If you’re like most guys, meeting your girlfriend’s parents is a pretty nerve-wracking experience. You want to make a good impression but don’t want to do anything wrong. So what are the dos and don’ts of meeting your girlfriend’s parents? Here are some tips to help you out.
What to wear?
You’ve been dating your girlfriend for a while now, and you’re finally going to meet her parents. You want to make a good impression, but you’re not sure what to wear. Here are some dos and don’ts to help you out:
Dress nicely but casually – you don’t want to look like you’re trying too hard, but you also don’t want to look like you just rolled out of bed. A button-down or nice sweater with dark-wash jeans should do the trick. And skip the cologne – you don’t want her dad to think you’re trying to mask anything (wink wink).
Avoid anything too trend-forward.
On the flip side, there are a few things you definitely don’t want to wear. Avoid anything too trend-forward or fashion, like ripped jeans or a super skinny tie. You want to look like a keeper, not like you just stepped out of GQ. And while we’re on the topic of trends, steer clear of anything that could be seen as immature – no cartoon character socks or graphic tees allowed. The goal is to look like someone her parents would be happy to see their daughter dating, so err on the side of being too dressy rather than too casual.
Do dress nicely – this is not the time to wear your oldest clothes but DON’T obsess over what you’re wearing – your girlfriend’s parents are more interested in who you are as a person, not what you look like.
Nailing the parent meet-and-greet isn’t easy, but following these style guidelines should help you make a great first impression.
How to act?
Now that you know what to wear, it’s time to focus on how to act.
You want her parents to like you, but how do you make that happen? Treat them how you would like your parents to be treated.
One of the most important things to remember when meeting your girlfriend’s parents is to be yourself. They will likely have many questions for you, and they must get to know the real you. Remember to shake hands, and thank them for having you over.
Keep the conversation light and pleasant.
You should also try to avoid cursing or telling off-color jokes. Instead, keep the conversation light and pleasant. If you can make a good impression on her parents, it will go a long way toward cementing your relationship.
Be polite and respectful – this should go without saying, but it’s important to remember to mind your manners when meeting someone’s parents for the first time. Say please and thank you, and avoid using swear words.
Don’t get into arguments with her parents – this is a surefire way to ruin your chances with their daughter. If you disagree on something, politely agree to disagree and move on.
Don’t monopolize the conversation.
When you meet your girlfriend’s parents for the first time, it’s important to make a good impression. One way to do this is to avoid monopolizing the conversation. If you find yourself talking more than anyone else, try to ask her parents some questions about themselves. This will show that you’re interested in getting to know them better.
Make sure you ask about them and their interests as well – it will make them feel valued and appreciated.
Don’t be too nervous – try to relax and be yourself, and you’ll do just fine. Take the time to learn about their interests and values so that you can find common ground. It’s also important to be yourself and let them see your personality. Be respectful and considerate, but don’t be afraid to show your sense of humor. And finally, remember that they are just people too, so relax and enjoy getting to know them.
What to talk about? Questions to ask.
Don’t talk about controversial topics – you may be dying to know what her parents think about politics or religion, but now is not the time to bring it up. Stick to safe topics like the weather, sports, or current events. And whatever you do, don’t bring up exes!
Ask questions and be interested in what they say.
Showing that you’re engaged in the conversation will make a good impression. And try to avoid yes or no questions, which can make the conversation feel like an interrogation.
Ask them about their day and how they’re doing, and engage in conversation. You want to show that you’re interested in getting to know them. Show interest – her parents will want to know that you’re interested in their daughter and that you’re taking the time to get to know them too. Ask about their hobbies, work, or anything else that comes up in conversation.
Here are a few topics to steer clear of:
Don’t talk about your ex – this is a surefire way to make her parents think you’re not over your last relationship.
Don’t talk about your job – unless they ask, of course. This is usually seen as bragging, and it’s likely that they don’t care about your job as much as you do.
Don’t get too personal – this isn’t the time to share your life story or tell them about your childhood. Stick to safe topics.
Have some conversation in mind that you can talk about – but make sure they’re light and airy, like your favorite TV show or a recent vacation.
Things to do.
Do be on time. Nothing says disrespectful, like showing up late. Unless there is a genuine emergency, aim to arrive 10-15 minutes early.
Do Bring a small gift. It doesn’t have to be anything big or expensive, but it’s always nice to bring a hostess gift like a bottle of wine or a box of chocolates. This shows that you’re considerate and thought of them even before you arrived.
Do respect their house rules, whether it’s something as simple as taking your shoes off at the door or not using foul language during dinner.
