If you are really into your girlfriend, then you know that you need to get her parents to like you. Ok, scratch that. You need her mother to love you…and her father, to at least accept you as good enough for his daughter. And when I say good enough, i am not talking about the size of your account. Fathers want to be sure that the man their daughter is with is going to take care of her and treat her like the princess she is. You never get a second chance to make a great first impression, so you need to ensure that you are prepared to win. Trust me, I am sure that it would mean a lot to your girlfriend for her parents to be solidly behind you. This would also score points with your girlfriend, because asking about her family situation shows you care enough to make the necessary effort with her family.
The first step to take is to ask your girlfriend as much questions as possible about her family; are her grandparents still alive, does she have step-siblings and what their belief system is like on the home front. You would be surprised that your girlfriend who doesn’t go to church so much, comes from a strict religious background. Don’r just assume that her parents would be just the way she is..environment and development might have changed her, and her perceptions different from her folks. Being armed with ample information would also save you the embarrassment of calling her stepmother, her sister or going off about how Police Officers are corrupt when her father was once in the Police Force. You also need to ask questions about her parents; what line of work are they in, what are their interests, are they serious minded or do they have a sense of humour, do they like outgoing people or prefer more quiet and reserved ones etc.
Her father would have a harder time accepting you, because candidly no man thinks that any guy is good enough for his darling princess. Your first ally is her mother; she is the one to convince her father about you being such a good catch, she would invite you to dinners, and when your girlfriend complains to her about some misunderstanding you had, she would most likely have your back. Most likely, the invitation to meet the family, probably came from her mother, after your girlfriend must have gushed about you, or her mother noticed just the long conversations on phone and the constant chatting; and then asked questions. If you were invited to dinner or a family celebration, please do not show up empty-handed. A box of chocolate for the mother and a bottle of wine for the father is a great gesture. However, run this by your girlfriend, so you don’t end up buying alcohol for a man who doesn’t take alcohol, or buying chocolates for her mother who is diabetic. Find out their preferences, and buy a small nice thoughtful gift for them.
So what do you talk about? The safest way out is to ask lots of questions and show interest in their family life. With the information you got from your girlfriend, find a common ground with either of the parents, such as passion for animals, humanitarian good, similar hobbies and tastes. While you are asking questions, they are sure to have some questions of their own. They want to know more about you, so no need to panic. Just answer as politely and intelligently as possible. I suggest you talk about issues around your job, your family, sports, current news, trends, pets (if they are animal lovers), movies and music. The trick is to stay off topics that might be confrontational, so stay off money/income talks, political arguments and very personal questions. Be mindful not to come across as a blabbermouth, or useless with nothing to say or add. When answering questions, make your answers as intelligent and precise as possible…and be sure to direct the conversation back to your girlfriend’s parents. Be sure to listen, ask follow up questions and be genuinely interested in what they have to share.
Remember that your girlfriend is also going to be at this gathering, and her parents are going to be watching out for body language between you too. Compliment her looks as well as those of her mother; by saying stuff like Now, I know where Lola gets her good looks. Smile at your girlfriend, hold her hand and show her respect…please do not kiss her in the presence of her parents or stare at her cleavage or bum. Refrain also from demeaning her in the presence of her parents; for example, you like football, your girlfriend doesn’t but her dad is a fanatic…you men can talk about the game without you referring to your girlfriend’s lack of understanding of the game. Compliment the cooking and offer to help clear the table…of course, you would not be allowed to clear the dishes, but you score a point by offering to help. Her parents sure want the best for their girl, and if you prove your worthiness with genuine interest in her family and good manners, they would most likely give you an open invitation to visit whenever you feel like.
All the best guys!
After years of floating in the dating wilderness, Obiora is happily engaged to his soul mate. He has been on both sides of the breakup spectrum, meaning he has dumped and been dumped. He has felt heartache raw and stinging, and has learnt a lot of lessons along the way.