It’s widely acknowledged as one of the big relationship steps, and while it may mean that your partnership is moving forward, it’s also wildly nerve-wracking at the same time. Take a look at our DOs and DON’Ts to your first parental meeting so you can breeze through the interaction with ease.
DO dress appropriately
You may have the body to rock a killer mini and midriff-baring top, but that doesn’t mean you should. Make the best first impression by dressing according to the parents’ personalities (ask your partner if you’re not sure), and if all else fails, always err on the side of conservative.
DON’T arrive empty-handed
It’s rude. Bring a bottle of wine, a bunch of flowers or a box of chocolates, and let your good manners speak for themselves before you even say a word.
DO your homework
Ask about your loved one’s family beforehand – their likes, dislikes and interests, as well as any no-go subjects (politics and religion are usually at the top of the list). Having some facts at your disposal will allow you to bond more quickly with parents and siblings, and give you conversation-starters should you ever be lost for something to say.
DON’T use bad language
If your first meeting goes well and you become comfortable around their parents, there’s nothing to say you can’t unclench a little when it comes to your language. But dropping the F-bomb a few minutes after meeting is a definite no-no.
DO talk up your partner
Their new promotion, their 10km personal best, their tip-top presentation… if your significant other aced something lately, feel free to show how proud you are of them. Mom and Dad already head up their cheering section so they’ll be thrilled to know you want to join as well.
DON’T forget to say thank you
First when you leave, and then either via email or SMS. You only have one chance to make a good first impression, so make sure that you create as favourable a one as possible, and you could be receiving a second invitation sooner than you think!
DO offer to help
Whether it’s setting the table, clearing up, helping with the meal or doing dishes, make sure you try to lend a hand and pitch in. You’ll most likely be told to sit and relax, but it’s the genuine offer from your side that’s important.