November 27, 2013 / How To Meet The Parents
With thanksgiving upon us, here's a small piece on how to meet the parents for the first time.
If a long term relationship and potentially marriage is on the cards for you, the day will come when you have to meet your significant others’ parents. Depending on the situation, this can be very nerve racking as many women (and men) hold their parents in high regard (understandably so) and take their input regarding dating partners very seriously. While at the end of the day, who you date should be you and your dates’ decision, it’s much easier to make things go smoothly if the parents are on board. Here are some tips that I have found valuable when dealing with parents. In a future article I am going to share ways to "keep your parents in check" should they be the type who never think anyone is good enough for their sweet little prince.
There is absolutely no downside to being polite when meeting your girlfriend’s parents. Even if you are not a polite person (I sure as hell am not), try to chew with your mouth closed, use please and thank you, and just don’t be an asshole! Being polite goes a long way towards building first impressions. I learned this the hard way throughout most of my life having not grown up in a household where manners matter.
Avoid intimacy in "public"
Let your girlfriend initiate intimacy at the dinner table, on the couch, or whatever, at least on the first meeting. When you two are in your room all alone, all bets are off, but it will be easier to not have her parents bitching about you sleeping in the same room if you control your public displays of affection. Don’t get me wrong, it’s the 21st century and I am adamantly opposed to rule making by parents etc. about sex in their home, sleeping in the same bed, etc. but if you are dealing with this kind of situation, you will have much better luck overcoming those issues by not being super intimate when around the parents.
While you should be polite and perhaps avoid some intimacy around her parents, don’t change who you are. It is pretty difficult to fake a weekend in that kind of setting, so don’t even try to do it. Be who you are. For example, don’t pretend to be interested in some bullshit her dad is interested in if you don’t know anything about it and aren’t interested in it. Most parents care that you are good to their daughter, not that you are a carbon copy of them. If they do want a carbon copy, too bad, be yourself anyway.
Respect their rules
Parents often have absurd rules when it comes to their "baby girl". Arguing with them when you are already at their place is not the way to deal with it. Try to get your girlfriend to relax any idiotic rules her parents may have before you get there, not during. When you are there, if you are going to break rules, make sure your girlfriend is the instigator. If parents are insistently strict, the best approach in my opinion is to cut trips there short and do more holidays at your family etc. End of the day, parents want to see their kids and if their crazy rules hurt the amount they see their children, they will relax them.
Meeting the parents can be a stressful thing, but if you follow some of these simple guidelines, it will be much less stressful than it could be.