Meeting the Family

Be Yourself
Your boyfriend or girlfriend has fallen for who you really are, and that person is who they want their family to meet. While it’s healthy to feel nervous and want to impress the people who are closest to your significant other, don’t let those feelings alter your behavior. Focus on accentuating the best parts of your personality instead of feeling self-conscious about your flaws or trying to be someone you’re not.

Get to Know Them
While the emphasis during the first meeting tends to be on you, don’t forget to ask the family members about themselves and look for common interests. This will take some of the pressure off of you and help the meeting feel like a conversation instead of an interview.

Speak Well of Your Significant Other
During your time with the family, demonstrate your genuine love for your boyfriend or girlfriend. Speak well of him or her and share some of your best experiences as a couple with the family. Remember, everything you say should be authentic and not forced. Families want to feel assured that you care about their child/sister/brother and recognize how wonderful they are.

Participate
If your boyfriend or girlfriend’s family are ping-pong enthusiasts or love to cook meals together, find a way to incorporate yourself into their traditions. Even if you’ve never played kickball before, don’t be afraid to take a turn and participate. His or her family will appreciate your willingness to try new things and be a part of the group.

Be Respectful
This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s a good tip to keep in the back of your mind. If his or her family tells you to treat their house like home, you should take that to mean make yourself comfortable, not act like it’s your apartment. Clean up after yourself, offer to help with chores and follow family rules.

If the First Impression Didn’t Go Well

Unless you broke the heirloom vase while passing the carrots, stepped on the cat and scraped Aunt Martha’s car while backing out, things probably didn’t go that bad. If you really think the first meeting didn’t go well, there are ways to recover.
First, remember everyone understands you were nervous so they will automatically cut you some slack. Second, talk to your significant other about how they think it went. He or she can give you tips on how to fit in with the family and make a better impression. Finally, give the family a call or write a brief note expressing your appreciation for the opportunity to meet them and to date their son or daughter.

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