You’ve already met her parents. Now it’s time for her to meet yours.
When you met her folks for the first time, your biggest concern was making a good first impression. Now that the roles are reversed, your focus should be on helping her make a good impression. If she’s a keeper, she’ll probably care a lot about your parents liking her. And you likely want them to give her the thumbs up too. Your folks and your significant other may not always get along, but when they do, things sure go a lot more happily.
While bringing your girlfriend home for the first time can be a little awkward and nerve-racking for all parties involved, here are some quick tips for making everyone feel comfortable and helping things go as smoothly as possible.
Be sure you’re really ready to bring her home. In most circumstances, a woman will interpret an invitation to meet your parents as a signal that you think she’s special and your relationship is fairly serious. Your parents will likely interpret the move in the same way. So don’t bring a gal home (especially for a holiday) unless you want to communicate to both parties that you’re hoping she’s going to be around for a while (and you’re okay with your mom asking about her incessantly until you break-up or tie the knot).
Prepare them. You can lay the groundwork for a smooth meeting by preparing both your parents and your girlfriend for what to expect from each other. Here are some things to discuss with your folks about your gal:
- Conversation starters. Everybody wants to avoid awkward pauses as much as possible, and your folks want to get to know your girlfriend better. But the less you’ve told them about her, the harder it is for them to know what to ask in conversation. Give your parents some background information on her that will help them come up with questions. “Rob told us you traveled through Europe for a month last summer. What was your favorite country?”
- Conversations to avoid. You should also let your parents know about sensitive topics it would be best to avoid. “So where do your parents live?” “My dad is dead and my mom is in jail.” “Oh.”
- Dietary preferences/restrictions. If your girlfriend is allergic to peanuts and a vegetarian, you don’t want your mom serving up kung pao chicken for dinner. You may even clue your parents in to a favorite meal or two of your girlfriend’s. Having familiar food in a new environment will help her feel more comfortable.