5 Conversations to Have Before Meeting the Parents

As you’re about to introduce the new boyfriend to your parents, you may feel a bit anxious over envisioning the meet-and-greet as turning into a nightmare. Before you introduce your new beau to mom and dad, these conversations may help diffuse any potential disasters.

The Talk

Ah, kids. Do you both want them? If so, when? Do not assume you can change his mind or sway his thinking — the kids page is a good page to be on together. If your parents drop jokes about grandchildren, you can laugh it off and not stress over what your boyfriend’s secretly thinking. Religion and faith will also naturally arise during the family talk. What type of religious environment do you want to raise children in? What holidays will you celebrate as a family? Especially if your parents are religious, a mutual understanding about faith and spirituality will create an open and comfortable space for everyone.

First Impressions

If family dinner at your folks’ house runs more formally than casually, check out your man’s closet and talk about some wardrobe options. Ask Men notes that looking sharp can improve his confidence and help him be his charming self during their meeting. Help him ace his first impression, and you be the judge of whether or not his ironic tees will fly this time. A button-up, collared chambray with a clean-looking pair of jeans never fails as a classic look.

Etiquette & Thoughtfulness

Hopefully your man knows to eat with his napkin on his lap and to not shovel food into his mouth. But he’s probably not familiar with the topics that are shared over pork tenderloin, green bean casserole and glasses of bubbly champagne. Do your parents engage in current events and debate hot topics or keep to lighter chitchat about books and movies? Will your family grill your boyfriend on politics or religion? Preparing him beforehand may save you two from a blowout later and prevent uncomfortable moments that’ll make you sweat. Etiquette and thoughtfulness also go hand-in-hand. Bring a housewarming or hostess gift as a warm gesture, and when dad’s birthday rolls around, bring along birthday baskets full of sweets for celebrating.

PDA

You just can’t keep your hands off each other… Cool it off for the ‘rents though. Set up expectations for your boyfriend before you travel so he won’t unintentionally try anything that’s now off-limits.

Code Words

Charming your conservative parents during an entire weekend visit isn’t always a stroll in a park. Before you leave home, create a code word or phrase that either of you can use when you need a little time out. Does “I forgot my hat” mean “Let’s take the family dog for a walk and have a breather?” or “We’re sneaking out for drinks tonight?” Even if things don’t go as you anticipated (and do they ever?), you’ve broken the ice. Over time, your parents and your boyfriend will naturally develop a good relationship with communication, awareness and thoughtfulness.