Meeting the Parents

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Meeting the parents has been a central plot point of countless romantic comedies. While in real life, people are often much saner and nicer than their TV and movie counterparts, it doesn’t make it less terrifying. For one of the girls in the office, her boyfriend’s siblings were even more intimidating than the parents. Although many couples meet each other’s families long before the engagement, many others don’t meet until shortly before the wedding.

Here are five things to keep in mind when meeting your future in-laws:

1. Don’t Put it Off
If you’re nervous, the worst thing you can do is to delay the inevitable! It will just make things worse, and his family might think that you’re rightfully trying to avoid them. Although you shouldn’t agree to the first meet up if it’s highly inconvenient, you should have a better reason than just not wanting to.

2. Be the Best Version of Yourself
Like first dates and job interviews, you want to create the right impression but you don’t want to give anyone unrealistic expectations. Those only come back and haunt you later!

3. Meet on Neutral Ground (if possible)
There are better places to be grilled on your family history than your honey’s family couch, and he can probably be more protective of you when he’s not worrying that you’ll see all his embarrassing childhood photos in the living room. Likewise, you might have to do major cleanup if his or your parents’ visits your home.

Meeting at a restaurant or in another public place means that you can focus on getting to know each other, and not scouting out each other’s residences.

4. Do Research
Ask your honey about his parents so you’ll have a few conversation starters up your sleeve. It also helps to know which things to downplay. For instance, you might want to wait a while if your future father in law is a die-hard college football fan…and you went to rival schools.

5. Watch the PDA
It sounds fairly obvious that French kissing is out of the question, but one person’s innocent peck on the cheek is another person’s totally out of bounds behavior. One of my friends who comes from a strict Asian American household instructed her boyfriend that he was at no time allowed to hold her hand or hug her during their first family meet and greet.

Posted by Natalie T.

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