So you’ve been invited to meet your partner’s family? Happy holidays… let’s hope! Before you walk into something akin to Meet the Parents or, perhaps, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, here are 10 tips to help you make it through the big day… and give your partner something new to smile about.
- First impressions are key. Don’t hide your true self – no one expects you to get rid of your piercings and tattoos – but do show up well groomed and appropriately attired. Would that be formal, casual, jeans? Let your partner be your guide. Oh, and a warm smile goes a long way.
- Bring a gift. Splurging on something showy might embarrass the host (if not the empty-handed guests). Instead, bring something casual – flowers (unless the family has allergies) or a bottle of wine (unless they’re teetotalers). Your partner will know.
- Be ready to agree on politics and sports. Or be ready to be quiet. Whatever the topic, whatever the question, it’s not worth an argument. After all, this is not about being right, but about deepening your love relationship. Find out interests ahead of time.
- When others question you, answer succinctly. Do not bore people with your stuff. Instead, respectfully turn conversations back to them.
- Do not shadow your partner. Make an effort to be social. Try to get to know everyone. Instead of asking about their work, ask people what they like to do in their free time. That makes for happy conversation.
- Being social does not mean flirting with guests! Even when across the room, focus on your partner with a wink, a smile, later a touch.
- Offer to help—set up, clean up—whatever you are capable of doing. If they give you a job, be glad, because that means you’re part of the family.
- If family members speak a different language, learn a few words ahead of time for casual conversation, such as “hello” and “thank you.”
- Go easy on the alcohol. You don’t want to end up in the guest room with a lampshade on your head.
- Let your true self shine through. As you get to know individuals, let them know you, not through talk about yourself, but through your warm response to them.
And be sure to enjoy yourself. This is just the beginning…!
Thanks to Katie Frisch & Heath Miller, Eric Wallace & Gabrielle Solis, Nicole Valk & Sean Medina, Maggie Wallace, and Melissa Valk for their input!
For more tips on building love relationships, please visit Lucy Sanna at www.lucysanna.com.