I was really excited about writing this post. Having a good relationship with your partner’s family is SO important; after all, one day they could be your family too! So how do you make sure you’re their new favourite girlfriend? Shh… I didn’t say that. I meant, how can you build a great relationship with his family? There are a few things that you can do to set yourself up for success.
Make it clear that you really like your partner. You don’t need to act obsessive or crazy in love, but show that you are very interested in and happy with him. At the end of the day, they truly love your partner and want him to be happy, so the more you can do to show that you have the same agenda, the better. Saying little things like “He is so thoughtful” and “He really helped me out with X” can go a long way in pleasing the folks.
The next piece of advice I have is to dress the part! I don’t believe that you should ever change who you are to please another person, but if you know that his family is ultra-conservative, it wouldn’t kill you to wear a blouse and leave the thigh-high boots at home. People generally prefer people who they think “align” with them, so even just for the first meeting, it’s not a bad idea to put in a little effort.
The last, and most important thing, is to show your interest in the family. Ask questions, and be genuinely curious. Asking questions and showing real interest will always take you far further than flattery every will. Ask about your partner as a child, and about their lives. Not only will this help bring you closer, but it will give you insight that may prove very valuable in the future. For example, I learned that my partner’s parents were both working a lot during his childhood, as such, he is incredibly independent and does not like to be “fussed” over. It helps to have an idea of where these traits might come from as you move forward and grow together, so (without interrogating), use this opportunity to ask questions and listen.
As I’ve said time and time again, always be yourself. There is no need to panic and put on a total facade in meeting his family – they will love you just as you are. That said, it never hurts to put in a little preparation and show up as your best possible self, setting yourself up for a beautiful relationship.