Meeting each other's family for the first time can be daunting. You are introducing each other to some of the most significant people in your lives. And these are people that don't go away if they aren't your cup of tea. For better or for worse, you are all sort of stuck with each other. Here are a few tips to making sure the first meeting runs smoothly, as well as advice for starting to build the foundation for a good relationship.

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Go in with a great attitude.

Whether you are a nervous wreck or know how much his mother adored his last girlfriend, you need to try to make the best first impression. Go into this believing everything will go well. They will be charmed by you, think you're amazing, you'll think they are a hoot, and so on.  If you aren't already genuinely excited to meet his gang, then get excited.

Be the best version of you.

Absolutely 100%, be yourself. Do not be some sort of Stepford Wife robotic character that you think his parents will love. They want to meet the person their child fell in love and decided to spend the rest of their life with, not a caricature of the "perfect" daughter-in-law.  Of course, that's no reason not to be the best version of yourself. Perhaps don't wear the yoga pants with the ice cream stain.  Maybe buy a nice bottle of wine.  Use actual silverware for the meal instead of stabbing your food with a leftover take-out chopstick because nothing else is clean. You know, that sort of thing.

Meet in a location that makes sense.

If you all live in close proximity, it might make sense to host a dinner at someone's house. However, if they are from out-of-town, consider a restaurant.  First meetings can be awkward sometimes. Being out at a restaurant gives you a built-in schedule to fall back on, and the night won't drag on.  The goal is to make sure that everyone feels comfortable and is at ease.

Avoid controversial topics.

This is not the time to talk politics and religion. Also, if you know that there is a bone of contention regarding the guest list, venue, invitation wording, etc., now is not the time to talk about that either. Keep this first introduction controversy-free. Light conversation and anecdotes should dominate the conversation. This is a time to get to know each other. It's hard to get to know someone when they are yelling at you about not being able to invite the entire family.  Keep it light.

Find ways to connect.

Although it is lovely to genuinely compliment someone, don't go overboard. Instead of looking for ways to ingratiate yourself with your new mother-in-law, look for ways to connect with her. Perhaps you share a random hobby or favorite author.  Finding these common threads help to build a foundation for a relationship in the future.

 

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