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Meeting Boyfriend’s Parents (19 Vital Points To Take Note Of)

by Sonya Schwartz

Meeting your boyfriend’s parents for the first time can be nerve-wracking especially if you are not great with parents in general. Nevertheless, it is like a job interview you cannot escape, especially if you are getting pretty serious with your partner. Sometimes, it goes effortlessly well, especially when they are easy-going folk.

But, it can easily go to shambles if you do not observe some basic etiquette, or you rub them the wrong way. Your partner can offer to help as much as they can, but for the most part, it is up to you. 

Luckily, there are a handful of things you can do to ensure that meeting the parents for the first time does not turn into a disaster. Take my advice and you’ll have them thinking you are the best girlfriend in the world.

19 Vital Points To Take Note Of When Meeting Boyfriend’s Parents

1. Do not go empty-handed

The first time you’re off to meet the parents, it is important to bring a little gift or token along. Even if your boyfriend tells you that it won’t make much of an impression, it is still a good idea to get them something. If you are going over for a nice dinner then there are a few options that will make a great impression.

You can never go wrong with some dessert, a nice bottle of wine or some flowers. But if you are heading over for a weekend or more, then a fancy box of chocolates or a book you know one of them would be interested in.

2. Keep your phone away from the dinner table

Having your phone out while you are eating is one way to make a horrible first impression on them, so try to put it away. Imagine you were meeting someone for the first time and they were on their phone all evening long. It would make you feel like the meeting or relationship was not important to you.

When you are meeting your boyfriend’s parents you are first and foremost a guest in their home, so you might as well show some interest. Concealing your phone will not do you any good either, they were not born yesterday. So if you want to make a good and lasting impression, be present.

3. Dial it down on the PDA

As far as bad first impressions go, having to watch your son’s girlfriend stick her tongue down his throat is at the top of the list. As much as you love your man and want to be all over him 24/7, it is no excuse to be all over him. 

You may have a very touchy-feely relationship and your friends may even condone such behavior occasionally, but it is the last thing you should do in front of your man’s parents. There is a time and place for such behavior so keep your hands off your partner, it is only for a while. The both of you can get in on again once you’re out the door and out of sight.

4. Wear the right attire

Wear the right attire

This may sound corny or cliche, but you should dress the way you want to be addressed. Forget all those low-cut tops and trashy pants, try to come off as well-behaved as can be. This is a meeting that can set the tone for the entire relationship so do not take it lightly when it comes to dressing. 

Altogether, your boyfriend is the best point of information here, he should tell you what his family considers decent and indecent. While some people may not really mind the low-cut tops or ripped jeans, others may look at the get-up as grotesque. Altogether, it is best to remain on the safe side and dress conservatively; it does not hurt.

5. Manners matter

Besides the usual please and thank you, you should also simply behave yourself. It is common courtesy to offer to help when setting or clearing or setting the table or offer to help clean up. They may not allow you to lift a finger, but you should offer either way. That will make them feel more secure in the fact that you’re dating their son. 

Besides that, also be thoughtful when it comes to your body language, if you are giving off raw aggression or nonchalance it will eventually show. Just try your best to be well mannered around them, they can sense a lot more than you can imagine.

6. Show interest in each family member

You do not have to be best friends braiding each other’s hair at the end of the meeting, but it is important that you connect with them on some level. This extends beyond his parents, if he has any siblings or close cousins, then it is a good idea to connect with them. Do not come on too strong, like I said before, you do not have to be best of friends at the end of the day.

But, you may probably become part of their family at some point, so you have to show that you will be able to co-exist with them and be a part of their world. As much as I am against, sucking up to parents and not being yourself, you need to try to have something in common with them.

7. Do not be a know-it-all

No one likes a know-it, especially one that is domineering and insensitive. Think of this as an extension of showing interest in them. You are not going to score any points with his parents if you don’t let anyone else get a word in. You have to let the conversation flow and for heaven's sake, let your man answer his own questions.

Let there be some level of giving and take, do not dominate the conversation and steer it in your direction. Your all-around behavior should let them know how amazing you are and not your constant interruptions and interjections. His parents will not like you if you don’t let them.

8. Let them know you love their son

You do not have to engage in heavy PDA or gaze at him longingly before his parents know that you are in love with their son. Simply talking him up is a good way to show that you are wholly a member of their son’s fan club. Let them know that they raised a gentleman and that he treats you like a lady.

Also, talk about any achievements that will make him look good because it’ll give them a glimpse into how proud you are of their son. Altogether, you need to let his parents know that you care about their son as much as they care about him. 

 9. Steer clear of relationship problems

While you are talking him up, it's probably also a good idea to steer clear of any issues you may be going through. His parents don't need to know about all the arguments you've had in the past week or if you've slept in the same room for the last month. That is really not what you are there for. It speaks quite low of you if you cannot be bothered to keep all those personal issues personal. 

His parents are probably no strangers to the fact that there are problems between partners. But they honestly do not need to know the specifics of all your lover’s squabbles. You will end up making the whole experience awkward and unpleasant for everyone.

10. When in Rome...

I am not asking you to alter your entire personality, but when you meet them for the time, you need to try to blend in. It goes a long way to show that you are not there to destroy the very fabric of what makes them a family. Once you have a hang of their routine, stick to it, and don’t try to be a stick in the mud. 

Just show them that you are ready to be a part of the family, but try your best not to do anything that goes against your fundamental beliefs or basic morals. You do not have to be a horrible person to blend in with the family.

