8 Ways To Impress Your Partner's Parents (And Make Them Fall In Love With You Too)

Photo: Pavlo Zheltovskyi on Unsplash
8 Ways To Make A Good Impression On Your Partner's Parents
Contributor
Love, Family

You only get one first shot at impressing your boyfriend's parents. After that first initial meeting, they will hold an idea of you in their heads. Most likely, they will adore you just the way you are; however, there are some parents that are trickier to win over than others.

RELATED: Whatever You Do, Don't Make These 5 Mistakes With Your Mother-In-Law

Although the chances of anything completely disaterous happening on your first meeting is unlikely, there are definitely things to avoid when meeting the people who raised your boyfriend. You want to be your authentic self, but you also want to make sure you are on your best behavior. Sometimes being too quiet is worse than talking too much – you don't want them to think you're uncomfortable.

There is so much that goes into getting along with your boyfriend's parents. Especially after that first initial introduction, you want to feel confident going over for family dinners or on vacations together.

It really all depends on the parents and what their expectations are. Not all parents are similar to the dad in "Ten Things I Hate About You." They might make you feel super warm and cozy on your first meeting, but if not, it is an up hill battle on the journey to making them fall head over heels for you.

Here are the best tips for getting along with your boyfriend's parents – when in doubt, take a quick bathroom break to compose yourself and take a breath. Remember, they just want what is best for their son and soon they will realize that is you.

1. Never use your cell phone in front of them — especially at dinner.

One of the biggest pet peeves of parents is when their kids are on their cell phones – especially during family dinners. Regardless of whether you are out to eat or at their home, never whip out your cell phone to take a call or check a text.

Unless it is an emergency or they ask to see pictures from your recent summer vacation, keep your cell phone in your purse or pocket. This sounds simple, but especially when first meeting his parents it is crucial to be present and let them know you are interested in what they are saying.

RELATED: 5 CRAZY Lessons Couples Learned From Meeting Each Other's Parents

2. Find some common ground.

Before going to a family get together, ask your boyfriend for some things that his mother and father enjoy. Maybe the mom is super into gardening, or the dad is an avid outdoorsman? Even if you aren't sure on the ins and outs of their favorite past times, it can be helpful to bring them up during one-on-one conversations.

If there is an awkward silence, try asking the mom if she has planted any new vegetables lately or ask the dad where his favorite hiking destination is. Finding some common ground and expressing interest in things that they are passionate about will help them open up to you.

3. Avoid PDA.

The last thing most parents want to see is their son snuggling up to his new girlfriend. Obviously, they know you kiss and cuddle in , but that does not mean they want to see it at a family gathering. If you're all watching a movie together, avoid snuggling up or kissing your boyfriend.

It is one thing to hold their hand on a walk, but it is another thing to have a full-out makeout session when his parents are a room away.

4. Always say your "please" and "thank yous".

Manners are everything. This may sound obvious, but it can be easy to forget to say please, thank you, you're welcome, and I appreciate it when you start to feel more comfortable around his family. Manners never go out of style and you will never get points taken off for being polite. If they get you a gift that you may not love, still act like you appreciate the gesture more than anything and that you will put the gift to good use.

In an article for Global News, relationship expert Shannon Tebb noted that offering to help with dishes and being a little more hands-on get also makes a big difference. "It’s about bonding. So don’t let them sit there in the corner. Remind them to take action, thank your parents, show up with a bottle of wine. Your partner should show them that they’re putting in the effort in getting to know them and becoming involved," said Tebb.

RELATED: What To Do If You Don’t Get Along With Your Boyfriend’s Family

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Join now for YourTango's trending articles, top expert advice and personal horoscopes delivered straight to your inbox each morning.

5. Don't talk to his parents about your drama.

You are bound to get into arguments with your boyfriend, but it is not your place to tell his parents. Trust that they will take their son's side on any disagreements you may have, especially in the beginning when they don't know much about you. Leave any drama at home and try not to mention any past fights you guys have had. Positive memories are more important to share than the negative ones.

6. Be your authentic self.

While you may be stressing and starting to think of everything you have to do to impress his parents, the best thing you can do is be genuine. Don't be fake nice and laugh at everything they say. Joke around and laugh at the things you would normally think are funny. Make conversations you would feel comfortable talking about with your own parents.

Parents can see right through fake people; they have a sixth sense when it comes to seeing whose real and honest. Your boyfriend loves you for a reason and his parents will, too.

7. Remember that his parents are nervous to meet you, too.

His parents also want you to like them and most likely feel just as nervous as you. Even if it isn't your first time meeting them, they still feel pressure to make you feel comfortable and welcome. After all, you are dating their son and they want him to be happy. Be honest and tell them that you are a little nervous, as they will reassure you that everything is fine. Most parents want to be like the cool moms and dads from popular TV shows, not the strict overly protective type.

8. Talk them like parents — not wardens.

While it is important to be respectful, it is also important to treat his parents as more than just a mom and a dad. They had lives and were young once too, and they would love to tell you about it. Ask them about their first jobs or where they went to school. Ask them about their first date or where they met. Making them feeling important is crucial to getting along and making connections.

RELATED: My Boyfriend Had To Choose Between His Mom And Me

Carlie Fox is a writer who covers astrology, pop culture and relationship topics.