How to Meet His Family (Without Freaking Out)

Here’s how to pretend you’re not awkward for one night.

You’ve found a keeper. You’re crazy about him, he treats you amazingly, you think he could be The One – but there’s one small catch: you haven’t actually met his family yet. Whoops. How did that happen?

Look, some of us (okay, me) are awkward people. The idea of making nice with strangers you need to make a good impression on is my version of a waking nightmare. If you feel the same, here’s how to deal with the dreaded meeting of the parents.

1 Get to know them before actually knowing them. Ask your boyfriend about them – he’s the only tool you have. Get an idea of what their interests are, how they are and which similarities they share with bae. By knowing him, there are parts of his parents you already know. See? Work smart, not hard.

2 Remember – they want to like you. This isn’t a movie. They’re not going to make your life a living hell, okay? They want to believe that their son has chosen a stellar woman (which is exactly what you are, so that’s half the battle won). Don’t expect their worst behaviour, because it’s not what you’re going to get. You’re just unnecessarily spooking yourself.

3 Be appreciative. You may be freaking out slightly, but remember that a ‘thank you’ goes a long way. Let his mom know you appreciate the meal she prepared, and thank them both for their hospitality. It also shows that you’re a polite person – and that’s huge.

4 Offer to help out. Even if they decline, offering to help out speaks volumes about your character. You may be a guest, but you’re also part of the family now. Don’t be shy to get your hands dirty – clear the plates; ask whether you can dry the dishes. His family will definitely be impressed.

5 Tell them how great their son is. This is just about the best compliment you can give them, and it will make them realise you’re a member of his fan club. Fill them in on something particularly awesome he’s done lately, and you’ll leave them glowing.

6 Just go with the family flow. Every family is different. You may be used to a sit-down dinner at 7.3opm sharp, but your BF’s parents are cool with a pizza in front of the TV whenever. Don’t judge the way they do things. Show his family you’re happy to blend in, not take over.

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