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Meeting Your Girlfriend’s Parents: 34 Must-Knows to Impress Her Family

Meeting your girlfriend’s parents for the first time can be daunting. Follow these 34 tips to make the best first impression.

Meeting your girlfriends parents

There’s a great story that’s done the rounds on the internet about a guy who went to meet his girlfriend’s parents for the first time. He wasn’t doing badly until halfway through dinner, when he had to make a polite but urgent visit to the toilet and, to cut a long story short, when he tried to flush the offending body away, it just wouldn’t go.

Horrified that someone might see, and desperate to salvage the situation, he took a wad of toilet tissue, grabbed the offending item, and threw it out the window. Returning downstairs, to his horror, the averted eyes and red faces told him the full story long before he’d witnessed it for himself.

Yes, you guessed it… The toilet was right above the dining room, and lying outside on the lawn, where they had all seen it land, was an exploded lump of tissue and fecal matter! [Read: Must-know crucial tips for dating while living with your parents]

A matter of grey matter

Of course, LovePanky readers are far too clever to make such a ridiculous scene. Nonetheless, it is still worth pointing out that a little common sense goes a long way in relationships of any dynamic, and this is one occasion when you really do need to stay on your toes.

So, just in case they need pointing out, here are a few of the dos and don’ts of the parent-meeting scene. [Read: Overprotective parents – 28 signs, psychological effects & how to deal]


1. Be punctual

First impressions last, and nothing makes a worse first impression than arriving late. Punctuality is the hallmark of a responsible and considerate person—exactly the kind of guy they want their daughter to continue seeing.

2. Dress to the nines

Look sharp. If you live in a traditional part of the world, do the full formal dress.

Don a suit and tie. The mother will think you look great and the father will appreciate the effort. It’s a win-win entrance into your girlfriend’s family. [Read: Meeting your boyfriend’s parents – ways to charm & impress them]

3. Shower thoroughly

A shame that this needs to be pointed out, but not everyone is as keen on showering as others. The best way to sour the proceedings is to turn up smelling like a hobo.

4. Address them appropriately

When you meet your girlfriend’s parents, call them Mr. and Mrs. until they tell you otherwise. Not “Dave,” not “Sal,” and definitely not “Yo, dudes!!!” [Read: Are you the type of guy she can show off to her mom?]

5. Have immaculate table manners

Such a simple thing to get right, and yet so many fail on the most elementary etiquette. Practice decent table manners before meeting your girlfriend’s parents.

Remember to keep your mouth closed when chewing, don’t talk with your mouth full, and make sure that your face is at head height, rather than buried in your bowl. [Read: Proper social etiquette – rules that redefine modern manners]

6. Treat your girl with respect

There’s a time and a place to refer to your girlfriend in a jokingly disrespectful manner—if she’s in on the joke, of course—but meeting her parents is not one of those times. [Read: Dating attitudes that push potential partners away]

7. Treat her parents with respect

This seems quite obvious, but a lot of people still fail to do it. It doesn’t matter how you talk to your parents at home.

Just because you can talk back or make inappropriate jokes with your parents doesn’t mean you can do the same when meeting your girlfriend’s parents.

These people don’t know you that well, and you need them to like you. So, watch how your girlfriend talks to her parents and adjust accordingly. [Read: Why is my boyfriend so Mean? 19 reasons why your man is so rude]

8. Consume moderately

Whether food or alcohol, just lay back a little, no matter how much you want to indulge. Gluttons and drunkards do not make a good impression. [Read: Still living with your parents at 30 – the new normal?]

9. Have some plans

There’s going to be a point during the evening when the father corners you and starts, albeit politely, interrogating you about future plans.

You see, your girlfriend’s parents have certain expectations when they meet you. They want to know that their little girl is with someone who has a future—someone who can provide.

And if all you can say is “Well, I’m pretty happy flipping burgers,” then you ain’t gonna be in for an easy ride. [Read: Life questions to help you visualize your real future]

10. Watch your body language

Sit straight, keep eye contact, and don’t slouch. Poor body language can undermine all your hard work in one fell swoop. Your girlfriend’s parents will be so impressed if you appear so put together and confident.[Read: Male body language – 48 subtle signs to instantly read a man’s thoughts]

11. Leave the door open

Being invited to her bedroom at some point is not a signal to attempt full and immediate coitus.

Keep the door closed at your peril and, if you do close the door, don’t be surprised if the next thing you see coming around the door is the nose of her father’s shotgun.

12. Leave at an appropriate time

It’s simple good manners not to hang around too long, especially if that might give the impression that you’re waiting for the parents to go to bed so you can have your wicked way with their daughter.

Leave neither too early, nor too late, and give them time to discuss, as a family, what a fine young gent you are.

13. Learn about their culture

If your girlfriend’s family is from another culture, you should do some research or at least ask her to teach you about her family’s culture before you meet the parents.

If they’re speaking another language, it’ll be helpful to learn some basic sentences to say to them. Do not make fun of their food. Practice basic etiquette.

You don’t have to show up as an expert in their culture, but show them that you appreciate them enough to learn. [Read: How to be a sophisticated man – cultured moves that set them apart]

14. Offer to help

If you’re having dinner at her parents’ house, offer to help set the table, clean it after, or wash the dishes.

