How To Win Over Your Girlfriend’s Parents

Above: How to win over her parents... as long as her father isn't Robert DeNiro
Above: How to win over her parents... as long as her father isn't Robert DeNiro

If you are meeting your girlfriend’s parents, it is probably safe to say that she is already an important part of your life. She likes you enough to introduce you to her family, so that means she already thinks you’re pretty great. Meeting a girl’s parents can be nerve wracking, but all you have to do is remind yourself that they want to like you. So make it easy on everyone and keep these things in mind if you want her parents asking her when she is going to bring that “charming gentleman around for another visit”.

Be open minded

A family doesn’t just mean one thing anymore. Her family could be spread all over the place, and you will have to make an effort to woo a bunch of different groups. If her parents are divorced, remarried, have younger children, live with her grandparents, etc, there is always going to be a slightly different dynamic. So, the best way to not be caught too off guard by any situation is to not have any expectations. She might tell you a bit about her family situation, but until you experience it for yourself, it is hard to understand.

Mind your manners

Now is not the time to forget your please-and-thank-you’s, or slurp your soup. Some basic manners might seem like minor details, but believe me, small infractions will build up until you are a giant neon sign of rudeness. Manners are a sign of good upbringing, self-awareness, and common sense. All things that her parents will be happy to know you possess. Also, feel free to have a glass of wine if it is offered to you, but don’t overdo it. Not being able to hold your liquor is a huge red flag, and one no one will be likely to forget quickly.

Find something in common with them

Ask your girlfriend what some of her parents interests are so you will have an idea of some topics to bring up that will spark conversation. Even if her dad’s favourite football team is your team’s longtime rivals, you will be able to bond over your mutual love of good competition. Even if it seems like there is nothing in the world the two of you would agree on, there is always something, even if you have to admit to her mom when no one is listening that you secretly still watch Survivor religiously, too.

Ask questions

The best way to get to know someone and keep a conversation free of awkward silences, is to have lots of questions. Also, if you are asking questions, there will be less danger of falling into the trap of talking about yourself too much. They will probably have lots of questions about you and your life, but you don’t want to get stuck blabbing about yourself the whole time.  By asking her family questions about themselves, you will get to know her better too, because her family is an extension of her, and if you are in a serious relationship it is in everyone’s best interest that you all get along, and genuinely like spending time together.

Show them how much you care about their daughter

Hands down, the most important thing for her parents to know about you is that you treat their daughter with respect, and you make her happy. Maybe you aren’t going to be best friends with her dad, or text her mom regularly, but that’s okay, as long as they can tell you are a good match for their daughter. Chances are, they trust her ability to find a quality boyfriend, and as long as you make her happy, the approval of her parents will come naturally.

Courtney Hardwick

Courtney Hardwick is a freelance writer based in Toronto. Her work has appeared on AmongMen.com, 29secrets.com, therichest.com, and ELLECanada.com.  When she isn’t writing about relationships, and the best TV shows and books you should really already know about, she is working on her novel. She hopes to have it published by 2025. You can follow her on Twitter @Courtooo.

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