By Aubrey Mayne
I will never forget the day when while riding in the back of my mother’s mini van next to my boyfriend, my mother turned around without prompting and out of the blue ask him, “Your not kissing her… dirty, are you?”
Ever since then it is no surprise that the “meeting of the parents” marker has daunted me whenever in a relationship. It’s not just my parent’s unpredictable manor of “getting to know” my boyfriends that makes me nervous, it’s also the meeting of his wellspring that can be nerve-wracking. The hoping for their approval, the nervous conversation, and trying to eat without looking like a sow; it makes my skin itch a little. This is why I decided to compile tips and helpful little nuggets of wisdom for those who might require it when meeting the folks.
1. Prep. Talk to both parties prior to the meeting. Tell them which subjects would be best to chat about, and which ones should be dodged. Warning them about offenses or quirks that the other might have. We don’t want to have any skeletons out of the closet and at the table now do we?
2. Dress appropriately. Ladies, we know your man likes it, but don’t go sexy. Nothing is worse than bending over to grab something when helping Mrs. Mom-In-Law prep dinner, than having a glorious thong rising from your pants to greet the world. Things like this do not give a good impression, or behoove them to want you baring their grandchildren. Men, ironing is still important… at least to the generation your girlfriends parents were born in. Take heed and steam those wrinkle out from when your shirt was a crumpled ball in your hamper two hours prior.
3. Don’t act like you know more than you do. If get asked if you’ve seen a movie or laugh at a reference you don’t get it could come back and bite you (in that thong wearing butt.) There is nothing worse than someone following up on a joke or quote with a “You’ve seen that movie right? What part was your favorite? etc” and having to come back with a “Yah, I don’t know what you were talking about (I just fake laughed to comply).” Then you look like a douche.
4. Ask questions about them. Most likely the parents aren’t going to be nervous about meeting you. They don’t have anything to prove so they are off the hook. Direct the conversation at getting to know them. Ask them how they met, funny stories about your partner, or what their interests are. This will put less of the pressure on you to make conversation and possibly prevent some awkwardness on your part.
5. Don’t rush the meeting. Let your partner decide when they are ready to have you meet their parents. You don’t want to push it to where it is an uncomfortable or forced experience. If you have three kids and a mortgage with the person, and still haven’t met the folks, then it might be time to press the issue. Try lightly volunteering a meeting with your parents first if you think you want to go in that direction and be patient.
6. Be yourself. Your partner loves you. Chances are, if you don’t do anything too crazy, they will love you too. Just relax, don’t forget to take some deep breaths, and don’t chew with your mouth open.