Meeting the Parents: Awkward Moments to Avoid With Her Mom and Dad

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Meeting her mother and father is one of the most stressful experiences you’ll likely ever have to endure. No matter how  friendly they may be, the anxiety that comes with walking into a room of people who you absolutely have to impress is intense, and regardless of how well-prepared you are you simply aren’t prepared enough for the uncomfortable situations that may ensue.

There are plenty of things that could go wrong during your introduction to them, and it’s logistically impossible to predict all of the unfortunate scenarios you could potentially find yourself in when you first meet dear old Mom and Dad. But let’s take a look at the most common mistakes that tend to be made when meeting the parents, and how you can successfully avoid them in order to leave their home with a modicum of self-respect:

 

Engaging in a test of strength with Dad

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If her dad prescribes to the old-fashioned theory that a good indicator of whether or not you are suitable for his daughter is if you can maintain a strong handshake, then he’ll likely lunge for you hand-first in order to engage in a test of strength.

This will likely lead to him breaking your index finger if you allow him to get carried away, so while you should greet him with a firm grasp, you’ll want to slip your hand out of his clammy palm at the first available opportunity.

 

Discussing the future with Mom

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If you’re going to stay with your girlfriend then meeting the parents is the first step in what will be a long line of firsts. However, her parents are inevitably looking at the long game, and so they may decide to discuss your plans for the future with you.

If you’re the kind of guy who can barely stomach planning past his next meal, then this is certainly a conversation that you’ll want to navigate from in order to focus upon the really important stuff, such as how uncomfortable you are and whether you could escape from out of the window when you next go to the bathroom.

 

Discussing religion and politics

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If they decide to turn this meeting into a grilling of your political and religious beliefs then make sure that you avoid letting any of your personal opinions known slip.

Typically it is suggestible that you stand by your opinions in order to be deemed a man with integrity, but in the case of meeting her parents you’re going to want to put that self-respect to the back of your mind in order for them to make any ill-informed rant they want to. Remember, you’re looking to impress them, not convert them to your way of thinking.

 

Getting too “handsy”

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At the moment her parents have no idea who you are. You’re just a guy who’s turned up on their doorstep who their daughter likes, and they now need to decide whether or not they want to put a hit out on you. One surefire way to end up on the fast-track to wearing a pair of concrete shoes is clinging to your girlfriend like a parasite while in their company for the first time.

PDAs are unacceptable at the best of times, but are especially problematic when you’re engaging in them in front of the people who brought her onto this planet. Be polite, eat your meal, and treat their daughter as though she’s radioactive whilst in their company – refrain from touching her at all costs.

 

Overdoing it on the compliments

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“Wow, this coffee is amazing! Where did you get it from?!” “Oh my God, these cushions on your sofa are so comfortable! Where did you get them from?!” “Your home is so nice! Can I live here forever?!”

People like to be complimented, but if you overdo it they’ll pick up on your insincerity and when you gush over how life-affirming the air freshener they use in their in their bathroom is, they won’t believe you. Don’t push it.

 

Being unable to eat their food.

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Going into a meeting with her parents without first knowing what they’ll be cooking you is commendable, though it’s not advisable. Unless you have a cast iron stomach that is capable of devouring any food without it needing to evacuate its contents, then you’re going to want to get some inside information.

If spicy food will send you into a hot sweat and thus leave you walking around their home perspiring like a human armpit, then get your girlfriend to covertly suggest that they put the curry and chili powder away when you visit. Similarly, if you’re vegetarian or have any dietary requirements, you should make those known before you walk into what could potentially be a minefield for your stomach.

Photos: Getty Images