Yikes! This is always a situation to fill one with trepidation. Meeting your partner’s family doesn’t need to be a stressful event if you remember a few key things:
- Have your partner fill you in on his family dynamics. Is his sister a gossip? Is his mother insulted if you don’t eat everything on your plate? Does his brother know the intimate details of your relationship? You’ll want to know about potential minefields before you step into it.
- As much as you can to suit the occasion, dress modestly and keep your hair/makeup natural. You want to impress your potential in-laws with more than just your rockin’ bod or eccentric personal style.
- Be polite. Err on the side of formality until they invite you to be familiar. Greet everyone, remember their names and use them when you say your goodbyes.
- Brush up on your small talk. It’s better to talk about current events than to draw a blank. Do not divulge salacious details about yourself, no matter how amusing. If possible, as your partner for details on the individual likes of his family members (brother: fishing, sister: fashion magazines, mom: quilting) so you can prepare something relevant to say.
- Be prepared to answer (or deftly sidestep) questions on your career, plans for marriage/children, or even your past. Be as honest as you can be without alienating anyone.
- Let your partner lead the interaction (deciding time to arrive/leave, introductions, etc.) but be independent enough to start a conversation without him.
- Evaluate his family as much as they are evaluating you. While you technically are marrying the man, his family comes as a package deal.