4. Take a break. Sure, you're there to see the family, but part of that is showing them what kind of couple you are. Plus, taking care of your relationship will make the visit go more smoothly.
"Be sure to prioritize the couple relationship by setting aside an hour every day just for the two of you," recommends Gannon. "Yes, I do mean leave your family and go for a walk, drive to town for errand or go for coffee. Your family may be surprised or even complain, but you will give a strong message and precedent that your new relationship is a priority."
"Show connection with your partner," adds Passeri. "Families want to know if you are right for their loved one and what better way to show them you are by displaying affection and showing off your connection?"
6. Engage. "Make special time to connect with each family member, and then use the opportunity to share your authentic self, as well as to give a few glowing reports of how AMAZING your partner is when he is with you," says Battista.
If you've done your homework (see tip #1) you'll have some idea of what your partner's family is into. Then, "when you're with them, introduce discussion topics they have an interest in," says Kirschner.
7. Avoid controversy. "Don't talk about religion or politics; people hold deep-seated beliefs about these two topics and take it very personally, so that if you disagree they may not realize it's for lively logical debate and take it as a personal attack. Talk about children, baking, gifts, shopping or holiday events—and keep your sense of humor ready all the time!" advises Taylor
Not sure you can hold your tongue? That's fine, just "smile and nod," recommends dating coach Evan Marc Katz. "Every nuclear family has its own rhythms, dynamics, private jokes, and simmering feuds. It's not that you're wrong for wanting to speak up when your overbearing brother-in-law goes on an uncomfortable political rant, but rather that no good comes out of [confronting him]."
Use the same strategy with personal attacks, advises Coopersmith. "Even if your mother-in-law thrives on criticizing you, retaliating is only going to create tension and reflect poorly on you. Instead, take the high road by proving her wrong. Smile in the face of criticism and save your sassy comeback for your best friends or hairstylist."
"Getting along with the in-laws is about fitting in and not making waves. Not only will your partner's family be appreciative, but your partner will as well," says Katz.