It’s always exciting when your other half thinks that you’ve reached the stage where you should get to know his family, but it’s also almost always a little bit scary.
Here are our ultimate DOs and DON’Ts for meeting the parents.
1 DO remember that first impressions count
Be charming, shake hands or reciprocate a kiss on the cheek, slip in a few subtle compliments, and be agreeable.
2 DON’T reject affection
No shuddering or flinching if Mum comes to you with puckered lips – some families are affectionate, some aren’t.
3 DON’T mention your ex
Give the impression of being untainted and project positivity. Definitely avoid comparing your current beau with the ghost of boyfriends past, even if their precious little boy comes off better.
4 DO wear something appropriate
You may feel confident in a mini skirt and low cut top, but stay on the conservative side of things for the first meeting. You don’t want Dad staring at your cleavage all evening, and Mum definitely doesn’t.
5 DON’T flirt with Dad or brothers
This can be very tempting as it’s an easy way to win people over, and they share many of the characteristics of a certain someone you’re used to being very intimate with indeed. But it is to be avoided at all costs – it can lead to jealous boyfriends and awkward mistletoe moments at Christmas. Nightmare!
6 DO offer to help with the washing up
It makes a brilliant first impression and parents will remember the kind gesture. Usually you’ll find most will politely decline, but if they accept, be sure to be careful with the crockery.
7 DON’T diss Mum’s cooking (or anything about her, really)
Guys can be hugely protective over their mothers. In fact not just with cooking, this can go across décor, jewellery or slippers. Swot up on synonyms for ‘beautiful’ and ‘delicious’ before you go.
8 DO warn ahead about food requirements
If you’re veggie, vegan, have food allergies or just can’t fathom eating mushrooms, say so in advance. There’s nothing more awkward than being presented with a carefully prepared plate of food that you can’t eat.
9 DON’T swear
You may think your fruity use of language is colourful and imaginative, but tread carefully. Just because your other half swears – perhaps even in front of grandparents – it doesn’t mean you should.
10 DO secretly size them up
A guy’s family and how he behaves with them can tell you a lot about him. What’s his hierarchy in the family? Do they argue? What’s his relationship like with his mother? These are all important questions that hint to how your chap might behave with you in years to come.
11 DON’T mention your sex life
Just as we find the thought of our parents in the sack disgusting, they don’t want to hear about their offspring’s bedroom activities. However well the wine flows and relaxed the evening is, don’t bring this up – it is a line not to be crossed.
12 DO be yourself
If your man loves you, then his family are sure to as well. Pretending to be someone you’re not will be problematic in the long run. And you’re in this for the long run, right? If not – kindly refuse the invitation entirely, as you’ll only be setting up the wrong expectations.