Meeting your partner's parents or family members can be a daunting enough process on its own, whether you are in a serious relationship about to enter into marriage or you are still early in the dating stage. When you are about to meet your future in-laws for the very first time, however, that pressure to impress can feel even heavier! Whether we may like it or not, the truth is that first impressions do matter and what your future in-laws think or feel about you after having met you will tend to have quite a big influence on the future of your relationship. So, to make sure you don't do anything silly and end up possibly jeopardizing your image to the family, take a look at this list of the do's and don'ts:
1. Dress appropriately
Now is not the time to show off your cleavage or any of your womanly assets too much because you want them to be able to actually talk to you without getting distracted. Wear something that you feel completely comfortable in. You also want to make sure you are able to enjoy yourself without continuously fiddling with your clothes.
2. Bring a gift
Who doesn't like gifts? You will make a good impression if you bring something to the meet up, whether that is wine (if they drink alcohol), cake or some cookies for dessert. Ask your partner what he thinks his family would appreciate most as the last thing you want is to bring something the family doesn't like.
3. Compliment the place they live in
If it's the décor of the house, the table set up, the pictures they have on their walls or their furniture, be sure to mention how nice they are. Do not over do the compliments though; just say it once or twice and you will be good.
4. Speak politely
Don't be too loud or obnoxious, when it comes to first time meeting. This isn't the time to start yelling or to start using vulgar terms. Keep it PG and be as polite as you can be with your words as well as your actions.
5. Know your manners
Don't forget your 'please' and 'thank you'. Remember what your parents taught you a long time ago, be sure to get those manners out in practice.
Don't just stick to your partner like you're joined at the hip. Instead, go around and talk to the family members. Mingle like your life depended on it! If there are aunts, uncles and cousins around then get to know them. This will show that you care about building relationships with the bigger family, hence building a future with them as well.
7. Help out
If the mom is cooking, then offer your help. Even if you do not help with the cooking process you could help with the cleaning. Again, don't over do it to the point where you are slaving away just to impress, but just make sure you offer any help you can give.
8. Say nice things about your partner (but don't be fake!)
It would be good to mention a few things you appreciate about your partner in front of the future in-laws. What parents don't like to hear nice things about their son, right?
9. When you leave, thank them for having you around
Let them know that you have had a great time and you have enjoyed yourself. Thanking them shows appreciation and parents love that.
10. Be yourself
There is nothing wrong with making an effort or going out of your way to impress the future in-laws but make sure you stay as genuine as possible. In-laws can smell artificial manners from a mile away, so stay true to who you are.
1. Be rude
Don't just walk in like you own the place. Just because you happen to be the guest in this visit doesn't mean you can be a snob about it.
2. Drink too much
If alcohol is being served, be careful not go over your usual limit! This isn't a night out with your friends and you do not want to wake up the next day feeling hung-over because you got drunk visiting your future in-laws for the first time. You can have one glass of wine but you should probably stop right there.
3. Be all over him
Now is not the time to show public display of affection. As much as you want to hug and kiss your partner the whole time, show some restraint! Your attention should be on the parents/his family (you can be all over him after the visit.)
4. Start an argument with him
Although this may seem like an obvious no-no, you'd be surprised at how many couples have arguments in front of the parents. Please, avoid confronting your partner on anything during a family visit (whether it is your first time meeting the parents or not). If something bothers you, keep it to yourself first and then talk about it when you get home.
5. Bringing up controversial topics
As much as you may want to talk about politics, religion or money, now may not be the best time to discuss those topics as things could get a little bit heated. The family most probably don't know you that well, so let them get to know you first as a person before we start sharing personal opinions about those subjects.
Your mission during this visit is to make a good impression on your future in-laws. But, remember to just be yourself. The best kind of impression you can make on them is if they can see you as a genuine person. They need to get to know the real you after all – and they won't get that if you are way too concerned about appearing a certain way. So, stay true to who you are and just have fun, everything will fall into place just right.