He adores you, but does his family love you too?
It's finally happened. You've met The One.
And—wonder of wonders—he thinks you're the One as well! He finds you fascinating, beautiful and amazing—but he's not the only person you have to impress.
While you shouldn't give up on love just because his mom gives you the stink-eye, chances are your guy would prefer it if you were all one big, happy family. Because, when it comes down to it, do you really want to make him choose sides? (Hint: No.) Thank god you have us.
Here are the top 10 ways to make his family love you.
1. Show up.
If you put off meeting his parents, they will assume you're avoiding them. Not only that, but they'll also assume that you don't value family. Uh oh.
Cheerfully accept dinner invitations, and take part in regular family traditions. You may hate that annual two-hour round trip to cut down the family Christmas tree, but he's been making that trip his entire life, and he totally looks forward to the apple cider donuts and the stop for lunch at Hot Dog Johnny's.
If you grin and bear it, not only will he appreciate it, but his family will start to treat you as one of their own.
2. Offer to help out.
Over at their house for a dinner party? Offer to put together cheese platters and/or clear the table. Meeting them at a BYOB restaurant? Bring along that great bottle of Chambourcin you picked up from a local winery just the other weekend. Is his little sis applying to post-college jobs for the first time? Ask if she'd like you to take a look at her resume, or help her with cover letters.
They'll love the fact that you're making an effort.
3. Invite them to dinner.
His fam is always inviting you over for dinner. Not only that, but they also send you home with five tupperwares full of delicious leftovers. We suggest you repay the favor, and cook them a gourmet meal of your own. Not only will this show them how grateful you are for their generosity, but it will also allow them to see that you're fully capable of someday taking care of their darling, adorable baby boy.
4. Be thoughtful.
Make the effort to remember and honor his family members' birthdays, successes and other milestones with thoughtful gestures or gifts. While a bottle of wine is a cool gift if his parents are really into tastings (pair it with a nice wine journal for extra bonus points!), in any other situation, it's a sign that you're just not trying. Pay attention to their interests and shop accordingly.
5. Show an interest in their lives.
The tip above will be way easier to execute if you're already engaging his family members in convos about their hobbies and interests. Is his big sis into cruises and country music? Sit through a slideshow of her vacation pics, or go line dancing with her when she extends the invite. Is his dad a runner? Travel up to Boston to cheer him on when he runs the annual marathon.
If you show an interest in them, they'll be more willing to learn more about you, even if your hobbies consist of hoop dancing and sex writing.
6. Control yourself.
Okay. Maybe you shouldn't mention the sex writing. At least not at first. Give his family some time to warm up to you before letting your freak flag fly.
7. Really. Control yourself.
On some deep, subterranean level, his mom is well aware that you've already seen each other naked. On a regular basis. But she'd rather put that out of her mind. So don't throw her son's sexual activity in her face while exchanging pleasantries over cups of tea. Put the kibosh on any gratuitous PDAs. Refrain from draping yourself across your man's lap. Save the smooches for later.
And definitely don't use any tongue.
8. Accept their advice graciously.
It can be easy to get defensive when his parents give unsolicited advice, but try to understand where they're coming from. Chances are they're doing it because they care, because they have more life experience behind them, and because they truly want to help. Their "meddling" does not necessarily mean that they're passing judgment on you. (Or at least that's what you should tell yourself.)
9. Don't be critical of of your partner.
It can be tempting to take part in the hardcore teasing his family subjects him to, but tread lightly. You could be crossing a major line. When conversing with his mother, especially, try to remind yourself that this woman gave birth to your now-hottie, and has raised him for the past 30 years. If she senses that you are a threat to her baby, she will cut you.
10. And, for the love of god, don't be critical of them.
If they have religious or political beliefs that are wildly divergent from you own, just...just let it go. If they want to engage you in a discussion don't hide your opinions, but don't try to convince them they're wrong. A smile and a "we'll have to agree to disagree on this one" will do just fine.
Bonus tips from Tom Miller of Tomfoolery:
- "Be good-looking. I can't stress this enough; people really like good-looking."
- "Date people who had exes with terrible manners. There is nowhere to go but up."
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