With the holidays closing in, and while the accompanying stress is nothing new — it happens every year, as a matter of fact — many of us will be embarking on a first (or at least a rare): the meeting of the (boyfriend’s/girlfriend’s) parents. This is a big deal.
The kids over at Sugar Inc., with a little help from Glamour magazine, compiled a list of dos and don’ts for this big day, and it all comes down to communication of course.
- Have your significant other debrief you on the family before the visit. If you go in knowing their interests, particular dislikes, and topics to avoid, you’ll be better prepared and more comfortable.
- Be present. If you’re overly consumed with saying the wrong thing or too self-conscious, you could come off aloof, uncaring, or ditzy. Be engaged and on point. This meeting in some ways resembles a job interview, so bring your A-game.
- Don’t overspend to impress. Sending a thank you note, flowers, or bringing a small gift as a thank you for hosting you is always a nice gesture, but don’t go overboard.
- Let your significant other tackle the hard questions to him. Any nudging about marriage, for example, should be redirected to him/her. We answer the hard questions of our own parents; we shouldn’t have to answer them from other people’s parents.
- Drink in moderation both during the visit and the night before. The reasons for this tip should be patently obvious. You cannot engage in stimulating, impressive conversation if you are hung-over/drunk.
- Be yourself. If the relationship works, they’ll get to know the “real” you one day, so don’t lie in any way or act (very) differently than you normally behave.
- Don’t be too affectionate. Just don’t.