How to Introduce Your S.O. to Your Parents
The "meet the parents" moment is always accompanied by worries and fears that everything won't go quite as smoothly as you planned. If you're head over heels for your S.O., you obviously want your parents to be on board with your relationship, but how do you ensure that everyone is feelin' the love?
Keep scrolling for our tips on the best way to introduce your S.O. to your parents.
Talk Up Your S.O.
When it comes to meeting the parents, expectations are everything. The best way to set accurate expectations of your S.O. are to focus on their strengths without exaggerating your opinion of them. If you are too over-the-top in your description, your parents may be disappointed when they actually meet your S.O. Instead of claiming that they're practically perfect in every way, focus on painting a realistic picture.
Take time to talk about your S.O.'s likes and interests, as well as the things that make you feel the warm and fuzzies around them. Don't bring up any flaws your S.O. may have before the meeting with your parents. You want to focus on their positive attributes and why they are such an amazing addition to your life, to ensure that mom and dad will have the best possible view of your S.O. before the meeting.
(Riverdale via The CW)
Properly Prep Your S.O.
If there's one way to beat the "meet the parents" anxiety, it's taking time to prep your S.O. for the introduction. Prepping your S.O. may sound scary, but it really just involves telling them a little about your parents and what they will and won't like in a significant other. If there are topics that you know your parents and your S.O. won't agree on, advise your S.O. to steer clear of those and avoid any unneeded tension. On the flip side, if there are things that your parents really love to talk about, tell your S.O. about them so they can initiate a conversation that will truly impress mom and dad. Giving your S.O. a better idea of what they are walking into with your parents will help calm their nerves, which will ease the tension of the situation and lead to better conversations and discussions.
Keep Things Light
The worst thing you can do before introducing your S.O. to your parents is emphasize how important and stressful the situation is. Chances are your S.O. and your parents both know how critical this moment is, and continually talking about how much it means to you will only put everyone on edge. Instead, focus on keeping the situation light and carefree. When talking with your S.O. especially, don't make them feel like it's a "do or die" situation. Focus on the positives that will come out of the meeting, and don't ruin the day by focusing on any potential negatives.
(Hannah Montana via Disney Channel)
Take Charge of the Conversation
Even though you may have prepped both your parents and your S.O. before the introduction, you are still the most knowledgeable person about everyone in the room. The best way to ensure that the meeting goes well is to take charge of the conversation. Guide your parents and your S.O. towards topics they are comfortable discussing, and steer the conversation clear of anything that might lead to a disagreement.
If you feel like your parents are being too interrogative, take the first opening you see and change the subject to something that will lead them away from their persistent questions. Taking charge of the conversation ensures that you have some control of the meeting, and it takes the pressure off of your S.O., which they are sure to thank you for later.
Plan an Activity
Meeting the parents is stressful—don't make it worse by choosing to sit around your kitchen table with no escape if things aren't going well. Planning an activity for the initial introduction has many benefits. First, it gets you away from your house and into neutral territory, which can help your S.O. to relax. It also gives you something to do to distract everyone from the potential pressures of the conversation. Choosing an activity like bowling or mini golf gives everyone an additional place to focus their attention while still allowing everyone to talk. They'll be able to meet in a stress-free setting, which will make everyone more ready and willing to accept each other.
(Stranger Things via Netflix)
Don't Freak Out
If things aren't going well when everyone meets, it's not the end of the world. They may need more time to adjust to each other, or it may have been an off day or an easily fixed misunderstanding. No matter where the day might lead you, don't freak out. Your S.O. will be worried enough, so you have to be the calm, cool and collected one in this situation. Keep your head on straight and deal with any problems as they arise. First impressions may be important, but that doesn't mean they are completely unchangeable.
It's natural to worry about a meeting between your S.O. and your parents, but what if all that worry is weighing you down? Click HERE for how to let go of your worries in five simple steps.