Your boyfriend wants to take the relationship to the next level; he asks you to meet his parents. With a smile you bravely say yes, but your insides feel like Jell-O. Stop the self-doubting and worst-case-scenario-itis; you can do this! We've all been there! Just know the do's and don'ts for meeting his parents, and you'll make some great new relationships. When in doubt, smile and leave the talking for everyone else.
Do's to follow:
Dress up! It's the holidays so show your festive spirit. Avoid wearing anything too provocative like a mini skirt or a see-through blouse. Think career casual! If you're unsure, ask your mom or someone who's fashion taste you trust.
Ask him questions. Canadian relationship expert Eryn Faye says it's a good idea to your boyfriend questions before meeting his parents. What should you call his mom and dad? That's an important question, especially if Mom's been divorced from your sweetheart's father. Do they have any cultural or religious observations you should know about? Keep it simple. Don't make him feel as if he's being interviewed. He's nervous, too.
Do steer clear of drama. If his sister shows up drunk or his inappropriate uncle snuggles up to you, stay out of the way. Family drama can't be avoided during these shindigs, but you don't have to get involved.
Wear those manners well. The etiquette gurus at Emily Post remind us of our manners this holiday. Saying "What?" or "Huh?" won't leave the parents with a good first impression. Display some manners. "Yes, please," or "No, thank you" are appropriate. Look them in the eye and smile when you meet them.
Show up with a gift. Think hostess gift, not a "please-like-me" gift. A nice bottle of wine, a box of special chocolates, or a CD of holiday music make great gifts for parents. (From my experience, I'd say avoid the homemade gifts, at least at this juncture.)
Don'ts to remember:
Don't drill the parents about the ex-girlfriend. He won't like it and neither will his parents. I've made the mistake of tossing out a casual joke about a boyfriend's ex and created a firestorm. Apparently, his mother never knew he had to get a restraining order.
Don't compete with Mom. She's Mom. You'll never take her place, even if she's a chain-smoking, wine-slurping crab.
Don't make out in front of the parents, even if he initiates it. Even if the two of you have a "free-wheeling" attitude towards sex, it's still his parents' house. Boston.com reminds us that getting caught while getting carried away never ends well. Stay away from the mistletoe and the eggnog!
Don't treat his parents like they are senior citizens. Be a friend, not a daughter, at least not yet.
This sounds like a tall order but be yourself. Don't "doctor" your resume; that could come back to haunt you later.