We can't stress the importance of politeness on your first visit enough. Once you get to know his family, they may be the most outlandish bunch of people with whom you've ever shared a dinner table, but to start off, keep your off-color jokes to yourself. First impressions mean a lot, and you shouldn't risk coming off as brash on the first day. If you say "please" and "thank you," and remember your manners, you should pass the first meet-and-greet without issue.
Sometimes, flattery will get you everywhere -- and saying something nice to his mom on first meeting can do wonders to boost your image. Don't overdo it (i.e., complimenting her on everything you lay eyes on), but be selective and praise something you genuinely love. Does she have great taste in art? Tell her. Are her appetizers delicious? Ask for the recipe. People love when you notice something on which they've worked hard.
If you ask intelligent questions about the parents' lives, jobs, home and hobbies, you'll endear yourself to them. It will show you've been listening to what they've told you so far and make it seem like you actually want to be there (even if you don't).
Even if his dad tells the worst jokes and his mom reaches for yet another photo album of their latest Caribbean cruise, do not sigh, frown or otherwise show your displeasure. This is where you have no choice but to grin and bear it. Laugh at jokes that aren't funny and fawn over photos you don't care to see. Trust us: His parents will love you for it.
Always offer to lend a hand when you're visiting his parents. Clear the table, offer to slice and dice something for the salad, or carry a tray of snacks from the kitchen to the coffee table. Do your part to assist his mom or dad, and they'll see that you care about helping others.
If you can, try to get some one-on-one time with his mom. Slip into the kitchen when she's making coffee or cleaning up after dinner, and thank her for having you over. She will most likely appreciate the fact you've taken the time to approach her directly, and it shows you want to make a good impression.
A few days after your visit, follow up with a phone call or email to his parents. It doesn't have to be lengthy -- just enough to say "thank you" and that you enjoyed meeting his family. This would also be the perfect time to ask his mom for her apple pie recipe.
Even if you didn't have the best time or you felt awkward, you need to go back and do it again. If you really love your boyfriend and feel like he's the one, you must get to know his family and build a good relationship with them -- and that takes time and effort.
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