Stop lying to yourself, take a deep breath and say it out loud: your relationship is getting serious.
There’s no point in denying it anymore. You might actually be getting close to saying the ‘L’ word.
Okay, maybe not yet. But it’s definitely more serious than your usual relationships, the fizzle-out-and-break-up kind.
You know that that means… time to meet your partner’s family. I bet you already feel sick to your stomach.
Well, step one is to shut your brain up. Let’s look at the rest of the steps after your hands stop sweating.
How can you actually do this…
How to meet your partner’s family (after you calm down)
Set up a clean escape
This might sound pessimistic, but you need to escape the family situation as soon as you’ve made a good impression.
Sit and chat for an hour, have dinner, then pull that excuse out of your back pocket and book it.
Make sure you collectively come up with a short activity to do as a group—your partner can help you by suggesting activities that their family enjoys. The key word here is ‘short.’
This is important because at a certain point, you’ll feel intrusive on the family environment or become overly insecure and uncomfortable.
Don’t be a robot
You want to be polite, obviously, but be human. If you act too stiff and too scripted, your partner’s parents won’t click with you right away.
Don’t stress it too much—just be funny and improvisational. Don’t read off an index card to talk to your partner’s little brother.
Show them you care
Show your partner’s family that you care about the person you’re dating. Show them that you’re good enough for their family member.
Also show them that you care about other things—your hobbies, your job or school, your own family or friends. You aren’t one-dimensional.
Prove that to them!
Take your foot back out of your mouth
So you accidentally said you hate ketchup and your partner’s dad makes ketchup for a living.
Here’s what you do: apologize, but don’t lie. People aren’t easily tricked, especially by somebody who wants to date one of their beloved family members.
Find something else you actually have in common with your partner’s mom—something that isn’t ketchup.
Maybe she likes Taylor Swift and you do too! There you go, you’re on your way into the heart of your partner’s loved ones. Not in a maniacal way, of course.
It’s not your fault
Hey, sometimes people won’t like you. As long as you’ve tried your best to be yourself—the nicest, most respectful version of yourself— then you have nothing to apologize for.
Keep in mind that your partner’s family probably cares about them very much.
Perhaps disliking you is the only way that your partner’s family can feel that they are protecting your partner.
Either way, remain as respectful and kind to your partner’s family as possible. You don’t want to alienate your partner even if their family is trying to alienate you.
You’ve got this
Stay brave and keep being yourself. If your partner loves you, that’s really all you need.
Don’t worry—no matter how the family meeting goes, you’ll still be you and your partner will still be the same person you love (or really, really like).