Are you yet to meet your future in-laws? If you and your partner have become engaged before you’ve had the chance to meet the future in-laws, you’d best get a wriggle on and start to build a connection before the big day rolls around!
No matter how different your upbringings, beliefs, or cultures are, this really doesn’t have to be a Meet the Fockers moment. If you follow these simple tips, meeting your future in-laws for the first time will be a breeze and will stand you in good stead to build a great relationship into the future.
The three Cs
Okay, so it really is one C thrown in multiple times, but the word compliment is what plays a huge part here. Compliment what they are wearing, compliment their home and/or cooking, and compliment them for raising the love of your life.
If you can do this as soon as possible after the initial introductions, you will already have flattered your future in-laws as well as have a ready-made ice breaker up your sleeve!
Keep it conservative
This is a great golden rule to stick by in general for the first couple of times you meet the future in-laws. Even if you tend to lean towards out-there fashion and show off your awesome bod, tone it down for a bit until they get to know you better.
Also, tone down that sailor language if you like to pepper your conversations with s few choice words. You will not only make a bad impression but might also offend your future in-laws! Once you get to know them better, you will begin to get a feel for how relaxed they are (or aren’t) and adjust accordingly.
We are not saying that you will need to present yourself as the perfect saint because let’s face it, nobody is, but present the best version of yourself and be on your best behaviour!
Find out about them
Ask your partner to tell you more about their parents. What they do for work, which hobbies they enjoy, and even what their pet peeves might be (if you can avoid any of these, it will only help you!).
If your partner has a different culture to your own, learn all that you can from them so that you can be respectful of traditions and other cultural nuances when you meet their parents for the first time.
Let your manners shine
You parents have no doubt drummed the Please and Thank You’s into you long ago, and now is the best time to whip them out. Being courteous and polite will go a long way to helping you make the best impression.
It may seem a bit outdated, but refer to them as Mr and Mrs Smith and continue to do so until they say something along the lines of “Oh please, call me John/Jane”.
Bring a small gift
This is another area you may need to tap into your partner’s expertise to help you choose a great little gift to present your future in-laws with.
A bottle of wine and a box of chocolates are great mainstays, but if your partner’s parents don’t drink, or have diet restrictions, this will make things awkward very quickly. Tap into what your partner has told you about their hobbies and other things they love and you will be bound to come across something that will fit perfectly.
Be mindful that the way you sit, fidget, and avoid eye contact are things that your future in-laws will pick up on. Body language is, after all, a powerful communicator! Try to be mindful of these little things and show you are engaged in conversations by maintaining eye contact and keeping your body facing wholly towards the person who is speaking.
Avoid polarising conversation topics
Same-sex marriage, political views, and who will win the next sporting grand final. They are all great watercooler topics, but perhaps they are best left off the table when meeting your future in-laws for the first time. This is purely to avoid any potential for conflict if you have vastly differing views to each other.
While there is no doubt there will be nerves afoot, make sure that you relax and have fun. You only get one chance to meet someone for the first time, so make it memorable!
How did you meet your future in-laws? Was it a casual dinner, a family event or something else? Let us know in the comments below.