But have no fear, parental introductions don’t have to be all bad.
Have you and your Significant Other been going steady for a long while? That’s great! If your relationship has been under wraps until now, you may both be ready to take the next step: meeting each other’s parents. No doubt, the mere thought of making the introductions is enough to make either of you stressed AF. Now that you and boo are comfortable enough to move on to the next stage, it’s natural to get the jitters and worry if all family members will want in on the action.
‘Preparation’ is the name of the game to help push through the initial stiffness of meeting the parents. Do you have siblings who’ve gone through this process before? Talk to them for tips on how to handle a difficult situation. Plus, since they know the drill, your parents won’t feel like you’ve thrown them a curveball. But, if you’re an only child and don’t have any prior experience to count on, fret not. Although not foolproof, these guidelines should provide some direction when tackling four of the most important people in your lives.
Be Calm And Rational
There’s never really a good time to have a chat with Mom and Dad. You pretty much have to just spit it out. Catching them during a meal (dinner, perhaps) might be your best bet. Take a deep breath and open up the conversation. Once you’ve told them about the man in your life who you’ve been dating for um…2 years now, they’re bound to have many questions. If they’re easily excitable, brace yourself for a bombardment of queries. From your beau’s job to his religion to details about his parents, be prepared to answer them calmly and confidently. You got this, girl.
Set A Date…To Meet
Give the folks a few days to process and get used to the idea that their little girl isn’t so little anymore. Broach the subject again in about a week, and ask Mom and Dad if they’d be open to meeting your BF. They might be reluctant, but let them know such an opportunity would be a good way for all parties to get to know each other and air out any questions. Coax them into setting a date and let boo know.
Coach Your S.O.
Yes, it sounds tiresome and you’re wondering if it’s really necessary. Of course, you know your parents best, but the least you can do is brief lover boy on their likes and dislikes. Give him a little background (if you haven’t already) and refresh his memory on their favourite topics or subjects he should avoid like the plague. Finding common discussion points will keep the meet running smoothly.
Take On D-Day
If your boyfriend is coming over for dinner, bringing a little something for the lady of the house (no, not you!) will set things off to a positive start. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy—a bouquet of your mom’s favourite flowers or a box of chocolates will do. Ensure boo shows up on time…your parents are probably appraising him even before he gets there! Punctuality, along with good manners, go a long way. Of course, you wouldn’t be dating him if he didn’t possess all these qualities in the first place, right? Right!
After the introductions are made, your BF will probably have to tell your parents a little bit about himself, much like in a job interview. They’re very likely judging to see if he’s good enough for you (no pressure!). Pay attention to social cues as you figure out how well they get along. Is there tension in the room or is the convo flowing? Listen to your gut and stay tuned to the dialogue. Steer things onto neutral ground if sensitive topics are broached; fill awkward silences with funny anecdotes to keep conversation light. The evening will be over before you know it, but you’re not quite done!
Obtain Feedback From Your Parents
Soon after your beau departs (or the following morning), ask Mom and Dad what they think. It could’ve gone one of two ways: they thoroughly disliked him and don’t know what you see in him, or they loved him and will pat you on the back in congratulations. In all likelihood, they probably enjoyed his company and might just have a few more questions before they can be fully sure. Be warned, however, they’re going to ask you when you’re meeting his family. Speaking of which…
When you meet boo’s parents, apply all the advice you gave him! Identify common interests either during the conversation or in a prior prep session with your BF. No matter what happens, it’s vital you don’t freak out and remain composed throughout.
Be sure to not go empty handed, and know you’re going to have to answer questions. So, tackle them like the pro you are. Don’t be afraid to ask the ‘rents questions of your own and get to know them. You’ll get a feel for their personalities and also show them you’re interested in learning about the family. Bonus!
Dress The Part
Depending on how conservative his parents are, choose your outfit wisely. You can’t go wrong with a dress – cocktail or maxi – but ensure your breast friends are securely tucked out of sight. If you’re more comfortable in pants, pair it with a shirt or blouse. Whatever you wear, comfort is key. If your clothes pinch or you’re tugging at your short skirt, your discomfort will carry to those around you, and you may earn disapproving looks from the family.
Offer Your Help
If you’re enjoying a meal at boo’s home, offering to help his mom with setting the table or cleaning up after, will go a long way. If she declines, that’s fine. It’s the polite thing to do and the little things count; your thoughtfulness won’t go unnoticed.
Keep Your Phone At Bay
Phones are great props to hide awkwardness or nervousness, but avoid checking your Instagram every 5 minutes. In fact, don’t even look at your mobile. By keeping it in your purse, you’re showing your BF’s parents there’s nowhere else you’d rather be in that moment.
Meeting the parents doesn’t have to be overly stressful, and the chances of it going smoothly are highly probable (unless, of course, this guy is just oh-so-wrong for you!). If you’re hoping this introduction might be a step toward a walk down the aisle, then try not to let any setbacks make you anxious. Everything will eventually run its proper course. Just have a little patience and trust that all will work out well.
This article was originally published as ‘Meeting The Parents’ in the May 2017 issue of Cosmopolitan Sri Lanka. For information on more relationship issues, grab a copy of our latest magazine.
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