Meeting your same-sex partner’s parents for the first time

By Alicia Goodspring

Meeting your boyfriend or girlfriend’s parents for the first time could make you nervous even if your partner has reassured you that his or her parents will love you. Before you meet each other’s parents, ensure that your parents are well educated about homosexuality. You also have to decide whose parents to meet first and the place to meet them.

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DOS

These are some dos and don’ts for meeting your same-sex partner’s parents for the first time

  • Find out if your partner’s parents have been supportive of his/her sexuality- Do your partner’s parents approve of their sexuality? Is there any fallout with his/her parents about their sexuality? Even if his or her parents are conservative, they must accept their child’s sexuality before you meet them. They may treat you with scorn or disrespect if they are not adequately educated about homosexuality. However, your partner has to ensure that his parents know how much you mean to him or her. 

  • Know your would-be in-laws’ history- Meeting parents means that the relationship is severe and is likely to lead to the altar. So, before you meet each other’s parents, try to find out what your partner’s parents like; their hobbies, background, beliefs, etc. Finding out about their history will give you an idea of who they are and also let you know the safe topics you can discuss with them.

  • Go along with a little gift- You may take a bottle of wine along with you or a bowl of salad. Let your partner help you choose a gift that his/her family will love. 

  • Dress appropriately-If you are meeting for the first time at a formal event or a coffee shop across your street, you should wear the right clothes that suit the occasion.

  • Wear a smile on your face- Now, I’m not saying that you should paste a permanent fake smile on your face. No! You should relax, have a smile on your face when you either hug them or exchange handshakes with them.

  • Offer to help out- Unless your partner’s parents have maids and butlers, you should offer to help out in the kitchen before or after dinner. It will help you get over your anxiety, and it will also make a good impression on them.

  • Be Yourself- Yeah, this is important. If you don’t like something; don’t act as if you like it because you want to make a good impression on your partner’s parents. Remember to be yourself because they may one day become your family, and how long can you keep up the act of being something you are not?

  • Show gratitude- Irrespective of their attitude towards you, be polite. Show appreciation to them for welcoming you into their home and for dinner or lunch. 

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Don’ts

Now that you know what you should do let’s look at the things you shouldn’t do when meeting your partner’s parents for the first time.

As same-sex couples, it may take longer for your partner’s parents to accept your relationship than they would if their child was in a heterosexual relationship. It will even be harder for them to accept you if their son or daughter just came out of the closet. Give them time. When your partner feels that it is the right time for you to meet his or her parents, they will surely introduce you to them. However, if the parents are ready to meet you, here are a few things that you shouldn’t do;

  • Don’t talk about irrelevant things- This may happen because you are nervous. Stay calm, don’t talk about trivial things or reveal too much about yourself. You should ask them meaningful questions that will enable you to know them better. Avoid speaking about controversial issues unless they bring it up, like religion, politics, etc. 

  • Don’t play with your phone- As soon as you meet them, ensure that your phone is on silent or turned off. It is rude to be on your phone when talking to others, especially your partner’s parents, who will never forget such abusive behaviour. It shows that you have no respect for them if you are busy with your phone while conversing or dining with them. No matter how boring the conversation might be, don’t be tempted to slip out your phone to catch up on some gist on social media.

  • Don’t ignore your partner’s siblings- If your partner has siblings, try to get to know them too. Don’t ignore the siblings or act like they don’t exist. If you perceive that your partner’s siblings don’t like you, don’t want to engage in too much talk, compliment them about their hair or hobby. Bring them into the conversation occasionally by asking for their opinion on something. 

  • Don’t expect too much- They are just meeting you for the first time, so it may take a while for them to accept you or accept your relationship with their daughter or son. Don’t expect your partner’s parents to like you immediately or that his siblings will become friends with you at the first meeting. Remember that they may also be nervous about meeting you, and they may have no idea how to relate with you.

  • Don’t whine and complain about everything- Even if you don’t like the meal they served, take some bite, and compliment the food. Don’t complain about the long, tiring journey to their house. Don’t whine about everything or nag your partner in front of them. Show them that you are in love with their son or daughter. 

  • Don’t have sex in their home- If they asked you and your partner to spend the night; don’t have sex in their home. This may be hard, but you have to respect them and show you value their kindness.

Meeting your partner’s parents shouldn’t be a nerve-wracking experience if you follow the dos and don’ts listed in this article. In conclusion, don’t expect too much when you are meeting your partner’s parents for the first time.

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