There are plenty of big milestones when it come to relationships – everything from the first date, to the first kiss, to the first time. But what about when he’s ready for you to meet his family? After all, this is a huge step that says he’s ready to integrate you into other parts of his life! After all, if he’s ready for you to meet his family, that also means he’s ready for his family to meet you. This means that he’s rather serious about the relationship,and would like to take it to the next level of commitment.
Not matter how long you’ve been dating, when he’s ready to bring you and his family together, it means he wants you to get to know the people who could, potentially, be an extended part of your family, as well. If you’ve never had a boyfriend take it to this level, or just never know what to do when it does, here are some tips to keep your cool, calm and collected and make sure the entire meeting goes smoothly.
1. Bring a gift
This is just good etiquette. Don’t worry, you don’t have to break your piggy bank to make your gift suitable. If you’re meeting his parents for a home cooked dinner, you could possibly bring along a bottle of wine for the family to share. Flowers can also make a good gift for his mother or sisters. The gift doesn’t have to be extravagant, but it does have to be meaningful and thoughtful. If you know a little bit about his parent’s specific interests, you can bring them something that they would enjoy, like a particular good book that you wouldn’t mind discussing with them.
2. Don’t stand out
If your boyfriend’s family has a different culture than yours, ask him how his family would prefer you to dress. For example, if the rest of his family is particular modest, you might not want to show up in your best little black dress or a red cocktail number. Standing out can be a good thing in other situations, but when it comes to meeting his family, you’re going to want to make it look like you belong from the get go. If his family doesn’t like you, those opinions may start to seep from them to him – so make a good first impression, and don’t stand out too much.
3. Be appreciative
If his family is inviting you out to dinner, or cooking it at home, make sure that you show your appreciation. Compliment his parents on their home, their decor, the cooking, etc. If they’re treating you and your boyfriend out to a nice dinner, make sure to thank them for their generosity. Offer to pay your own way, but don’t insult them by insisting. They’re taking you out because they genuinely want to! So enjoy it, and be grateful for the meal. If his mother is cooking for you at home, make sure to compliment her on the food, even if it’s not your favorite dish.
4. Get in good with his siblings
If your boyfriend has brothers or sisters, you’ll want to make sure that you get along with them. Even if you’re nervous to impress his parents, you’ll want to make sure that you don’t give his siblings the cold shoulder. If he has siblings that are near your age, this should be easy. After all, they’re probably going to be a lot less intimidating than his parents! Not to mention, having family members who like you and who will happily defend your honor is a good thing.
5. Have a conversation
If you’re meeting his family at something like a holiday function where there’s lots of aunts, uncles, extended family and siblings mingling, it might feel a little overwhelming. But even making sure to have one or two good, meaningful conversations can help when it comes to meeting his family. Even if those conversations are with just his parents! Even if you’re shy, keeping a tight lip and refusing to have a conversation longer than a few monosyllabic words can make you seem stuck up, or like you don’t really want to be there with them. This can turn their opinion of your sour, fast. So shake off those nerves – they’re not as scary as they seem, promise!
Meeting his family for the first, second or third time – it can all be nerve wracking! But the best way to get over the fear is to dive in. After all, he cares about you enough to want to extend the offer that you meet his family. If things go well, they may be your family in the future someday, too! So it’s best to get in good the first time that you meet, so you’re not working against them when it comes to merging your families together.