Making a good impression on your partner’s family is one of the scariest parts of a relationship. You know their opinion of you could make or break your future with your significant other. Here is a guide on how to make a good first impression on your partner’s family!
1. Bring A Gift
Let’s face it, everyone loves gifts and that includes your partner’s parents. Bringing them a little token will show them that you are a kind, generous and thoughtful person. Some good suggestions are a bottle of wine, a box of chocolates, or a biscuit selection. Just make sure you confirm with your partner first that the present is suitable. The last thing you want is to bring them some coffee and walnut cake and then discover they are allergic to nuts!
2. Do Your Research
By that, I don’t mean Google their names and ask for a copy of their birth certificates. I mean ask your partner about his family. Find out about their interests, what their values are, what kind of personalities they have, and what they look for in other people. Find a way to bring these topics into conversation. It will show them that you’ve been listening to what their child says and that you cared enough to remember it.
3. Dress Nicely, But Don’t Overdo It
Everyone should be free to wear whatever clothes make them feel comfortable, confident and attractive. However, when it is your first time meeting your partner’s parents, wearing something provocative probably won’t make a good impression. That said, showing up to Sunday dinner in joggy bottoms and a hoodie might not pay off well either. Pick something semi-formal. What would you wear to a job interview? Go with that. Remember, the image of you during that first meeting will be etched in their brains for a long time. Make it count.
4. Offer To Help
If you are meeting at their home for dinner or something similar, ask if they need any help with the preparation – cooking, setting the table, tidying up, etc. The chances are that they will say no. After all, they have no idea what you are like yet. However, just offering that help will show you are a caring person who looks out for others and does not expect to be handed a meal for nothing. That makes a good impression.
4. Don’t Talk Politics
It is 2019 and we should all be taking more of an interest in politics – but this is not a great time to make that point. Even if their political views align with yours, discussions around these topics can go sour very quickly and it is not worth getting into a heated debate during your first meeting. Leave that for a few years at least. If politics does come up during the meeting, simply bite your tongue – no matter how hard that may be. If you speak up, you will only regret it later.
5. Keep The PDAs To A Minimum
Obviously, your partner’s family wants to see that you have feelings for them and that the relationship is serious. However, there are better ways to do that than to be all over them whist you’re all sitting on the living room sofas watching Gogglebox. Don’t drape yourself over them and definitely don’t kiss them. All that will serve to do is make their parents uncomfortable. A sweet hand-hold or an arm around their shoulders is more than enough to prove you care about them.
7. Big Up Your Partner
You definitely will not make a good impression on your partner’s family if you come into their home trash-talking their child. Your significant other might drive you insane, but they don’t need to know that — at least not on your first meeting. Talk about how wonderful their child is and all the joy they have brought to your life. More importantly, remember to say that their parent’s influence must have been the reason they grew into such a wonderful person! That will have them eating out the palm of your hand.
8. Talk About Your Future With Your Partner
This tip is less about making a good impression and more about making a point regardless of whether the family likes you or not. Even if you follow all the tips on this list and are a total angel, there is still a chance your SO’s parents won’t like you. Some people just don’t gel. Even so, if you want this relationship to last, you have to make it clear to the family that you have no plans to go anywhere. You are here to stay and they will see you at the Christmas dinner no matter how much they may complain about it. This determination to stay with their child might actually warm them to you more than you think.
Of course, speaking during a family gather is going to make a good impression, but what doesn’t do that is waiting until your partner drags you into the conversation before you open up. Take charge of the interactions. Answer questions before your SO does. Ask the family about themselves. Make sure you are part of the conversation, not just an observer.
10. Make Friends With the Pets
People love their pets and, generally, animals are a great judge of character — so if the dog approves of you, the parents will as well. This can be difficult if you are not a dog/cat/bearded-dragon person, but try to bury that for the evening. Go into the back garden and throw the ball for the puppy or let the cat sit on your lap in front of the TV. When the family realised that the pet has warmed to you, they will feel more comfortable with asking you back to the house.