Unless she’s on bad terms with her family she’s going to value their opinion on everything, including the guy she’s dating. This works out well for you if they like you. If they don’t, they’re bad opinion of you could sink your relationship. Being able to charm her parents can be tricky if you don’t know them well. You’ll also run the risk of doing something wrong. If you want to make her parents like you but don’t know how, just read on. We’ve put together a list of tactics that are sure to succeed.
Pay For the Meal
A traditional way to meet her parents is to do so over dinner. Even if you’re eating out at a really pricey joint, suck it up and pay for everyone’s meal. This puts you in the role of a provider, which is what her parents are going to want to see. Don’t make a big deal out of it. Instead, discreetly ask the waiter before you all order to bring you the bill after the meal is over. You’ll also be able to avoid an awkward scene in case her parents insist on paying.
Regardless of whether you’re going to meet her family at a fancy restaurant or at their house, you should look respectable. Old jeans and T-shirt isn’t going to cut it if you want to impress them. You don’t need to run out and rent a suit, but you should at least look clean and presentable. A button-down shirt and clean jeans can do the trick. Meeting the family is a good occasion to do some grooming for, too. Trim up your beard or mustache. Get a haircut if you’re in dire need of one.
Invite Them Over
If you want to simultaneously surprise and impress them, invite them over to your place for a first meeting. This obviously means you’ll have to do some cleaning if you live like a slob most of the time. You want your home to be welcoming and not repulsive. The bathroom and the kitchen will probably be the areas that require the most work. If you’re not sure how clean your place needs to be, ask your girlfriend to help you out. She’ll have a better idea of her family’s expectations.
Bring a Gift
If you’re going to be meeting her family for the first time at their place, it’s a good idea to bring a gift. In most cases a bottle of wine will be acceptable. If that’s the case, find out beforehand what kind of wine they prefer. If alcohol isn’t an option, bringing flowers or boxes of chocolates can make the same impression that you’re a considerate guy.
Show her family that you’re an attentive listener. When they speak, engage them in discussion by asking questions and voicing your own thoughts. Avoid hot button topics. Instead, question them about what they enjoy doing. That way they’ll be happy to talk and you can learn more about them while earning brownie points.