21 Practical Tips on Meeting Your Boyfriend's Parents ...

Mercy

21 Practical Tips on Meeting Your Boyfriend's Parents ...
21 Practical Tips on Meeting Your Boyfriend's Parents ...

You may have heard horror tales about meeting boyfriend’s parents for the 1st time, but pretend you didn’t (out of all my girlfriends just one of them had bad luck with her boyfriends’ folks, but those love birds still got engaged).

Anyway, I am sure you would still want his Mom and Dad go crazy about you, specially if you think he's a keeper. So, apart from an open mind and a positive outlook, here are a couple of other tips that you can use to make a great start with his family!

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1

Wait

Don’t rush into meeting the family. Wait for the right time. Get to know your guy first. Once you’re sure that this relationship is ‘the one’ then mutually decide to meet the parents.

5 Top Tips on Dressing to Meet His Parents…

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Meeting your boyfriend’s parents can be a nerve-wracking experience, but it can also be a great opportunity to make a good impression. It’s important to take the time to get to know your boyfriend first, and make sure that the relationship is serious before you meet his parents. When you do decide to meet them, it’s important to dress appropriately, as this can make all the difference in how they perceive you. Make sure to wear something that is comfortable but still looks good. Avoid anything too revealing, as this may be seen as disrespectful. Additionally, it’s a good idea to bring a small gift for the parents, such as a bottle of wine or a box of chocolates. This will show them that you respect their family and are willing to make an effort to get to know them. Finally, make sure to be polite and courteous, and show that you are interested in getting to know them. By following these tips, you can make a great first impression on your boyfriend’s parents.

2

Research

Find out about his family before hand. Know if his parents are divorced or if they're both still alive, know if he's part of a blended family, a huge house of a joint family or a nuclear one. Learn up names of family members and try to get photographs so you can recognize them before you are introduced. You’ll be more at ease if you know who is going to be present. I had an embarrassing moment when in the middle of the dinner I forgot the name of the aunt who was too at the table... Thank God I didn't have to address her. Her name is Anna, and although we broke up with that guy, I remember his Aunt's name till this day.

3

Venue

The right location is important. One good choice would be something neutral, like a restaurant. Choose one that is semi-formal unless you’re a pro at figuring out the cutlery!

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Choosing a restaurant ensures a relaxed atmosphere where everyone can focus on getting to know each other without the pressure of more intimate settings like someone's home. Opt for a place with a muted ambiance—not too noisy or crowded—so that conversation can flow easily. If your boyfriend’s parents have a particular cuisine they enjoy or dietary restrictions, take those into consideration. Coordinating this shows thoughtfulness and respect for their preferences, which will score you some major points. Just remember, the aim is to foster a comfortable environment where natural interaction can occur, setting the stage for a pleasant first impression.

4

Punctuality

Don’t you want to make a good impression? Don’t be late as it’s disrespectful to make others wait for you. Along with other things, you need to show his parents that you are a responsible adult. If you’re running late then call and apologies and mention what time you can be expected.

***

Arriving on time for your meeting with your boyfriend's parents is paramount in demonstrating how much you value their time and the occasion. It shows that you understand the importance of first impressions. Time management reflects directly on your ability to handle commitments and responsibilities. Moreover, being punctual reinforces the idea that you are organized and considerate. In the event that unforeseen circumstances arise, communicating with sincerity and providing a new estimated time of arrival will help maintain a sense of respect and courtesy towards his parents. Remember, actions often speak louder than words, and punctuality is a powerful action.

5

Gifts

We all love them. However, finding the right gift is important. So find out in advance from your guy on what would be a good gift. Perhaps you could try a bottle of wine or some chocolates. I noticed that a box of expensive chocolates works perfectly. But make sure you know what kind they prefer - dark, white, milk chocolate...

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Giving a gift is a great way to make a good first impression when meeting your boyfriend's parents. Depending on the occasion, you may want to find something special that reflects your relationship. However, it is important to make sure you get something that the parents will appreciate.

