6 Things You Should NEVER Do When Introducing Your S.O. to Your Parents
That's one big step forward in your relationship, but it can be all too easy to anticipate all of the things that might go wrong. Instead of focusing on the negatives, we think it's more helpful to focus on the steps you can take to make things go as smoothly as possible. Keep reading to find out about the things you should never do during that first meeting between your S.O. and your parents.
1. Public Displays of Affection
No matter how in love you and your partner are, we can say with some confidence that making out in front of your parents isn't a good look. Your parents probably want your relationship to be based on substance and good character, rather than just kissing, so even if you're usually super affectionate, remember that there's plenty of time for you to be your lovey-dovey selves after you're done hanging out with your parents.
2. Make It an All-Day Thing
While it can be tempting to invite your S.O. to an already-planned family gathering that lasts all day, it's usually best when the meeting can be short and sweet, without too many people involved. We recommend setting up a casual meal or grabbing a coffee or ice cream, so everyone can meet and get to know each other informally, making space for a longer hangout if it goes well. Remember that this can be an anxious time, so you don't need to draw it out unnecessarily. A shorter time frame means less time for worry.
(Shrek 2 via Dreamworks Pictures)
3. Forget to Set Expectations
You definitely shouldn't arrange an introduction to your parents without letting your S.O. know what they should expect first. Is your family full of warm jokers, or people who are serious and strict? If there are family rules to follow, or traditions that will set them up for success, share them. Maybe your family has one major pet peeve they should avoid, or you have that one relative who's always picking fights. Make things easier by preparing them. At the same time, don't overwhelm them with the negatives. Let them know all the things your parents will love about them, and boost them up so they feel good going into the meeting.
(Spider-Man: Homecoming via Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
4. Bend the Truth
It can be tempting to tell some white lies about your S.O. to your parents to make them seem like the ideal partner, but any dishonesty now is just setting you up for failure down the road. Sure, your S.O. should try to impress them, but they should be authentic to themselves in the process. After all, don't you want your parents to like them for who they are? Bending the truth will just make it harder to keep everything straight later, so keep things simple, and real, and you'll be much better off.
5. Leave Them Alone With Your Parents for Extending Periods
While your S.O. should be able to manage some friendly, polite banter with your parents while you use the restroom, be mindful not to abandon them for too long. Not only can that make them feel ignored and alone with near-strangers, but it opens everyone up to awkwardness that you won't be there to help navigate. Remember that you're the mediator, and being there will be helpful for everyone involved.
(Riverdale via The CW)
6. Stress Out About It
If you're here and reading this, chances are that you're stressing out a bit about the meeting, and that's okay! Your partner is probably a little anxious as well, but try not to panic. Remember that this meeting is an exciting step in the right direction for your relationship, and that while first impressions are a big deal, they're not everything. Try to think on the bright side. It'll probably go a lot more smoothly than you anticipated.
More worried about your parents than your S.O.? Click HERE to find out what to do if your parents always embarrass you in front of your friends.