Don’t get drunk – this is a surefire way to make a bad impression, and it’s just plain rude.
Don’t be too nervous – try to relax and be yourself.
Don’t eat with your mouth open.
Don’t interrupt when others are talking.
Don’t ignore their signals.
When it’s time to say goodbye, be polite and thank her parents for having you over. If you made a good impression, they’ll look forward to seeing you again. If not, well, there’s always next time.
Compliment them on their appearance, house, and cooking.
A great way to break the ice is to compliment them on their appearance and the house, take a walk around her place, and look for things you can compliment her parents on. Maybe the flowers in the garden are beautiful, or the pictures on the walls are interesting. This will show that you are observant and have good manners, and they’ll appreciate that you took the time to notice the little things.
And, of course, don’t forget to compliment them on their cooking! Whether it’s a simple “This meal is delicious!” or a more detailed description of what you like, they’ll be pleased to know that you enjoyed their food.
A few well-chosen words will go a long way toward making a good impression. And, of course, be sure to compliment their daughter on her beauty! With a little preparation, you’re sure to win over your girlfriend’s parents in no time.
Smile and make eye contact.
This one is easy – just smile and make eye contact when talking to them. It sounds simple, but it makes a big difference. Smiling shows that you’re friendly and approachable. Smiling also is a great way to make a good impression, and it can also make you look more intelligent. When you smile, your eyes crinkle up at the corners, making you look friendlier and more approachable. Plus, it’s been shown that people who smile are seen as being smarter and more competent!
Making eye contact shows that you’re interested in what they have to say and that you’re paying attention to the conversation. It’s also a sign of respect. Making eye contact shows that you value the person you’re talking to and that you’re interested in what they have to say. These things will put them at ease and make them more likely to like you.
Of course, you also want to ensure that you’re not staring too intensely or grinning too broadly – that can come across as creepy! Just relax, be yourself, and let your genuine warmth shine through.
Don’t criticize their daughter or her family.
It should go without saying that you should never criticize their daughter or her family. Even if you’re joking, it’s not worth risking offending them. And, of course, if you have something negative to say, it’s best to keep it to yourself.
People often try to bond with others by finding commonalities, like, “My family is crazy too!” or “I can’t believe she did that; my sister does the same thing!”. But when you’re meeting your girlfriend’s parents for the first time, it’s best to avoid this. You don’t want to give them any reason to think you’re not good enough for their daughter.
So, what should you do if you have nothing nice to say? Simply change the subject or steer the conversation in a different direction. There’s no need to make things awkward by dwelling on negative topics.
Don’t overstay your welcome.
It’s important to thank her parents for their hospitality, say goodbye, and make your exit. If you’ve been there for a few hours and they seem ready for you to leave, it’s probably time to go. For example, if they’re starting to yawn or keep looking at the clock, those are pretty strong hints that it’s time to say goodbye.
You don’t want to leave too early, either. If you only stay for an hour or so, it might seem like you weren’t really interested in meeting them. So, aim for somewhere in the middle – stay for a few hours, but don’t overstay your welcome.
Of course, if you’re having a good time and they don’t seem in a hurry to get rid of you, feel free to stay a while longer. But err on the side of caution – it’s always better to leave them wanting more than to overstay your welcome and wear out your welcome.
Send a handwritten thank-you note after the meeting.
This small but important gesture shows you are grateful for their time and hospitality. It doesn’t have to be anything long or fancy – a simple “Thank you for having me over; I had a great time” will suffice. But it’s a nice way to show that you appreciate their efforts, making them even more likely to want to see you again.
Of course, if you really want to impress them, you can always go above and beyond with a more thoughtful gift. But a thank-you note is always a nice touch. If you prefer, you can even send it electronically – a quick email or text message will do the trick. There’s no need to go overboard, but a little effort goes a long way.
So, there you have it—the dos and don’ts of meeting your girlfriend’s parents. Remember to be friendly, polite, and respectful, and you’re sure to make a good impression.
With a little preparation, you’re sure to win over your girlfriend’s parents in no time. Thanks for reading!
Joanna Perez is a Certified Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Practitioner, a passionate blogger, writer, traveler, wife, and mother of one boy. Joanna loves to share her thoughts on parenting, health, wellness, and lifestyle.
She is a Certified Women Empowerment Life Coach and has done courses on Life Mastery, Happiness, Health, and Success. She also has studied Neuroscience for Parents and took the Skilled Helper Training Course.
She believes in helping people become the best version of themselves and strives to provide quality informative and inspiring content. She loves animals, especially her two cats, and can often be found taking photos of them as they pose for the camera.