If you are unsure what to get, ask your boyfriend for advice. He may be able to provide insight into what his parents would like. A bottle of wine or a box of chocolates are always popular options. When choosing chocolates, make sure you know what kind they prefer - dark, white, or milk chocolate.

It is also important to consider the budget for the gift. If you are on a tight budget, you could make a homemade gift. Consider baking something special or making a photo album with pictures of you and your boyfriend. Handmade gifts can be meaningful and thoughtful.

If you are looking for something more substantial, consider getting a gift card or a gift certificate. This way, the parents can pick out something that they really want or need.

Finally, remember to include a card with the gift. A heartfelt note expressing your appreciation for being included in the family can go a long way.

6

Attire

Get as much information as you can from your mate. You don’t want to overdress or look sloppy. Stay away from mini skirts and anything that shows off your cleavage or underwear (bra straps in particular), see-throughs also should be avoided. Find out what style is expected - your boyfriend should surely know! Oh, and please, try not to put too much makeup. Many parents and grandparents might disapprove...

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When meeting your boyfriend’s parents for the first time, it is important to dress appropriately. You don’t want to overdress or look sloppy, so look for cues from your boyfriend on what is expected. Avoid wearing mini skirts, clothing that shows off your cleavage or underwear, and see-throughs. It is also important to not put too much makeup on. Many parents and grandparents may have a more conservative view of makeup, so it is best to err on the side of caution.

When it comes to wearing jewelry, stick to minimalistic pieces. If you tend to wear statement pieces, it is best to keep them for another occasion. You should also avoid wearing any clothing or accessories that may be offensive, such as political statements.

Your footwear is also important. While you don’t have to wear heels, you should avoid wearing flip flops or athletic shoes. Opt for a pair of flats or low heels.

7

Conversation

So you dressed up real pretty, but do you have a mind? Then prove it but don’t go overboard. Try and not show off about your exploits and education. Try and involve all the members of the family. Be polite.

***

When meeting your boyfriend’s parents, it’s important to make a good impression. Dressing up nicely is a great start, but it’s just the beginning. You also need to demonstrate that you have a good mind and a polite, respectful attitude.

To make a great impression, try to involve all members of the family in the conversation. Ask questions to show that you are interested in their perspectives and opinions and don’t be afraid to share your own. However, it’s important to avoid showing off about your accomplishments and education. This can be off-putting and make you seem arrogant.

In addition to conversation, it’s a good idea to be prepared with topics of discussion that could be of interest to your boyfriend’s parents. Research their hobbies and interests, and be ready to discuss current events. Doing this will show that you are thoughtful and have put effort into getting to know them.

It’s also important to be polite and courteous. Respect their boundaries, and don’t be afraid to express gratitude for their hospitality. A small gift, like flowers or a box of chocolates, is a nice gesture to show your appreciation.

8

Flattery

Yes it works to an extent. Shower a little praise on them for making their son a fine gentleman. His mother certainly wouldn’t mind a few compliments on the food or home décor. But make sure you complement on things you really like (like their son :). You don't want the compliments sound like little suck-up lies, do you?

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When you compliment, do it with sincerity and let your genuine admiration shine through. Remember to notice the small details, like a unique piece of art or the way the garden is tended. It shows you're attentive and value their efforts. But beware of overdoing it; too much flattery can be overwhelming and come off as insincere. Keep compliments spaced out throughout the visit to maintain a natural flow to the conversation. By doing so, you'll leave a lasting impression as someone who is both kind-hearted and observant.

9

Opinions

While it’s fine to have an opinion on certain matters, try and stay away from politics, religion and gender issues. You don’t want to find yourself contradicting all the other family members. Agreeing with things or staying politely quiet is the best policy when family debates begin. If giving an opinion can not be avoided, try to stay as neutral as possible, not to offend anyone.

