Milestones: Meeting the Parents
By: Jessica Hartman, Certified eFlirter
The holidays are upon us! And if you’ve been in a relationship for any length of time, that usually means one thing — it’s time to meet the parents. The holidays are really a great time for this milestone because the family is already getting together anyway, and there is less pressure on them than if they came together just to meet you. Plus, there are lots of potential subjects in the case of an awkward silence. But here are five fail-proof ways to make sure that your date’s parents will love you as much as they do:
- Bring a small gift — Bringing a bottle of wine or flowers will earn you instant brownie points, and it’s also a sign of respect. (Note: Make sure they actually drink before you bring a bottle of wine! This is more common than you might think.)
- Compliment their son/daughter — Saying what a great job they did raising your significant other will always be appreciated. Parenting is hard, and by complimenting your mate you’ll also be complimenting them. It’s a win-win!
- Roll with the punches — If a family is really close, they may want to test you out before you get their seal of approval. Once, my family actually made my date sit on a barstool while they grilled him with questions! However, he passed because he was a good sport and laughed his way through it. If it's a sarcastic family, they may give you a few jabs to see if you can take it and even hand it back. Whatever the case, just try to keep smiling and remember that it’s worth it in the end!
- Offer to help — If the parents invite you over for dinner, offer to help with the clean up. You will instantly go from being a guest/stranger to being part of the family, since this act is usually reserved for family members. Even if they decline, they’ll be impressed at your courtesy.
- Make plans to meet up again — Making plans with the family shows that you’re really serious about your significant other and want to be a part of his or her future. Even if you’ve only been dating for a few months, this is a sure-fire way to earn the respect of both the parents and your date.
Meeting the parents is a major milestone in a relationship, because it means that your match trusts you enough to be introduced to the most important people in his or her life. But try not to put too much pressure on yourself. Remember that as long as you’re honest and polite, it should be a piece of cake!