Going Home With Your Guy For The Holidays? How To Make His Family Love You
There is a lot going on at the holidays: various family members are visiting, elaborate meals are being made every day, and everybody is home from work or school. It’s much different from when you just go to meet your guy’s parents any other time of the year. Everybody is in a sort of hyper state in which they want things to go a certain way. And you can either be a nuisance, or you can be what they see as the little angel who made everything easier and brighter. Here’s how to do the latter.
Say yes to everything
From the cutting of the tree with his dad, to the decorating of it with his mom; from the annual football game before dinner (even if you’ve never played) to going with his mom to her PTA meeting, show that you’re a trooper, and that you want to experience the activities each family member enjoys around the holidays. It’s not about doing what you like: it’s about letting them show you what they like.
Offer to help anywhere you can
This can mean looking over his little sister’s essay, putting together the cheese platter, clearing the garage out with his dad, walking the dog when nobody else has time. If you help out, even with the regular household activities, you’ll instantly feel more like family to them than a guest.
His mom’s really into wine tasting? Suggest a site that has regular deals on local wine tasting. His sister needs tutoring? Suggest a local church or rec center that offers free or low cost tutoring. Be looking for ways to expand and enhance each person’s life. Do you want to know what this shows people (it’s not so obvious): it shows that you are listening. Too many girlfriends just smile and nod while the family tells her about themselves. Don’t just take in the data: engage with it.
Invite them places
Invite the mom to a screening of a movie she’ll love, invite the whole family over for dinner in the future, invite the little sister to go shopping with you. Show that they are invited into your life, just as you were into theirs.
Remember the milestones
Keep in mind, or even write up a list of, the milestones and successes of each family member. Did his sister just win a trophy? Did his dad make president of the rotary club? People love to talk about their own successes and love the people who give them the opportunity to do so.
Buy detailed gifts
Unless his parents are total winos, the usual bottle of wine shows you didn’t put much thought into their gift. Ask your boyfriend for details about each person’s hobbies and aspirations. Get each person—or the family—a gift that shows you pay attention.
People love to talk. Don’t worry too much about what you say. Focus on listening. Watch his dad’s slideshow about his fishing adventures and listen to every anecdote that goes along with it. Listen to his sister read the short story she wrote for class. The rest of their family probably cuts them off. They’ll love that you’re the one person who was attentive the entire time.
Show your quirks, but a mild version
Want to know what most parents find endearing? A girlfriend who is comfortable being herself around them. If you can be yourself, then the parents feel they can be themselves and the environment instantly feels more like one of family, instead of hosts and guests. Show that you’re not trying to be perfect. Tell a few funny stories that humble you and show your quirky side. Just choose them wisely: they don’t need to know about your partying days or time working as a go-go dancer.
Perfect your PDA
It’s true his parents don’t want to see you making out with their son, nor do they want to hear even the tiniest hint about the existence of your sex lives. But, want to know something many parents point out after the girlfriend visits for the first time? “She’s sweet but…are you two really that in love? You’re not that affectionate with each other.” And that’s because the girlfriend is terrified of even touching her man in front of his parents! His parents do want to see that their son receives regular affection; it’s healthy for him! Don’t be afraid to rub his back, or give him a few kisses or hold his hand.
Accept all advice
Your parents might give you uninformed or outdated advice on how you should advance in your career, or negotiate your rent or buy a car. And, since it’s your parents, you don’t mind schooling them and defending your methods of running your life. But don’t do that with his parents! They want to feel that they’ve helped you! That is what will make them feel the best—not having you teach them why their advice is antiquated. Smile and graciously thank them for any advice they give you.
Don’t tease your man
You’ll be tempted to join in on all the loving, familiar teasing your guy’s family does of him. But, as the father says it so eloquently in That 70’s Show, “Nobody calls my son a dumb*ss but me!” Do not tease your man in front of his family. They’ll see it as disrespectful, not funny.
Let the differences go
Just like with your own family you’ve learned which topics not to get into because there is just no seeing eye to eye on them, and discussing them always ruins the evening – don’t get into topics with your man’s parents that you have vastly different views on. If they happen to push their religious or political views onto you, sorry but you have to humbly stay quiet, smile and nod.
Tell him what you two have been up to
Men are notoriously bad at calling their parents and catching them up on their lives! If you can be the liaison, his parents will be so grateful to you. Share stories with them of activities you and your partner have been doing, of how you redecorated your kitchen, or the dog you’re considering adopting. Fill them in on the things he probably forgets to tell them about.
Compliment your man
You know what you can definitely bond over with your guy’s parents? How proud you both are of their son! Tell stories about things he has done or accomplished that portray him in a good light. Show that you recognize all the terrific characteristics he has: remember, a compliment to him is an indirect compliment to his parents. They raised him after all!