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How To Make A Good Impression On Your Boyfriend’s Parents

Meeting your boyfriend’s parents can be a nerve-racking experience. Luckily, there a few things you can do in advance to prepare yourself for the big day. Here are some tips and tricks on how to ace the first encounter.

#1 Host them in your own home

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Parents aren't always going to be tough to win over! But they do usually have one thing at the front of their minds at all times: the well-being and happiness of their child. If a long-term, serious relationship with their son is the goal, show them you are more than able to be the supportive, capable partner they've envisioned.

A great way to do this is to offer to host them in your own home. Relax -- you don't have to put on a June Cleaver act, but you can show them that their son is going to have a caring partner and even a great home life with you someday. It's a bit nerve-wracking, but will reassure them that you are organized and competent, and able to share in homemaking responsibilities.

Picture Mom and Dad watching your boyfriend cheerfully helping you set the table and washing the dishes while you dry. They'll be able to see your happy relationship in action. And because your home is a reflection of you, they can really get a sense of your personality from the little touches you've added to your living space, instead of searching for talking points in a generic restaurant or bar. To prepare for their visit, put your best foot forward by showcasing an immaculately clean home. Then, think about staging your place in a way that highlights your hobbies and interests.

If you're an avid reader, artfully stack a few of your most loved books on the coffee table, topped with a cute votive or knick-knack. If travel is your thing -- especially with your beau -- arrange some framed pictures of your happiest vacations to stimulate a fun chat about the trip.

And if you like to cook, this is a great opportunity to ask your boyfriend about their tastes in advance and try your version of their favourite dishes on them, served in pretty bowls and platters that you can nab from any discount store. Try this slam-dunk move: whatever floral arrangement you've made for the table, use the extras to make a mini version for them to take home at the end of the night.

Contributors: Sara Cannon from House Heroes LLC 

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#2 Do a bit of research

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Ask your partner for a bit of background with regard to their interests and passions. You don’t have to pretend to be interested in rare plants to seem more attractive, but showing some interest and asking questions (and genuinely listening to what they have to say) will make you more likeable. If you’re not familiar with cultural customs, ask your parter to help you out.

In some cultures and families, it’s rude to finish all the food on your plate at a meal (it suggests that they didn’t feed you enough) and in others, it’s rude to leave food behind. Ask your partner for a heads up if there are specific behaviours that their parents emphasized or reprimanded when they were growing up and adjust your behaviour accordingly.

Contributors: Jess O’Reilly from Astroglide

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#3 Arrive a few minutes early

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Research shows that you’re more likeable if you show up first. Speed daters are more successful when they’re the ones sitting and being approached as opposed to walking up to a waiting partner — the theory is that we’re more attracted to things that we move toward.

Contributors: Jess O’Reilly from Astroglide

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#4 Err on the the formal side

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Even if you’re not a royal. It’s better to be more formal in dress, manners, communication and custom than to feel underdressed or underprepared. Take a look at family photos from recent events to gauge what’s considered appropriate/formal at family gatherings.

Contributors: Jess O’Reilly from Astroglide

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#5 Bring something if you’re visiting their home

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It’s good manners in almost every culture. Don’t overspend, but arrive with sweets or a plant in-hand and don’t expect them to open your gift upon arrival. In some cultures, they may simply put the gift aside and thank you for it later.

Contributors: Jess O’Reilly from Astroglide

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#6 Made A Mistake?

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If you make a mistake or put your foot in your mouth, don’t make excuses. Apologize and move forward. You’re human and so are they — it’s better to accept responsibility than to try to deflect blame or pretend it didn’t happen.

Contributors: Jess O’Reilly from Astroglide

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