What to say when: You first meet his family

Oct 12, 2011 at 2:58 a.m. ET

So you're taking the first step of commitment with him, huh? While going to meet his parents isn't as exciting as getting your first kitten together or buying a house, it's still a part of your relationship you've got to stomach before getting to the good stuff. Here are some tips to help you prepare for the big day.

Woman meeting boyfriends parents

What to say when you first meet his family

While your guy's job is to ensure your dad doesn't kick his backside when he meets your parents, your job is to ensure his mom doesn't see you as a bad influence on him. This should be easy, as long as you stick to the two golden rules:

  1. Talk about him in a very positive light. Your guy is his mom's golden child, and if you say anything to the contrary, you'll be on your way to making an arch-nemesis out of her.
  2. Comment on how lovely the house is. After all, she no doubt spent the better part of two hours vacuuming and cleaning every dusty shelf in preparation for your arrival.

What to do when you first meet his family

Greet his parents with a friendly kiss on the cheek, and then after exchanging pleasantries, offer to help his mom in the kitchen. By contributing to the dinner, you will find yourself swiftly promoted from "potential threat" to "marriage material."

Remember that you're dating him, not them. Just be confident and relax, and if at any point you find yourself feeling uncomfortable, just grin and bear it. In exchange for a visit that lasts a couple of hours, you'll be avoiding months of his mom calling up to "innocently" inquire about whether or not he's still with you.

What to avoid when you first meet his family

Even though it may seem like a job interview, meeting the 'rents is a lot easier when treated with an open and honest approach. If you appear as though you're trying to sell yourself to them, they'll find it difficult to warm to you. Keep in mind that if you've attracted him, then chances are you should be able to attract them too, so just be cool-headed and try not to worry too much about how you're presenting yourself.

Don't stress out over the small things and just ask yourself: "What's the worst that could happen?" You don't get invited back for more of his parents' roast potatoes? Who cares? Those things are as solid as house bricks anyway.

More on what he knows

What to say when: You're losing interest
What to say when: He says sorry
What to say when: He's had a bad day

Tagged in