So, you have met your perfect match, they fill you with such joy, and you can’t imagine your life without them. You even say I love you like 20 times a day and want to do nothing but stare into their eyes! But, this perfect human didn’t just appear on earth designed specifically for you (even though sometimes you might wonder if they did). They have parents and a family… and sometimes meeting the family can be the scariest part of the initial stages of dating.
But, have no fear! Because we at #Dating have got your back. We want to tell you seven top tips on how to survive meeting the family, so they love you just as much as your partner does!
Know that you don’t know everything
Families are complicated. Your partner might have told you some of the stuff, but they will definitely have not told you everything. When you are meeting the family, keep your mind open and know that there might be issues that you are unaware of. There are years and years of history that you just will not understand.
If you are meeting your partner’s kids, this is definitely true. When your parent dates someone new, you are naturally on guard. Be respectful towards the kids and understand that this situation might feel a bit… weird right now. But, with time, you will learn about each other and discover what family dynamic you are entering.
Know that they are probably as nervous as you
You are always wanting to impress the in-laws, but truthfully, they are probably wanting to impress you. Parents love their children and want the best for them, and that means they want them to have a healthy, loving relationship! Your partner has probably told them how much they are into you, and they can see the signs of falling in love. So, they don’t want to do anything to mess it up, right?!
It may sound weird because we know meeting the parents can sometimes feel as if you are on trial. But, this is because they are anxious about making a good impression on you, too!
Bring a gift
If your partner’s family have invited you over for dinner, definitely bring a gift. This shows that you are thoughtful and kind of grown-up! Check with your partner before you buy something (you don’t want to show up with a bottle of wine when their parents don’t drink), and buy something small and significant.
But remember, don’t overdo it with the gifts, especially if you are meeting the kids of your partner. Nobody likes someone who tries to buy their love.
It is important to show interest in your partner’s family. Ask them what they do, how they spend their weekends, and what their favorite books and films are.
This means that you get to know your partner’s family, but also means that you don’t feel as if you are being interviewed. They will want to get to know you, and probably ask you loads of questions – this can be a bit stressful! So, ask them questions to get to know them, too.
When you are meeting your partner’s family for the first time, it is best to avoid politics. Even if you all have the same views, a political discussion can often get very heated.
Keep the conversation light, and avoid ranting about things that you either hate or love. If your partner’s family raises a political issue that you disagree with, you may want to let it slide right now. Remember, you are dating your partner, not the parents.
Offer to help out
A good way of getting into your partner’s family’s good books is to offer to help out, even if it is just clearing the dishes away or doing the washing up. They probably won’t expect you to do anything, but offering will show them that you want to be part of the family and not just a houseguest.
Also, going to help the family in the kitchen will mean that you can have one-on-one conversations with the parents without your partner there. This can be a nice bonding moment!
Be yourself and remember to have fun!
Our last piece of advice is to be yourself and have fun. Really, meeting the family isn’t actually a massive deal, even if you feel super stressed at the time. They are just people, like you, who want to get to know you and learn about what kind of person you are.
Meeting the family is a fun and exciting moment in any relationship. The first few years of dating has so many milestones, and this particular one can be a bit scary. But, afterward, you will realize that it wasn’t so bad and that you actually did have a good time!