Anticipating the tough questions and having a game plan as to how to answer them is a must
“You Never Get a Second Chance to Make a First Impression,” has been forever ingrained in our minds, thanks to the Head and Shoulders ad campaigns of the 1980s. Meeting the parents for the first time can definitely be a make or break relationship milestone that you want to get right the first time. Below are my tips and dating advice for successfully navigating the “parental waters” during the already-stressful holidays.
Know Before You Go
First and foremost, only agree to meet the parents if you consider your relationship to be serious and on that level. I can’t tell you how many of my girlfriends and/or matchmaking clients have agreed to meet the parents of someone they’re not even that “into.” Talk about sending mixed messages! Here this person thinks you guys are totally serious because you’re spending the holidays with them and their family, and in reality, you were just in it for the free home-cooked meal or maybe just had nothing better going on. I’m telling you, it happens, so consider what meeting your significant other’s parents means to them and their family. Make sure this is the path you want to go down, because at the end of the day if it doesn’t work out, you don’t only have to break up with them but also their family.
Open and honest communication is key to the success of any relationship. Hopefully you and your significant other are already close and you are aware of their home life growing up and any on-going family dramas or hot buttons. In the event you aren’t, now’s the time to get up to speed quickly. How did the parents meet? Are they religious? What do they do for work? What are their interests, and/or favorite TV shows? What, if anything, did they not like about any previous girlfriends? If you and your sweetie are staying the night, are the parents the type to let you stay in the same room? You definitely need the low-down on anything and everything “familial” prior to going into what could very well be the lion’s den.
Get On The Same Page
Anticipating the tough questions and having a game plan as to how to answer them is a must. Do you want the parents to know you guys met at an S&M bar, on a free online dating site, at a singles party for swingers or at a “Bi-onic” speed dating event for bi-sexual women and the men who love them? If not, you better get your stories straight. Are the parents aware that you are living together? If not, you need to make sure you don’t accidentally “out” your living situation while passing the mashed potatoes. Topics to be prepared for might include whether you’re having safe sex, when you’re getting married and/or having kids. In the event you’re dealing with manipulative parents, or more likely, a possessive mom who may bring up stories about ex-girlfriends, it’s always good to have a full-disclosure session with your mate beforehand so there are no major surprises. In trying times like these it’s good to refer to the Boy Scouts tried-and true-motto, “be prepared”.
Come Bearing Gifts
When meeting the parents for the first time you definitely don’t want to go in empty-handed. A nice bottle of wine, their favorite dessert, fresh-cut flowers, a new release or classic DVD or board game of the Milton Bradley variety are some good gift ideas. If they’re not drinkers, maybe some gourmet coffee, sparkling cider or chocolates. Something personalized is always the best way to go, but at the end of the day it’s the thought that counts. It’s sort of like Kindergarten where if you bring something to class you have to have enough for everyone. It wouldn’t be cool for you to bring something very specific and un-sharable, say a picture frame or book for one person leaving out the rest of the family.
This entry was posted on Wednesday, December 1st, 2010 at 1:46 am and is filed under Sex & Relationships. You can follow any comments to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a comment. Pinging is currently not allowed.