How can you survive meeting the parents for the first time
Ahhh, meeting the parents. By now, you must know the relationship is getting serious. It’s about that time where she’ll casually ask you to join in on a family dinner so her folks can put a face to that mystery man. Remember, this is the first time they are meeting you; a moment that will literally shadow your relationship from now on.
We know that making a first impression is crucial in all first meetings and introductions, from professional interviews to meeting the folks. And, as if that wasn’t enough stress on your shoulders, you’re only allowed about seven seconds to sway their opinion in your favor.
“First impressions matter when you want to build a lasting trust,” said study researcher Robert Lount of Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business “If you get off on the wrong foot, the relationship may never be completely right again. It’s easier to rebuild trust after a breach if you already have a strong relationship.”
You want to show them your best self; so start by making easy adjustments like getting a haircut or shaving. Those go a long way when meeting her parents. You don’t have to deck yourself out in designer bling to make a good impression on her folks. At the same time, you definitely don’t want to be looking like you haven’t left the house in weeks, so a nice in between wardrobe is ideal. All in moderation of course, use your judgement when picking out your attire for the occasion. It all depends on the formality of the event and your girlfriend’s take on the dress code (she knows what’s best when it comes to charming her parents).
“It is important to choose our dress style carefully because people will make all sorts of assumptions and decisions about us without proper evidence. We are unlikely to know what these assessments are too, so it is quite possible that our clothes reveal more than we thought.”
Throughout the night, her parents will probably bombard you with intimidating questions along the lines of, “so what do you do?” or “where do you see yourself in ten years?” Nerves get the best of us, but confidence is key, so ensure that you’re actively engaged and genuinely interested in what they have to say, and even if you’re not, act like it.
Preparing a mental summary also helps when you feel cornered by a question, it will keep you calm, collected and ready for anything.
Make sure you’re giving an array of compliments without going overboard; people easily sense phonies. Being genuine and polite will score you big points with her folks, and she’ll admire you that much more for it.
Asking questions is always a great idea to ensure that the conversation doesn’t die out or end in an awkward note. They want you to learn about them and this is how you will really be able to connect on similarities and develop a relationship.
“By asking questions, you will also find out about mutual interests and similarities that you have. Similarities mean the jackpot. When two people feel similar enough, friendships will emerge. As soon as you have found something that you both like, make sure to talk more about it.”
So, it would seem, that the meet went well, or perhaps it remains ambiguous to your knowledge. Well the truth is, it doesn’t end just there. As we know, follow ups are important for any type of networking. They’re that quiet nudge that solidifies relationships, partnerships and positions. So why not apply them to her parents?
It doesn’t have to be formal, it can simply be mentioning to your girl that you had a great time and you hope you can hang out with her folks again. Or you can reach out directly to them several days later over email, sending them a little thank you for your time together, and maybe even, making reference to a special moment that happened. Either way, don’t lose touch and subtly remind them of how great you are.
While researchers leave open the matter of which format is best for rendering thanks for small favors, courtesies, presents or a tuna casserole supper, there is a growing sense that the old, reliable handwritten note is making a comeback — and not just as a prop on “Tonight.”
So there you have it, our guide to making an impression that lasts with her folks. It may not seem like a lot to take in, but every step gets you that much closer to that legendary approving nod. Pretty soon they’ll be asking you to tag along for family only outings, holidays and annual diners. And that’s exactly where you want to be: on their VIP list.
Got an epic story you wanna share with us about meeting the folks? Share it with us below, we’d love to hear it!