They may not let you help, but at least you’ll appear as a caring family man, the exact type they would trust their daughter with. [Read: Moving back in with parents – why it’s necessary & how to survive]

15. Bring a small gift

It doesn’t have to be expensive. Show up with a bottle of wine, cupcakes, or anything you think your girlfriend’s parents might appreciate. It’ll definitely win you some brownie points. [Read: How to be cultured in an age obsessed with social media]

16. Smile

A smile can make a stressful situation so much easier. Besides, everyone looks better and more approachable with a smile on their face.

Your girlfriend’s parents surely don’t want to sit through dinner with a guy who’s frowning the entire time.

17. Tell jokes

Don’t just discuss business with her dad and act like you’re in an interview. Be funny. A great sense of humor makes a great first impression.

But don’t try too hard to tell jokes that end up offending somebody. Just keep it cool and go with the flow. [Read: 21 secrets to be a happy couple that’s truly in love & envied by all]


1. Slap your girl on the ass

In front of her father… Are you crazy?! If you’re lucky, you’ll just get a stern glance and a tight lip, but if he’s the old-school type, you’ll be out as fast as your legs can carry you. [Read: 20 caring ways to show a girl you love her & are serious about her]

2. Slap your girl’s mom on the ass

No one in their right mind would do something like this, even as a joke. But just in case, don’t ever attempt this. It’d be more than a quick exit you receive at her father’s hands this time.

3. Slap your girl’s father on the ass

Just so we’re clear, you’re not thinking about doing this, right?

4. Do a number two

As in the introductory tale, there’s so much that can go wrong with a bodily evacuation. Make sure you take care of that either before or after the event—not during.

5. Complain about the food

Have some manners, please. Would you complain about your own mother’s food? If you would, then you need to think long and hard about implementing some immediate personality alterations.

It’s even worse if the food isn’t from your culture and you start whining about how bad it tastes. You don’t need to like every single dish in this world, but appreciating your girlfriend’s culture is the bare minimum.

6. Be obsequious

Although being rude is a huge no-no, so is flattery when taken to the extreme. If you find yourself burrowing your nose so deeply in your host’s butt that you can see what he had for breakfast, you really need to rethink your approach.

7. Curse

The mother, especially, will dislike this, and a few badly used “F” words will have her trying to sabotage the relationship at every opportunity.

8. Make empty boasts

It’s great to have aspirations, but don’t start telling her father that you’re going to be the next CEO of Apple. He’s a lot older than you, probably a lot wiser, and he isn’t going to swallow that line of BS.

9. Produce bodily emissions

Burping, farting, whatever it is—desist at all costs. If we need to tell you why… Things are worse than you think.

10. Drink too much

Either before or during the event. Too much alcohol can loosen lips, bladders, bowels, and brains, and potentially lead to any and all of the above.

11. Talk about sex

Yes, they probably know that you’re having sex with their daughter, so there’s no need to bring that up.

When your girlfriend’s parents ask to meet you, they don’t expect to know every single detail about your sex life. Don’t even make sex jokes in front of them. You may think it’s funny, but it’s really not.

12. Talk down on them

You may drive a better car than your girl’s dad, your mom’s food may be better than her mom’s, or you may live in a bigger house. None of that matters.

You want these people to like you, so there’s no point trying to belittle them to make yourself seem superior. [Read: What is peacocking? The many types & why guys show off around girls]

13. Talk down on yourself

Be humble, but don’t talk down on yourself. Your girlfriend’s parents expect her boyfriend to be confident and great.

They don’t want to know that you just lost your job and you think you’re absolutely worthless, hideous, and don’t deserve your girlfriend. Would you show up at a job interview and tell your employer how incompetent you are? [Read: How to be confident – 28 life hacks to transform your future forever]

14. Make fun of their culture

Parents from a different culture may want to show them something about their culture. When they do, even if you find it strange, do not make fun of it. It’s no doubt disrespectful, and it shows that you have no manners and do not deserve their daughter. [Read: The man code – most important rules of a gentleman]

15. Let her parents do most of the talking

Even if you have anxiety and don’t enjoy conversations, try to have one with her parents. You only have one chance to impress them. Don’t make them ask all the questions and fill in the awkward silence because you don’t know what to say.

Have a positive attitude and get into the conversation to show them that you’re also having a good time. [Read: How to keep a conversation going & make anyone love talking to you]

16. Have an argument with your girlfriend

If your girlfriend and you are mad at each other, try fake smiling and wait until you get home to talk. If you can’t do that, go ahead and cancel or reschedule the meeting with her parents.

It’s the first time you meet them, so you would want to show them that you make their daughter the happiest she’s ever been. It won’t help if you two show up with an attitude and start bickering in the middle of dinner. [Read: Are relationship fights normal? 15 signs you’re fighting too often]

17. Have an argument with her parents

You don’t have to agree with everything they say, but be polite about it. You don’t even have to call them out for saying something wrong. Just wait to tell your girlfriend afterward.

If they say something extremely offensive to you, only then you should say something about it. But remember to be patient and not lose your temper.

[Read: 18 signs it’s time & ways to prepare your partner to meet the parents]

As in any area of life, surviving meeting the parents comes down to employing a healthy dose of common sense. In case you don’t have much of that, follow these helpful dos and don’ts—especially if you aim to see your girlfriend again!

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Vinod Srinivas Serai
Vin Serai
Vin Serai is the founder of LovePanky.com, and has delved deep into the working of love and relationships for almost two decades. Having dipped his feet in almo...