Meeting the parents of someone that you’re dating is a significant step in your relationship. Not anyone gets to meet the rents, only people that are truly cared about get that privilege, hence why it’s so important. Being introduced to the family represents a lot, the overall meaning being that you are becoming a bigger part in your partner’s life. It’s not just dates and sleepovers and hanging out with friends—it’s kind of like an initiation into the family.
Although meeting the parents is a decision that is made between you and your significant other, it goes beyond just the two of you. Of course, if you’re meeting the family you know that it’s serious, that’s why it can be a bit overwhelming. But during the first meeting, several things are determined and there are assessments being made all around.
YOU’RE probably thinking…what do they think of me? Do they like me, do they think I’m weird or nice or funny? Is this outfit appropriate? Should I have said that? Am I sharing enough about myself, or am I revealing too much? Is that where he gets his humor? Makes so much sense…
Your BOYFRIEND is most likely thinking…should I leave her alone with my parents? Will she be okay? I wonder if my parents like her? If I like her they should like her too. Are those baby pictures? Oh no…
His PARENTS are likely wondering…is she a good match for my son? How serious is this relationship? Is she still in school or is she working? What plans does she have? Should I show her baby pictures? Do they have sex? Oh no, shouldn’t have thought about that!
Needless to say, meeting the parents can be stressful from all angles and that’s why I was a bit nervous to meet Wesley’s mom and stepdad this past weekend for his 24th birthday. As this is my first serious relationship, I’ve never really “met the parents” before and was beginning to feel self conscious about pretty much everything. My hair, the dress I was wearing, the fact that I speak too fast when I’m nervous…turns out, I had no reason to be.
Wesley’s mom, Renee, was just like him—sweet, funny, incredibly open and very social. We got to talking immediately. His stepdad, Roger, was a different story. As a former cop and judge, I was a bit intimidated by his presence. He appeared to be the kind of guy who loved to challenge people by commenting and making a joke about every topic to see how people would react. After a couple of those instances I figured out how to roll with Roger’s humor—it was by throwing a line back at him.
His parents were very cool, and after taking us out for dinner they even went out to a bar with us to celebrate Wesley’s birthday and speed along his inebriation process. It was a lot of fun and really gave me an insight as to how Wesley got to be the wonderful way he is. Even though the night went very smoothly, here are a couple of tips than can help you avoid awkward circumstances when you’re meeting the ‘rents for the first time:
1. Dress appropriately. This should go without saying, but I’m saying it anyway. It was a little hard for me because we were going out to a bar later on, but I managed to keep the cleavage concealed and the hemline at a decent length. Feel free to be your creative self when it comes to constructing your outfit, but keep it more along the lines of “girl next door” than “video vixen.”
2. Limit PDA. It’s hard when your boyfriend has a great set of lips that constantly tempt you, but don’t make out with him in front of his parents! It’s fine to hold hands, peck on the cheek, and sneak a quick kiss when they’re not looking but don’t overdo it. It’ll be rude and traumatizing—for everyone.
3. Watch your mouth! I have an incredibly dirty mouth. I literally curse like a sailor in every day life, unless I’m at work. If you’re anything like me, make sure not to drop the f-bomb or any other word that would raise an eyebrow.
4. No sexual innuendos/humor/anything! Here’s a fun story—Wesley’s step dad saw a list written on the whiteboard that hangs on his refrigerator. The list went as following: TO DO—Get LAID! One night, I checked it off, wrote DONE and signed my name with a little heart next to it. Roger pointed it out to everyone, made a joke and I was completely mortified. Whenever you’re around his parents, especially for the first time, pretend to lack any sexual knowledge—no “That’s what she said” jokes or anything related to sex. The potential awkward silence afterwards is not worth it.
5. Be comfortable and confident! Although it can be a little scary, meeting the parents can also be a lot of fun, especially once you get past those first couple of minutes. It’s important to be yourself! Ask questions, tell them about yourself and be open. They want to know what it is about you that is driving their son crazy and chances are that you want to know embarrassing stories about him as a child. Here’s your chance to know more so use it wisely!