***

Navigating sensitive topics can be tricky, so it's wise to listen more and speak less. Everyone has their own deeply held beliefs, and while these are important, your priority in this setting is to build bridges, not walls. A smile and a nod can go further than a well-formulated argument in maintaining the peace. Remember, you're there to make a good impression, not to debate. If a topic arises that you're passionate about, practice diplomacy. Offer acknowledgments like, “That's an interesting point,” without fully diving into the fray. Your grace under potential conversational fire will surely be noted and appreciated.

10

Leave

After dinner stay a while and chat, but don’t linger on forever. They will probably want to wrap it up even if the evening went well. So thank everyone for having you over and make a graceful exit.

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It's a delicate balance – you want to seem engaged, but not overstay your welcome. Observing the family's body language and cues can give you hints on when it's time to depart. If you notice that they're starting to clean up or they are yawning and glancing at the clock, these are subtle indications that the evening is coming to an end. Thank them for the lovely meal and express that you had a wonderful time. This shows appreciation and ensures you leave on a positive note. Once home, sending a quick thank-you message can also be a thoughtful gesture.

11

Ask Him Beforehand

Your boyfriend knows his parents better than anyone else, so he's the one you should ask for tips. Every family has touchy topics that they try to avoid, so ask him what they are, so you don't say something you regret. He might even tell you exactly what to talk to his mom about so that she instantly loves you.

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Knowing the family's etiquette and expectations can go a long way. If his dad is a stickler for punctuality, make sure you're on time. Or perhaps his mom appreciates a thoughtful gesture, so bringing a small gift or helping with the dishes might earn you extra points. Learning about their hobbies and interests can also give you a head start on conversation topics. Remember, it’s not just what you say, but how you say it; your approach should be considerate and genuine to create a positive impression.

12

Avoid PDA

His parents don't want to see their little boy with his tongue down your throat. It's okay to hold hands and maybe even to give him a quick peck, but don't spend the whole evening making-out. It's just plain inappropriate.

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Maintaining a level of decorum when it comes to public displays of affection is crucial, especially in front of his parents. It's all about finding the right balance. A warm hug or a gentle touch on the arm to show affection can be endearing, without crossing the line. Keep in mind, you're building a rapport with them and setting the foundation for your relationship in their eyes. The goal is to make them comfortable and show that you have respect for their family values and traditions. Reserve the more intimate gestures for private moments away from the parental gaze.

13

Know Your Title

They're going to be asking questions, so get your story straight. Are you officially his girlfriend or will he be introducing you as a friend? Are you serious and exclusive, or are you just a fling? Does he always bring girls home or are you the first?

***

Understanding your relationship status is crucially important because it sets the tone for the meeting. If you're the girlfriend, they might be evaluating you as long-term potential. If you're a friend, the pressure might be off, but you still want to leave a good impression. Consider discussing with your partner how you'll be introduced beforehand, so you’re both on the same page. Remember, honesty is always the best policy - weaving a web of lies about your relationship status is a surefire way to start on the wrong foot. Keep it real, keep it simple, and let your genuine connection shine through.

14

Not Too Little or Too Much

You don't want to be so quiet that nobody notices you're around, but you don't want to blurt out your opinion every five seconds either. If you're spoken to, you should obviously answer. If the family is in the middle of a heated discussion, it's best to stay silent.

15

Know Your Manners

Be polite. When dinner is served to you, comment on how delicious it is and more importantly, say thank you. If you're the one being complimented, then you should accept it and be gracious. The niceness will pay off.

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Good manners extend beyond the dinner table. Always use please and thank you in conversations, and avoid interrupting others. If they offer advice or share stories, show interest and ask follow-up questions. Remember, the little things count—help clear the table or offer to assist with dishes without being asked. This shows respect for their home and appreciation for the effort they've put into the meal and your visit. Your thoughtfulness will leave a lasting good impression and can be an easy win in your favor.

16

Stay off Your Phone

If you're texting the entire time and ignoring the conversation going on around you, you'll seem rude. You have to ignore the urge to keep checking your phone, no matter how difficult it is. Live in the moment.

