Meet the Parents

image Meeting your partner’s parents is an unavoidable part of dating. Dreaded by most people as a job interview but differs from the latter in the respect that it’s something quite impossible to prepare for. Making a good first impression is crucial, but let’s be honest, if we’re not supposed to gel with the parents and we’re not the sort of people they would like, the first impression will quite quickly wear off.

Why is it so difficult to impress the parents? Partially, because they come from a different world which is not our “natural” socializing environment. If you’re a regular person in your late twenties, you’re rather unlikely to be hanging out with 50 years old silver foxes and vixens (unless you have a soft spot for them like our friend #englishrosiee). Therefore the skills and qualities your friends and partners may find impressive, e.g. drinking everyone under the table, burping out the whole alphabet or clapping with insides of your over-straightend elbows (guilty as charged), may not be equally admirable according to our partner’s parents values. Playing it safe and only saying what’s polite and acceptable by everyone may also not be the best option because we may end up being described as nice (even if with the quantifier “very”) which truly translates into “I don’t know what you see in this insipid girl but I can’t find anything too obviously wrong with her, after all she does have a pair of hands and legs and only one head”.

What is the key to impressing the parents or at least making them not hate us immediately? Being yourself would seem to be the best bet. Even though we think that the stress may make us slur incomprehensibly without drinking (if you’re a foreigner you can always get away with it by blaming it on your accent) or for no apparent reason stick a chopstick into our eye instead of our mouth (a bit more difficult to explain) that’s probably not going to happen. At the end of the day, we’re not going to be dating the parents (hopefully, it would be quite awkward) and they should and in most cases do understand it. All they want is for their children to be happy and if they have some weird possessiveness over their children as often happens in the case of single parents, who keep criticizing their children’s partners for the most made up reasons, the best you can do is not to let their issues become yours.

In brief, be yourself, try to behave normal and if it doesn’t make them like you remember that it’s not you it’s them 😉

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9 comments

  1. I agree meeting the parents is a daunting task but generally if you are a vaguely decent person and they are too (which you would hope as you know kids do have a tendency to replicate their folks to some degree and we don’t want to be dating a complete deadbeat guy) in most cases it won’t be as bad as we think it will. How about looking on the positive side? Some parents actually turn out to be super cool (they might even do shots with you – true story) and you might even get on better with the oldies than you do with the boyfriend himself 😉 The fact is there are lots of parents out there who are not even bothering to scrutinize their child’s other half and are instead ‘Thank god, there is someone in this world who can find it in their heart to love my useless brat !!’.

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  2. As dreaded as the task is, the fact that you are meeting the parents is a good thing. First, it shows that the dude is not totally estranged from his family (which wins him points in my book). It also shows that you aren’t a just his dirty little secret (where he is more than happy to meet you at a some shady nightclub but he is never gonna introduce you to his nearest and dearest). Meeting his folks, basically says good things about him and good things about his views of you…so just accept the challenge and deal with it.

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  3. […] The movies main character, Jenny (shock horror!), is a ‘openly’ gay and has been in a relationship with her ‘roommate’ for half a decade. Basically, everyone knows except her conservative middle American family. She is at the age when everyone around her is getting married so the pressure is on. After being accused of having an affair with a married man (because that’s the only reason she could have for being secretive and not being married in her 30s), Jenny suddenly decides enough is enough and comes out to her family. […]

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  4. […] If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of such a situation(i.e a ‘Katy Girl’) it’s pretty horrible. One minute you are dating a guy, the chemistry is electrifying, the banter is great and the sex is mind-blowing, then the next thing BOOM he replaces you with a (usually) pretty but insipid sort of girl. It’s almost as you were his guilty pleasure for a short period of time but ultimately he realised that as much fun as things, you were just a little too rough around the edges and he needed to find himself a girl he could take home to meet the parents. […]

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