Thursday, August 11, 2011
Link Thursday: How To Make His Family Fall In Love With You
I was doing research for my current WIP, Before The Morning, and so I've been trolling a lot of relationship/family websites. The thing is, the heroine in the book, Rayne, is going back home after 17 years to attend the wedding of her younger sister. Trickier part - she's taking her new husband, Ash, in tow, and he happens to be her childhood best friend... whose parents, the Gilfoys, live next door to hers. :) Can anyone say "awkward moment" here? And did I mention that Rayne is a former spy/assassin?
So, going back home, meeting the big, rambunctious family again, dealing with a neurotic bridezilla... and meeting the in-laws. The Gilfoys have always known her as the 'girl next door', whom they liked, but what will it be like when she comes on their doorstep as the new daughter-in-law?
Anyone who's ever been in a serious relationship knows that 'meeting the parents' is a dreaded moment. How do you navigate those tricky waters?
Here comes help, in the form of this article from Cosmopolitan Australia. You can read it with the cute pics in the slideshow here.
And even if you're past that first meeting - and unless you've been a total b*tch so far with your in-laws - the tips also come in handy to smooth your relationship with those important people no matter how long you've known them.
How to make his family fall in love with you
Classic scenario - you’ve found The One and he adores you – but unfortunately his family doesn’t. When it comes to long-term relationships, your partner/fiancée/boyfriend isn’t the only one you need to impress. Here’s how to make his family fall in love with you, without the awkward “Meet the Fockers” moments.
1. Turn up.
The initial meeting of parents is always daunting, but the most important thing here is to actually turn up. (Extra points if you bring a bottle of bubbly). It’s easy to take the “I’m-suddenly-feeling-deathly-sick” route and put it off, but the more you do this the more they’ll think you’re avoiding them. Not a great start. Grin and bear it, no matter how nervous you are.
2. Offer your help.
Make an effort every single time you see his parents/family members. If you’re heading over for dinner, take dessert. Meeting at a BYO restaurant? Bring a bottle of his Dad’s favourite red wine. They’ll love the fact that you’re going out of your way to make an effort.
3. Be thoughtful.
Write down family members’ birthdays on your calendar and any other milestones (such as his little sister’s graduation). Always send cards, or make a phone call for birthdays if you can’t show up. And when it comes to birthday presents, be extra thoughtful and considerate. There’s no point buying a deluxe box of chocolates if his mum is lactose-intolerant. Do your research.
4. Play host.
Not only does it repay his family for all the times they’ve invited you around for dinner, but it shows you’re truly capable of looking after their perfect little child. If your cooking repertoire doesn’t extend past hotdogs, now isn’t the time to try out herb-infused lamb shanks. You might want to enlist in a friend’s help earlier on in the day so everything runs smoothly.
5. Show interest.
No matter what his parents’ hobbies are, show an interest. Needlepoint and pottery may not be at the top of your list but it is on hers – so pay attention and ask plenty of questions. Who doesn’t like talking about themselves? Nothing like discussing the pleasantries of quilting over a cup of tea.
6. Control yourself.
This includes any sexual references to you and your man, sitting on his lap, kissing with tongue, or doing the dirty on the dining room table. Do we really need to spell it out? His family is already well aware that the two of you have been naked together. Often. So be respectful and avoid any potentially awkward situations.
7. Do not rip off your partner.
You know the inevitable moment where his entire family teases him mercifully over every single embarrassing thing he’s ever done? Yeh, don’t join in. It can be very tempting, and might even seem like a form of bonding, but steer clear! Remind yourself that these people have known him for 20 years plus and they’re allowed to bring up the time he dated the girl that looked like Amy Winehouse. If any of his family senses you cross the line with teasing, they will drop you immediately.
8. Accept any advice.
Even if you don’t agree with it. Just listen and smile graciously, and try not to see it as “meddling”.
9. Steer clear from potentially awkward conversations.
This includes but is not limited to: politics, racism, religion, abortion, and anything else that could cause awkward silences or heated conversations. Stick to neutral, polite conversation topics.
10. Don’t be critical.
If the afore-mentioned awkward conversation has suddenly occurred, don’t be critical of his family’s point of view on anything. You don’t necessarily need to hide your opinions, but if their beliefs are completely different from your own, a smile and an “agree to disagree” will do just fine. Try and change the subject as soon as possible though!
11. Dress accordingly.
Clothes definitely make a difference on the sort of impression you give his family. Avoid anything too revealing. If you’re really not sure what to wear, ask your partner for a dress code. There’s nothing worse than being under-dressed.
12. Be sincere.
You’ve met them, made small-talk, and managed to survive. Now is the time to make a great closing impression. Tell them how great it was to meet them, and you enjoyed the evening/lunch/dinner. And if you’re really keen on your man, tell them that you hope to see them soon. A sincere thank you will leave a lasting impression, and your partner will love you for it!
From Mauritius with love,