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Remember that first impressions matter a great deal, and giving undivided attention to your boyfriend's parents will convey respect and genuine interest. Practice active listening; nod, smile, and contribute to the discussion to show that you value their insights and stories. Save the selfies and social media updates for later; prioritize building a connection with the people who could become an important part of your life.

17

Watch Your Mouth

Try not to be too messy when you eat. Grab as many napkins as you need and pay attention to how much you're putting into your mouth at once. Of course, if you end up spilling something, don't freak out. Keep calm and offer to do the cleanup yourself.

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Mind your manners to make a good impression at the dinner table. It's also courteous to avoid talking with your mouth full. Not only does it prevent potential mishaps, but it also shows respect for the people you’re engaging with. Remember to pass items rather than reaching across the table, and always say "please" and "thank you." These small gestures can speak volumes about your upbringing and character. If you do need to leave the table, excuse yourself politely. Simple manners often leave a lasting impression.

18

Nothing Inappropriate

If his parents are strict, you should probably skip the stories about the crazy nights when you got drunk with their son. Keep things PG rated, even your conversation. Even if his parents end up being very laid back, watch what you say. You don't want to take it too far.

19

Offer to Help

Offer to help with dishes. Offer to help with setting the table. Offer to help with whatever you can. Even if they don't need your help, they'll appreciate the sentiment. You want to come across as kind.

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Being proactive in lending a hand demonstrates your considerate nature. It's the little things—like folding the napkins or offering to pour drinks—that show you're attentive and eager to be part of the family dynamic. If you're unsure, a simple “Is there anything I can do to help?” goes a long way. Your willingness to participate not only reflects your good manners but also dispels any potential awkwardness, making you seem more like a welcomed guest than an outsider.

20

Relax Beforehand

See if you can hang out with your boyfriend at the movies or at your house before meeting his parents. That way, you can have fun with him and relax a little. The less nervous you are going in, the better it'll go.

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Spending quality time with your significant other before the big meet-and-greet can work wonders in calming any jitters. Consider activities that are light and enjoyable—a tranquil picnic, a humorous film, or a leisurely walk in the park—anything that boosts your mood and allows you to connect with your boyfriend. This pre-meeting hangout is the perfect opportunity for you to share any concerns and get some last-minute advice or reassurance from him. Remember that he knows his parents well and can provide insight into what might impress them. The more at ease you are, the more authentically you'll present yourself when the time comes.

21

Smile

No matter how nervous you are, you shouldn't spend the evening looking miserable. If you do, then his family won't think highly of you. Laugh at the lame jokes his father tells and smile when you don't know what everyone else is talking about. Look like you're happy to be there.

Meeting the parents doesn’t need to be a dreadful. So, basically just be nice, open and honest. If you plan things in advance or at least think over the questions they might ask you, you will feel more comfortable and prepared. I know it worked for me, and now my mother in law and I are in a great relationship :) I am pretty sure these tips will work for you too.

Good luck, and remember, if their son fell in love with you, they'll love you too!

This article was written in collaboration with editor Holly Riordan.

Feedback Junction

Where Thoughts and Opinions Converge

Hi I'm invited to my boyfriend's FAMILY summer party. So the WHOLE family will be there. I have met some of his family already but I am very nervous and keep thinking about ways to cancel but it seems impossible. I have extremely bad social skills. I never know what to say to people. I am 25 and this is my first relationship, trying to get out of my comfort zone but this seems to be a step too far for me. Not sure how to cope... anyone have any tips for socially awkward people?? = (

So I'm a Junior in High School and he's a Freshmen in college and we haven't even started dating yet but he already wants me to meet his parents. Should I take this as a good thing? Does this mean he wants something long term?

It's really scary meeting your boyfriend's parents for the first time. Just act normal and be yourself. Parents have a strong sense when it comes to this.

Hi I was recently invited to meet my boyfriends parents and I'm extremely nervous . His patents decided we would meet at there house and well my boyfriend wants to spend time watching a movie in his room do u think it seems inapropriate if I go inside his room when it's just going to be me and him ?

I believe in the saying that first impressions last. =)

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