Without question, the first time you meet your partner’s family, it can be extremely anxious and stressful. Many people think that this is probably one of the scariest events for a couple to go through, but at the end of the day, it doesn’t need to be.
It is rare to not have some amount of trepidation, but there is a way to get through the process and not adversely affect your relationship with your partner or their family members. First meetings are always the most stressful, so if you get through that it’s probably going to be smooth sailing from there.
They’re going to want to see how you are as a person, what you bring to the table and the nature and value of your relationship. Basically, they want to know one thing – are you worthy of their beloved daughter or son?
Since these potentially are your in-laws, you will want to be shown in the best light. Once you have read this, you will feel a lot better at getting to know your partner’s family!
Do Some Research on the Family
Any information you can gather about the family beforehand will make it that much easier for you once you finally meet. It also will remove more anxiety about the introduction and assist in topics to cover.
Ask your partner about the interests of her family, where they like to vacation, and if they speak any other languages. Keep it light and easy, and you will have one advantage in your corner.
That old adage about not coming through empty handed applies here and you should at least have a bottle of wine or roses for the parents once you show up to the designated area. It won’t take much, and you can never get two times to make a first impression, so bring a bottle of red and improve your standing.
Reading the Room
Being able to gauge the vibe of the room is also a great way to learn more about your partner’s family. There are some families that love a political discussion and speak on world affairs. Others may only want to talk about less controversial matters. There are no hard and fast rules to this, so the best thing to do is just read the room as best you can, give your opinions when asked, and remember to be respectful.
Of course, you want to impress them, but being someone else isn’t fair to your or them and could end up backfiring. If you are typically loud and comedic, then if you are the opposite of that upon the initial encounter, your partner’s family will have the wrong impression of who you are as a person and this can lead to problems over the long term. But in the beginning, you should make a good impression by asking the questions that typically spark conversations. Asking where they are originally from and grew up, their hobbies, and places they have visited are a great place to start.
Turn Your Phone Off
You are probably used to checking your phone every few minutes, but when you meet your partner’s family for the first time, the best bet is to turn it off and ignore it for a few hours. We live in a digital world and it seems almost impossible to stay away from our smartphones 24/7, but when you are meeting your partner’s family, try to remember what you are there for and respect their time as well as her family enough to keep the focus on them. .
Be prepared to offer to clean up after dinner. Be quick about helping an older member out of their seat. This keeps you busy and is more likely to ingratiate yourself to your partner’s family. When at a restaurant, off to pay the bill or drive them home afterwards. Being sincere in your offering and remember that is comes down to the details that can make or break that first meeting.
They Are Judging You
No matter what you say or do, know that it is all being judged, no matter how nice both parties are. While in the meeting, try not to overthink it, but afterwards, it is only natural to evaluate where you stand and if you are confident enough and not too off-putting, you may end up on the right side of their admiration.
Being true to yourself and respecting your partner’s family will help prepare you to meet their family for the first time and keep stress at a minimum.