So you are going to meet your girlfriend’s parents soon and you have no idea how to behave your best and make an impression that will make things forward easier. While it is not that easy to impress her parents, as there are too many expectations as well as little friction, it is not impossible. Rather it requires only a simple approach.
So how do you earn a permanent spot on your future father-in-law’s good side? Steal these smart tips.
1. Dress well
When your girlfriend’s father opens the door, the first thing he will notice is how you are dressed. You don’t want to turn up in a sloppy sweatshirt and torn jeans. Even if it is a casual event, you need to look presentable. Ensure that your clothes are clean and well-ironed. If you are wearing shoes, ensure they are polished.
2. Make your first impression count
The initial seconds of meeting her father will either put you on a good footing or have him instantly question your competence. So, start with the correct handshake (firm, but not tight) and make full eye contact. In an Indian tradition touching the feet is very common gesture that we used to give to our elders. It is a sign of respect. Who knows, may be it work for you. You only get one first impression, so make it count.
3. Take a gift for your in-laws
Find out what your girlfriend’s father likes. The safest bet is to bring food or a drink, especially something that goes well with dinner. You can also opt to bring flowers, or a gift for your girlfriend’s mother. Bringing a gift to your girlfriend’s mother shows your girlfriend’s father an example of how you might treat his daughter.
4. Be polite and respectful of their beliefs and opinions
You may all agree on everything under the sun and moon. It happens. But the exact opposite may happen, too. What you don’t want to do is start an argument in which you try to prove that her parents are wrong. No one likes to be proven wrong. If you try to prove her parents wrong, chances are you’ll annoy them rather than convince them. However, depending on the man her father is, you may want to show him that you do have a backbone — that you do have beliefs.
5. Strike the conversation
Though you may be nervous from inside, do not show it while talking. Be confident and strike up a conversation with her dad. Take up interesting topics like sports, politics and culture. Try to listen more while providing some intelligent inputs in between. This will make your girlfriend’s dad feel that you are interested in getting close to the family.
6. Win his confidence
Talk about your future plans and goals. Tell him about your ambition and the efforts you are making to achieve it. Present your goals realistically. Make your girlfriend’s dad will feel that his daughter is going to be in safe your hands. Avoid talking too much about yourself. Rather, ask questions about your girlfriend’s father and show interest in what he has achieved.
7. Turn off your phone
Checking your phone constantly is considered rude during most social engagements, or at the very least a sign of disinterest. If you want to impress her father, stay off your phone while you’re hanging out with the family. People from older generations can be especially critical of this kind of compulsive phone checking. So her father might interpret this behavior as very rude.
8. Avoid too much physical contact with your girlfriend
Nothing will turn a father off more than seeing you fondling, kissing, and groping his daughter. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put your arm around her occasionally or hold her hand – just keep the public displays of affection to a minimum around her father.
9. Follow up your meeting
After your first meeting, do not behave as if your girlfriend’s father does not exist. Follow up your meeting with a phone call. If you feel apprehensive about calling, you can send him a thank you card or gift for inviting you over and treating you well. You could find out what he likes and buy an appropriate gift.
Remember that her father is handing over his most precious gift to you. You will be judged at every step. So, be honest and be yourself when you go for the first meet with your girlfriend’s dad.