Meeting your girlfriend or boyfriends parents is an important phase of a serious relationship, and for anyone who is in such a relationship this is both the most exciting and scary part. If you are freaking out, then you are not alone! It is such a scary part of the relationship that dozens of movies have been made on precisely this subject, ranging from classics like “Meeting the Fockers” and “Meeting the Parents” to newer movies like “Jumping the Broom”.

Now why is meeting the parents such a frightening experience though?

While it means that your partner is taking your relationship seriously, it also comes with a great deal of pressure, especially if they come from a close knit family. Whether the parents will like you can be a very critical determinant of how far your relationship can go. Though it is cliché, it is a fact that fathers tend to be more protective over their daughters while mothers are overprotective when it comes to their sons. This is a great cheat sheet to get you started.

Getting stressed and nervous before meeting them is very normal. After all, they are the parents of your better half! However, you have to be cautious enough not to let your anxiety ruin the day or affect their impression of you.

How do you do this?

Well, simply relax! This means either that you go in completely unprepared and let the spontaneous nature of the whole thing play about as it will, which is how some people prefer it, or you could choose to be a bit more prepared by learning and knowing the dos and don’ts for the day. If you are leaning towards the latter option, the best place for you to get started is by collecting as much information as possible from your partner about them without going over the obsessive limit.

Learning about them is important so as to not rub them the wrong way particularly on sensitive subjects like health, politics, religion and so on.

To get you ready for the day, here is a small cheat sheet that will help make you more confident and prepared:

Get Them Something

This is just common courtesy whenever you are a visitor. Find out their favorite bottle of wine or any other thing that they may love. A gift is a great ice breaker to get you started! You can even use your gift to spark up some conversation!

A Red Gift Given to the Parents of Your Boyfriend

Get Out Of Your Shell

Whether you deem yourself talkative or not, for this meeting you have to work to get out of your shell. You cannot afford to be branded as boring so have some talking points in your head. Ask questions about their lives, how they met, find out more about your spouse as a kid, ask to see some pictures and so on! This is a sure way to maintain an exciting conversation. You can also suggest a simple game like charades to break the ice and so on.

Be Polite

Your politeness game has to be on top that day. From the moment you walk in and say hello to how you maintain the conversations. Most importantly, accept all food you are offered that day whether you like it or not. Depending on cultures, neglecting foods can be taken to be rude behavior!

Offer Your Help

If for instance you have joined the family for thanksgiving or any other important holiday, the food preparation is always ongoing. It would therefore not hurt to offer to help in some way. This makes you seem much more relatable and moreover, it also passes for some great bonding time with the family!

Despite being a very important day in your life, it doesn’t have to be scary. Don’t overthink every move and you will be just fine!

Good luck meeting the parents!