’s nothing left to connect on. What’s their favorite Food Network show (because everyone likes the Food Network)? Have they traveled to any of the same places we have? Maybe we’ve read and enjoyed some of the same books.
Branch out and talk about something other than politics.
Connecting with someone over shared beliefs is an easy way to connect, but it’s certainly not the only way. We might end up having far more in common than we’d initially thought if we branch out and talk about something other than politics.
Show Your Love for Their Son
Parents will always want to know that their beloved child is with someone who truly loves them. What better way to get on their good side than by showing them just how much you adore their son? But not necessarily using PDA.
Instead, ask his parents to share their best childhood stories about him, bond over the habits he never outgrew, or request his mom or dad teach you how to make his favorite meal growing up. This will help them see our investment in loving their son well, inevitably gaining their approval.
Meeting the parents for the first time will never be comfortable — but in all honesty, most parents aren’t that hard to win over, given we show them respect, engage in thoughtful conversation, and show them that their son is loved. Don’t sweat it too much!