Meet the parents
Meeting your partner's parents can freak out even the most confident of people. TheSite.org reports on some bad experiences and offers a pinch of advice.
The horror stories:
- Violent opening: "The first time I met my ex's dad was the night we split up" says Brian. "She'd just dumped me by text so I went round her place at 1am and knocked on the door. Her dad came out, pushed me over and I cracked my head on the pavement. He told me that if I ever tried to talk to his daughter again he'd break my legs. Nice."
- Cold shoulder: "One year a boyfriend of mine spent Christmas at my house because his parents lived in America," says Claire. "It was the first time he had met my dad, who ignored him completely for the whole three days. I have never introduced my dad to a boyfriend of mine again!"
- Sticky couch: "I remember meeting my boyfriend's parents," says Mona. "It wasn't planned. I'll set the scene:
Door opens 'HELLO MUM & DAD.' Hahaha"
- Doggy style: "I remember meeting my boyfriend's family for the first time, his Mum, Dad, brother, sister and three dogs," says GV. "One of the dogs jumped up on me and knocked me flying into the living room before my boyfriend had the chance to introduce me. So there I was on the floor with a large collie licking my face and the other two dogs trying to hump my leg. Oh the shame."
Top tips for making a good impression
- Research: Try to find out as much about their parents as possible before you go. Are they conservative, eccentric, or into gardening? This way you can work out how to dress and what not to talk about. Also ask if there are any issues you should avoid to prevent that whole foot-in-mouth syndrome.
- Wash (yourself and your clothes): It may be the only bath you take all year but believe us it'll help.
- Dress code: This all depends on where you are meeting and how much you know about them. If you know they are quite chilled and are meeting in a relaxed environment, dress like usual. If in any doubt try smart casual.
- Take a gift: A bottle of wine for dinner (unless they are tee-total or recovering alcoholics) or a pot plant/ bunch of flowers if you are staying with them for a night or two.
- Go sober/ straight: And try not to get too trashed while you are there. OK you may be nervous but flirting outrageously with one or both of their parents probably isn't the best way forward.
- Manners: Remember those things your Gran used to go on about? Well use them. A few Ps and Qs will make the world of difference to those first impressions. Unless you're dating Kelly Osbourne, in which case a few tattoos, many expletives and a vast knowledge of Black Sabbath is probably more of an advantage.
- Talk to them: Pick easy topics of conversation (the weather is always good), which can't get too heated. Try not to swear every other word (or at all if possible) and don't just talk about yourself. It may help to think up some general things to ask them before you go.
Most of all, you're out to show these people that you are the kind of person who will respect and care about their little princess/prince. Prove that their baby is in safe hands and you're halfway there.
Read the comment policy
Use our free question and answer service and speak to an expert!