9 Ways To Win Over His Family The First Time You Meet Them

Dan Gold
Dan Gold

1. Even If He Says Meeting His Folks Isn’t A Big Deal, It Definitely Is

For a dude, this is a very easy way to figure out if you actually give a shit–because if you eventually want to have his babies (or just the opportunity to eat seafood next Friday), part of you will be nervous to the point of involuntary wheezing.

I’m not exactly sure why wheezing is the involuntary thing you’ll hypothetically do in this situation, but the point is that if this goes south and the fam gives you a thumbs down, you’re in for quite the uphill battle. And 30 years from now, you’ll still dread him going to the bathroom when you are all out to dinner.

2. Have Something “Funny” Happen To You On The Trip Out

Be it him forgetting to print out the boarding passes, or you guys taking the wrong turn and ending up on an amish cow farm, it’s always good to have a harmless gaffe locked and loaded for the inevitable “how was the trip out here?” when you walk in the door. Two primary keys here:

  • Ensure the mea culpa is on him–if it’s you, it means that you’re not worthy of his eventual middle-management salary and unpredictable bowel movements.
  • The less funny the story actually is, the better–the fact that you both find an infinitely lame story utterly hilarious means that you could have fun while trapped in an elevator. Allegedly, this is love.

3. Help In The Kitchen, But Ask First

This list item definitely seems like some sort of anti-feminist rhetoric that takes a gasp-worthy 1947 approach to gender roles. Not necessarily the intention–the intention is that Moms generally enjoy chopping things on cutting boards more than cultured 20-somethings enjoy Lorde. 

So, IF you arrive and the elder female (Mom, Older Sister, Aunt, etc.) is kitchening away, ask to help sooner rather and later. Again, this isn’t so much establishing gender roles as it is giving them a chance to get to know you sans your male presence.

This is perhaps the weekend’s biggest moment of truth–if you guys hit it off, you’re automatically part of the family. And they’ll be crushed if you ever break up.

4. Less Personality As Opposed To More

Quotes about first impressions exist because people have figured out how important that shit is. And because I desperately need something to distinguish myself as a word saying human (and thus, give YOU a good impression), I will add an addendum here–it’s not so much nailing the first impression as it is not fucking it up.

Basically, tread water until you get comfortable enough to swim. If you say one wrong thing over the course of that first weekend, it can ruin you. If you say that same misguided thing a few months down the road, you have a solidified body of work to compensate for the mistake.

5. Hone In On Something His Family Thinks Is Funny, And Milk That Shit For All It’s Worth

Callback jokes are always the easiest to execute. And because you’ll be regaled with stories about how your boyfriend once forgot to put on shoes on the way to his elementary school bus stop, simply note that you guys wanted to go on a run last week, but couldn’t because Charlie forgot his shoes. Instant winner, and you all have now #bonded.

6. Fiercely Manage The Sibling Game

His siblings may be more hostile than the elders–this is because siblings are more in the know re: shit that goes down, and may have a better idea as to what actually happened during that last brutal breakup.

If his siblings dislike you, don’t fret. In fact, it’s sometimes best to play the long game here–i.e., be equally hostile towards them, and proceed to spend the next few months/years letting your game talk.

If you can take care of him and make him happy–all while “doing you” and not sucking up–you’ll be knighted for life.

7. Bring A “Look How Much I care About Your Approval” Present

Wine is usually the default move here, but I’d advise against it–the wine that 50-somethings drink is probably out of your price range, and spending crazy amounts of money on that is potentially very dangerous. One because your wallet, but two because doing too much is sometimes just as bad as not doing enough.

On another note, I’ve heard weird soaps do well.

8. Scout Out His Family On Facebook/Using Pictures/Anything Else At Your Disposal, So You Know What To Wear

If the outfit choice is too bold–or if it strongly resembles the clothing worn by his 87 year-old Grandma–you will likely accrue a nickname behind closed doors. Nicknames are sometimes impossible to overcome.

9. Chill

Advice on the internet is sometimes helpful, but you ultimately can’t let some kid wearing a white t-shirt and jeans with 34 crumpled up receipts permanently lodged inside them tell you how to manage what’s potentially one of the more important situations in your life.

If you fail, fail on your own terms–if his fam, and by extension, he, doesn’t accept you for who you are, you’re probably in the wrong place to begin with. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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Lance Pauker

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