Congratulations! You’ve made it to a very important milestone in your relationship: meeting your girlfriend’s parents. Feeling a bit nervous? Yeah, would not blame you. You want to make a good first impression, but also want to get to know them a bit and establish a connection with her family. Pick out your best dress shirt and cologne and get ready to ask these important questions when you meet.
1. “How should I refer to you?”
When you are meeting your girlfriend’s parents for the first time, knowing what to call them is a good place to start. You want to be respectful, but this also gives you an idea if they prefer to be formal or more casual. Kudos if they want to be on a first-name basis from the very beginning.
2. “How did you two meet?”
Asking this question lets you know that you are interested in getting to know your girlfriend’s parents. This gets them talking about themselves which people usually love to do and serves as a good ice-breaker if needed.
3. “What did you study in college?”
Maybe you have the same major that one of her parents did. This can get you talking about your field, but could also lead them to ask about your plans after college. Proceed with caution.
4. “Where do you work?”
Asking them about their careers shows that you are interested in their lives and gives you a sense of what makes them tick. The trick is to keep it casual and don’t pry too deeply to avoid making it seem like you are just interested in career networking instead of establishing a relationship with your girlfriend’s parents.
5. “Where did you grow up?”
You might already know this from asking your girlfriend, but asking her parents gives them a chance to tell their side of the story. Have they always lived in this neighborhood? Did they immigrate from another country? There’s bound to be an interesting story.
5. “What are your hobbies/interests?”
Now it’s time to go beyond their professional lives. Get a sense of what they are interested in and what they like to do for fun. Hopefully, you can find something in common and spark a conversation about sports, movies, music, etc. You just might get invited to join them on a future outing of some kind which is one step closer to becoming part of the family.
6. “What was your girlfriend like as a kid?”
This could lead to some funny anecdotes that your girlfriend would never admit. This question keeps the mood lighthearted, melts away any tension and lets you get to know your girlfriend better. Hopefully, there aren’t any issues that come up or stories that are too embarrassing which parents like to tell.
7. “What do you like to cook?”
When your girlfriend invites you to meet her parents, it will likely be over dinner at their house. Since food is pretty much an established love language, asking about what their favorite things to eat are gives you a chance to impress them in the future by cooking your own dinner one day. Both your girlfriend and her parents will be sure to appreciate your efforts in the kitchen.
8. “Can I help in the kitchen?”
Speaking of food, if you are having dinner at her parent’s house, do your best to be helpful with preparing the meal. This shows that you are polite and helpful without being asked. If they refuse, be respectful to their wishes because at least you tried.
9. “Can I help clean up?”
Once you have finished your meal, offer to be helpful once again by collecting the dishes from the table. You might have a chance to be helpful this time, but always be respectful of their wishes regardless.
10. “What do you like to do on the weekends?”
If you want to get a better idea of what they are like, ask about how they spend their downtime. They might answer with their hobbies or simply just relaxing. Either way, you’ll get a better sense of what they like to do which can be helpful down the road.
11. “Do you like to travel?”
If they seem like more of the adventurous type, ask about where they have been or where their dream destination is. You might get lucky and be able to start a conversation if you have been to the same places. You might actually get invited on a future trip with them.
12. “What movies do you like?”
Movies are generally a safe topic for dinner conversation. Pro tip: ask your girlfriend beforehand to do some research in case you don’t know about a specific movie they might bring up. As always, be engaged throughout even if they continue on a tangent on their favorite movies.
13. “Do you like sports?”
Sports are also considered a safe topic unless there’s a rivalry between your favorite teams. Just hope the conversation stays friendly. If they aren’t interested in sports, you could start a conversation about why or just change the subject.
14. “What music do you listen to?”
Music is another safe topic to learn about their interests. Do your homework beforehand by asking your girlfriend and look them up if needed. If you know about his favorite bands/singers, then great. If not, be honest and ask more about them to show you are engaged.
15. “What’s your drink of choice?”
Bringing a gift of some sort with you is a good sign and generally, a bottle of wine is a good way to go to show you are sophisticated and mature. If they are not wine drinkers, ask what would they prefer to drink if at all. This way you will know for the next time you meet for dinner.
16. Ask about their home
If this is your first time visiting your girlfriend’s parents, start by giving a compliment. They likely took great care to make their home look pleasant. If you like a piece of furniture, ask where they got it to show you appreciate their taste in decor.
17. Ask about favorite flowers
Asking this question can work in two ways. This lets you know what kind of flowers to bring for the next time you meet her parents as well as what kind to bring your girlfriend since her parents are the ones who know her best. Overall, your bases will be covered and make you seem generous and caring.
18. Ask advice for adulting
If you are applying for jobs or grad school, you could always look for advice from her parents who might have been in this position. Just don’t be direct and ask “Can I have advice about….?” Let it enter the conversation naturally. “I’m thinking of applying for this job but still not sure if it’s for me.” Hopefully one of her parents can offer their wisdom.
19. Ask about pets
Everyone loves their pets right? Unless they run up to you at the very beginning, you can ask what kind of pets they have and how long they had them. This also lets you know what kind of treats to bring next time.
20. “Hope to see you again soon?”
If you made it this far, you have survived your first encounter with your girlfriend’s parents. Whether it was a lovely meeting or could have gone better, always show gratitude and that it was nice to meet them. This lets them know that you are planning to stick around for a while.