Here's the situation: you met someone awesome on the internet and things are going swimmingly. Since the holiday season is here, they've invited you to meet their parents. While you're generally a confident, socially well-adapted person, just the considered meeting the 'fam is sufficient to cause you to sweat right through your holiday sweater.
It's OK. I get it. Meeting your partner's family the very first time could be totally nerve wracking. The good thing is there are some things you can do in advance to help relax.
Meeting the 'rents the very first time? Here are some tips.
1. Treat yourself to just a little pampering prior to the big meet.
I'm always way more relaxed and confident after i know I look and feel my favorite. If you've been postponing having your hair trimmed or scheduling that manicure, now is an ideal excuse to make those things happen. Alternatively, if picking up a brand new shirt or blazer is going to provide you with that little boost of confidence, it's OK to splurge. You are always going to be just a little nervous, but a minimum of you'll seem like you're revealing your best self.
2. Know where you stand together with your relationship.
Have you had “the talk”? Are you guys exclusive? If you're meeting the mother and father, it's not hard to think that you're dating exclusively, however that’s not necessarily confirmed. If you haven't DTR'ed (determined the relationship), its time to have that talk. You are going to feel a lot more confident and secure meeting your date's parents, knowing you're both on a single page when it comes to your relationship.
3. Don't use blind.
Learn regarding your date's parents before you meet them. What are they into? For example, maybe your date's parents are really into golf or love it when new people question them regarding their travels. These are little tidbits that you can use to jump-start conversation.
Additionally, ask your date if there are any potential conflicts you should know of. For example, maybe your date's parents voted for somebody you don't agree with or have mixed feelings about interracial relationships. In theory, your date should be the one who brings these things up. However, if they don't mention anything, it never hurts to ask so that you can mitigate any potential awkwardness.
4. Do not show up empty handed.
I don't know about you guys, but I feel a lot better walking into unchartered territory when I've got a nice wine bottle to give as a present. Find out what your date's parents like and produce that thing. When you see them smile at your gift of wine/whiskey/a giant tin of popcorn, your nerves will melt away.
5. Make it all about them.
One of the things that freaks people out about meeting someone's family is the worry that it will end up like an interrogation and all sorts of focus is going to be in it. While your date's family will certainly have questions for you, this is a great opportunity to flip the script and find out more about them. Ask them about the things they love, the places they have been and just what your date was like as a child. Making it all about them can make them feel special and looked after while using the focus off you.
6. Have a pep-talk.
Never underestimate the power of a great pep talk. Channel your inner Jack Donaghy:
Remind yourself that you are a grownup human able to meet new people without inciting imminent disaster. You're smart enough, nice enough and good-looking and gosh darn-it, you've totally got this.