Meet The Parents: Rules to Meeting His Relatives For The Holidays

December 10, 2011  |  
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My beau recently took me home to Michigan to meet his kin folk for Thanksgiving – his parents, aunts and uncles – and 81 cousins. I wasn’t concerned that my first time meeting his family would be a torturous ordeal since I had spoken to them briefly on the phone a few times, but meeting your partner’s family during the holiday season can quickly go left if you’re not careful. You only get one chance to make a first impression, so here are some tips to ensure that meeting the family for the first time will be a positive experience.

Presentation Is Everything

Make sure your hair is done, your clothes are CLEAN, pressed and neat and you’re dressed properly for the occasion. If you’re having dinner, don’t dress like you’re going out to a club. No tight dresses or mini’s hiked up to your hoo-ha, no cleavage and no excessive makeup. If that is how you normally dress, take it down a notch and dress a little more conservative until they actually “like” you.

No Hanky Panky

If you both will be staying at the family house, no hanky panky. You’re there to get to know his folks, not get busy. While having sex in the twin bed (with the cartoon sheets) he grew up in may seem Hot and exciting, don’t do it. If you simply can’t resist each other, tell his parents you don’t want to inconvenience them and get a room. Show some respect.

Show Respect

Speaking of respect, be polite and courteous. I know it goes without saying, but you’d be surprised how many people think telling racy or inappropriate jokes at dinner time is funny. Even if his parents seem aloof, or flat out don’t like you – be nice anyway. Kill them with kindness. They’re just people, just like you and me.

Bring a Gift

People always say, “We don’t need anything, just bring yourself.” Don’t fall for the okie doke. Even if they truly mean it, it’s rude to show up to someone’s house for the first time – especially for the holidays – empty handed.  Bring a nice bottle of wine. If his parents are non-drinkers, consider bringing flowers, a homemade dessert or scented candles. Just whatever you do, bring SOMETHING. It shows you had home training, and are thoughtful. You’ll be in “like Flynn.”

Limit Your Libations

Speaking of bottles of wine and drinking – don’t show up drunk, or GET drunk, during your visit. I know eating, drinking and being merry are all part of the holidays, but if you don’t know when to say when, avoid drinking altogether. You don’t want your parents talking about that trashed or hung-over girl your guy brought home last Christmas – they’ll never let it live down, and no one wants their child to marry an alcoholic.

Do Your Research

Before traveling hours to meet your mate’s parents, be sure to ask as many questions as possible to get an idea of what you’re walking into. Are their holidays, customs and traditions very different from yours? How do they like to be addressed? Find out as much as you can about their likes, dislikes, habits, hobbies and religion as possible. If they are of a different culture or speak a different language, learn how to pronounce their names and greet them in their language perfectly. You want to be armed with as much information as possible so you won’t be thrown off guard. They’ll appreciate the effort.

Avoid Sensitive Topics

They’ll probably want to sit you down, ask a lot of questions and truly get to know who you are, so be engaging. But try to avoid getting sucked into discussions about race, politics, religion or other topics that could cause a debate unless you’re 100% positive you agree with his family on ALL counts. And even then, I’d say don’t do it. It could be a test…and a possibility for you to fail…miserably.

Lastly, Be Yourself

Be present, be funny, be your normal lovely self. Don’t try to match your personality to theirs or change who you are simply to gain cool points with the folks or your mate. Your partner thought enough of you to bring you home to meet the parents, so be the “you” that he or she fell in love with. Everyone can spot a fake when it comes to their child, so allow your sparkling charm to win them over, and they’ll see why your boo fell in love with you in the first place.


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