17 Things Not To Do When Meeting The Parents

By Natasha Van Der Laan
31st Jul 2017

17 Things Not To Do When Meeting The Parents

So, things are getting pretty serious between you and your new boyfriend/girlfriend. You’ve met their flatmates, you’ve met their friends. Heck, you’ve even shared a cocktail with their colleagues. It’s now time for the introduction of all introductions… meeting the parents. Yikes. 

To celebrate the release of The Big Sick, a comedy about falling in looove and—you guessed it—meeting the parents, we’ve rounded up the don’ts (and dos!) of meeting your partner’s folks.

The film tells the story of Pakistan-born comedian Kumail, falling for grad student Emily after a one-night stand. The blossoming relationship is complicated by Kumail’s traditional parents—and the drama that unfolds is very lol-worthy (seriously, watch the trailer).

To make your first encounter a lil more smooth sailing, here are 17 things to avoid when meeting the parents. You’re welcome.

  1. Don’t rush into meeting the family. Get to know your new partner first to ensure they’re here for a long time—and not just a good time.
  2. If you’re not doing the standard dinner-at-their-house thing, consider the setting for the big meet and greet. Don’t overdo it with an extravagant eight-course degustation. Keep things casual with a cosy cafe.
  3. Don’t dress as though you’re going to Ponsonby on a Saturday night. Opt for the jeans-and-a-nice-top combo (sans stilettos).
  4. As for the lads, chinos and a shirt is a fail-proof option. Bonus points if you actually polish your shoes.
  5. Oh and ladies, tone it down with the make-up. Go for the girl-next-door look.
  6. Under no circumstances should you get blindingly drunk. Slowly sip on your Pinot Gris and limit yourself to two alcoholic bevvies. Anything more, and you may as well kiss your dignity goodbye.
  7. In saying that, don’t forget to bring a bottle of wine with you—or bake some muffins. You’ll win them over with the thoughtful gesture.
  8. Don’t complain about the food they serve you. Suck it up and swallow it down—even if his mum’s meatloaf is nasty.
  9. Don’t go overboard on the PDA with their son/daughter. They already suspect you and their darling child get up to all sorts of hanky panky. They don’t need evidence of it actually occurring.
  10. There’s no need to Insta live the experience. Keep your phone where it belongs—tucked away in your pocket.
  11. Don’t forget your manners. Help clear the table, offer to wash dishes, and don’t forget your please and thanks!
  12. Arriving late is a big no-no. It shows a total lack of respect and sets a bad impression. No one likes that guy/girl.
  13. Don’t be culturally insensitive. Learn what might be culturally acceptable and what is considered disrespectful for their family.
  14. Steer clear of touchy subjects (politics, religion and the likes) and wow ‘em with your engaging conversation. Talk about who you are and what you love and—of course—ask them about themselves.
  15. Don’t forget to do your homework. Quiz your partner on the who’s who in their family and commit their names to memory.
  16. On that note, there’s absolutely no excuse for forgetting their name... or calling them by your ex’s parent’s name. 
  17. Last, and in no ways least, don’t forget flattery goes a long way. Charm Mum with a compliment on the food and/or home décor. You’ve got this!

Editor’s note: This article is proudly sponsored by The Big Sick and endorsed by The Urban List. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who make The Urban List possible. Click here for more information on our editorial policy.

Image credit: The Big Sick

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