How to Impress His/Her Mumma and Papa
So you and your partner are becoming more and more serious, and it’s come time to meet his/her parents. Meeting the parents under normal circumstances is already stressful and nerve wracking as is, add to the fact that your partner and their parents are South Asian and up the stress by about 100%. But before you begin hyperventilating, don’t worry! We’ve got your back with these quick tips...
Do your research
Treat this meet up like a job interview and prepare for it! Make sure to ask your partner about their parents to get to know them before you meet them. Ask about their likes, dislikes, what topics to talk about and what topics to avoid. With this information in your arsenal, you’ll go into the meet up feeling a lot more confident. Extra tip: make sure to not give your opinion on sensitive family issues that you may not know full details about. Be neutral. Be Switzerland.
Come bearing gifts
It’s always a lovely gesture to bring some sort of gift with you when you visit your partner’s parents. Not only will they be delightfully surprised, they will also see you as a thoughtful and generous person. Be wary of what presents you bring though. Try to stick to neutral presents like chocolates and flowers, and avoid presents that may offend (i.e. bringing a bottle of wine to a Muslim household).
Find the right balance here. You don’t want to look like a slob but you don’t want to look like you’re trying too hard either. Think smart casual and simple. For girls, avoid wearing anything skimpy. For boys, avoid the t-shirt and shorts look. On the topic of tattoos, it’s probably best that you don’t reveal them during your first few meet ups.
Because, your Mumma taught you right! Mind your manners around your partner’s parents. Make sure you’re polite without being a brown noser, as parents might read that as you being phoney. Mind your table manners as well. If you’re out at a restaurant, make sure you don’t order the most expensive thing on the menu. If you’re sitting down to a home-cooked meal, make sure to compliment the cook on dishes you loved.
Let them lead the conversation
Do your fair share of talking but don’t dominate the conversation. When it comes to topics, follow the lead of your partner’s parents as they will be trying steer the conversation to learn all they can about you. Be open and honest with your answers but don’t overshare, especially on the first meetup. If it’ll help you feel better, you can rehearse a mock conversation with your partner prior to meeting his/her parents.
We know it’s an awkward and tense situation, but panicking and feeling overly anxious about it will only work yourself up and make it worse. Be calm and collected, and you’ll be fine. Right before your meet up, try breathing deeply and collecting your thoughts and emotions.
You honestly have nothing to worry about. Just be your amazing self and your partner’s parents will see what a wonderful partner you can be to their child. Remember, that this meetup and it’s awkwardness are just the first steps to building a wonderful relationship with the people you will one day call your second parents.