Butterflies, nervousness, and anxiety; just some of the feelings you and your partner might experience the day he or she decides to introduce you to their family. If things are serious between you this is the day you meet the potential future in-laws. There is a lot of pressure for everything to go alright and for your significant other to make a good impression.
Photo courtesy of Universal Studios, Dream Works Production of the film “Meet the Parents”
The first time I met my boyfriend’s parents his father was really nice and told my boyfriend to make sure he looked after me. His mother, on the other hand, was a bit more intimidating; she was nice to me, telling me that if I needed anything I could come to her; but she also gave me the sex talk. It was the most awkward experience of my life. She said that I should wait to have sex and he would respect me more for it. By this point, it was already too late (she did not need to know that). In time she came around (less scary sex talks, more hugs) and has realized that I really do care about her son. Now, I am comfortable enough to stay at his parents’ house even when he is not there. It is lovely!
When it comes to meeting the parents, the best thing to do is dress conservatively, smile a lot, engage in conversation and get the awkward ordeal over as soon as possible. Most of the time, it works out fine.
Based on what I have heard from friends, there are a few other things to consider when meeting the parents. There are cultural issues to be aware of. For instance, in Nigerian families, you are supposed to curtsy to the men in the family as a sign of respect. In some other families, mothers expect you to help around the house whenever you go over to prove you can look after their son and are more than just a guest (a rule I personally think is silly because you are a guest).
According to some friends of mine, flirting with one of your partner’s parents is acceptable (to me however, this is a very disturbing concept)! To address any issues like these, ask your other half what his or her parents like and what would make them respect you and support your relationship.
Just remember: Be yourself! At the end of the day if you pretend to be someone you are not, it will only backfire and make you look like a liar or crazy person (never a good look). So tread carefully and good luck!
Photo by PhotoStock