11. Know when to take your leave

Know when to take your leave

As much as you may want to stick around for a considerable amount of time to bond with them, it is important to know when to leave. Once the conversation dies down and you have said all your pleasantries, it is time to go home. If you are staying over for the weekend, you do not have to hang out with them every waking second, that is simply unnatural.

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Give them their space and be present when you are socializing’; altogether try to strike a balance and you will be fine.

12. Show gratitude

It could be in the form of a simple thank you, a handshake, a hug, or even a nice gift basket. Altogether, you need to look for ways to show them that you are grateful for the good company, food, and even shelter if you slept over. 

Tell them how amazing they were as hosts and how happy you were to get to know more about their son. This will go a long way to show them how great it would be to have you as a member of their family when the time eventually comes.

13. Lay off the strong liquor

Whether you are lightheaded or not, it is wise to drink responsibly or not at all, when meeting his parents. You never know when the liquor will hit in the wrong way so it is wise to lay off it and stick to soft drinks. 

If you are going to have any alcohol, then keep it light and probably try your best to limit yourself to one glass. There is nothing as embarrassing as having a drunken fit when you first meet his parents. Believe me when I say that will follow you for quite some time.

14. Be yourself

As tempting as it may be to bring on a fake, prim, and proper persona, this is the wrong route to take. Many people do not understand the difference between being themselves and being polite. You can do one while doing the other, it is honestly not rocket science. So, do not get so caught up in walking on eggshells that you become fake. 

Best believe that his parents can sense it when you are trying too hard to kiss up to them and it is not an attractive color.

15. Don't be talkative

You cannot blab all night without stopping to take a sip of water, it will not earn you any points with his folks. Sure, you may be nervous or simply a bubbly person, but you have to realize that the first meeting sets precedence. 

Yes, it is the 21st century and women can speak freely now,  but that is no excuse to dominate the conversation and keep it going till the end of the evening. 

Ensure that the conversation is actually a give-and-take situation. You want to know as much about them as they do about you. 

16. Realize that you may not be the only nervous person at the table

It is quite easy to feel like the spotlight is completely on you when you first meet his parents, but that's a lie. They are equally wary of saying the wrong thing or coming off too strong. So take it easy and try to make them feel at home with you as well. 

Also, don't judge them, because you could equally be in a judge position in the blink of an eye. Take it easy and let your easy-going nature influence them to relax as well. 

17. Be punctual

You may be a scatterbrain on a normal day, but this is one day to put that aside. Ensure that you go out of your way to be punctual for the meeting because it shows that they are important to you. It's even better to show up early than to rush in at an ungodly hour. So, make sure that you give yourself plenty of time to prepare even if you have to prepare some things the day before. 

18. Do not be culturally insensitive

If you and your man do not have the same cultural background then this one's for you. You cannot go into his parent’s home and disrespect aspects of their culture that he grew up observing. 

Not only will you be disrespecting his parents but you will be disrespecting him. Never consider yourself too woke to be respectful of anything they do that's a bit weird. You don't know how weird you're coming off to them, so, be nice. 

19. Breathe

Yes, it is an important meeting, but these are people who love your man. Chances are that they are going to love you too. So, don't die under the pressure of being the perfect partner. That person does not exist, simply try your best, and hopefully, they will see that and love you for it. 

FAQs

What to do when meeting my boyfriend's parents?

First, you need to ask your boyfriend for some background information so you know what you are getting yourself into. Make sure you are polite, but not timid and also bring a gift along, it could be anything from flowers to a bottle of wine. Finally, let your personality shine through, but do not overshare.

How long should you wait to meet your boyfriend's parents?

That is relative, some people meet the parents for the first time after a couple of weeks, others in a month or a year. The major thing is for you to ensure that you are ready because meeting your boyfriend’s parents for the first time is a big deal. Ensure that you and your boyfriend are ready for the next step.

Is it important to meet your boyfriend's parents?

Yes, it is one of the most important meetings you could ever have and the first impression you make will set a precedence for the rest of your relationship. Do not underestimate how vital it is to prepare for the meeting. Also, do not underestimate any advice that your boyfriend throws your way.

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What to talk about when you meet your boyfriend's parents?

Keep the conversation light and informative, ultimately they want to know more about the woman who has captured their son’s heart. Talk about your childhood, your interests, or even your career path. Also, show an interest in them as well, get to know them as much as they want to know about you.

How can I impress my boyfriend's mom?

Let me start by saying that first impressions are golden, so you do have to impress his mother. First of all, be respectful because that goes a long way with any mother. Also, do not kiss up too much, be yourself, and do not come off as pretentious. Never compete for attention with your boyfriend’s mother and be respectful of any special occasion that existed before you met.

Key Takeaways

Whether you are meeting the parents or one parent, you need to be well-prepared for the occasion. If you do not know how to act then it can get pretty sticky very fast, but hopefully, the tips above will get you over the finish line. With these under your belt, you’ll make it through all the dinner table banter in no time.

I would love to hear about any tips you may have that kept you off the chopping block in the comment section below. Also, do not hesitate to share this with someone who needs a push in the right direction.

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Sonya Schwartz
A hopeless romantic that struggled for many years to find her Mr "Right" and made all the mistakes you could think of while dating. Known for always choosing the wrong guys or messing up relationships, Sonya was finally able to change her approach and mindset when it came to dating which helped her eventually find the man of her dreams and become happily married. You can read more about me here...

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