How to Meet Your Boyfriend's Parents

Co-authored by wikiHow Staff | Reader-Approved | 17 References

Updated: November 27, 2019

Explore this Article Making a Good First Impression Being Polite Having a Good Conversation Ask a Question Related Articles

Meeting your boyfriend's parents is inevitable if your relationship is getting more serious. While it can be nerve-wracking, all you need to do is take steps to make a good first impression, work on being polite, and be yourself when you're talking to them. Don't worry too much, as they'll likely be nervous, too!

Making a Good First Impression

  1. 1
    Show up at least 10 minutes early. Being late the first time you meet his parents will make a poor first impression. To make sure you aren't late, aim to get there early. It never hurts to be there early, and you'll have time to help out if they're cooking dinner for you or read the menu if you're at a restaurant.[1]
    • While being on time won't win you tons of brownie points, being late often will count against you!
  2. 2
    Bring a small gift for your boyfriend's parents. Ask your boyfriend if his parents have any particular favorites and pick something he suggests. For instance, try to find out their favorite chocolates, wine, or cookies. You don't have to buy something if you're low on cash. You can even just bake them something nice.[2]
    • It's always polite to bring a hostess gift if you're going to their house, but even if you're not, a small gift says you're thinking about them ahead of time.
  3. 3
    Dress for both the occasion and for his parents' style. Ask your boyfriend ahead of time what the dress code for the event usually is. If you're just going to dinner, dress nice and go slightly conservative if you're not sure what his parents prefer.[3]
    • For instance, try a knee-length skirt and top that's not too low or nice slacks and a button-up shirt. Also, aim to look polished; smooth out your hair, and iron your clothes if you need to.

Being Polite

  1. 1
    Keep physical contact with your boyfriend to a minimum. Kissing and constantly cuddling with your boyfriend around his parents may make them uncomfortable. A kiss hello or goodbye is fine, but try not to have too much contact, at least the first time you meet them.[4]
    • For instance, don't sit in his lap or play footsie under the table. Hand-holding is fine.
  2. 2
    Remember your manners the whole time. Say "Please," "Thank you," and "You're Welcome" when appropriate. Ask to have things passed to you at the table instead of reaching over other people if you're eating together, and be gracious about the food, even if it's not your favorite.[5]
    • If his parents are hosting you in their home, remember to thank them for having you over at the end of the meal.
    • Also, call them "Mr." and "Mrs." with their last name unless they say otherwise.
    • If they happen to be rude to you, always respond with politeness.[6]
  3. 3
    Offer to help with dinner or clean up if you're at their home. Ask if you can help chop vegetables or bring stuff to the table, for instance. After dinner, get up to help clear the table and wash the dishes without even asking.[7]
    • They'll love that you're willing to help, even if they won't take you up on the offer.
  4. 4
    Skip the alcohol if possible. Avoid drinking at all if you can because you may drink too much without realizing it. Even if you're nervous, now isn't the time to drink! You want to be sober and clear-headed to make a good impression.[8]
    • If you drink too much, you may say things you don't mean or come off as a lush.
  5. 5
    Put your phone in your pocket on silent. In fact, leave it in your bag or car if you can. Show his parents you are giving your undivided attention to them. If you try to text or scroll through social media while you're there, you're saying that they're less important than whatever is on your phone.[9]

Having a Good Conversation

  1. 1
    Compliment your boyfriend's parents. Everyone likes to hear good things about themselves, and giving compliments about his parents shows you're polite. If you're going to their home, it's fairly easy. Offer compliments on their home, landscaping, decor, etc. You can also compliment how they dress or the food if they're cooking or they recommended the place you're eating.[10]
    • For instance, you might say, "I love your home. These paintings are amazing."
    • Alternatively, you might say, "This meal is wonderful. What a great recommendation for dinner."
  2. 2
    Include everyone at the table. You may be tempted to focus on your boyfriend or just his mom or dad. However, if his siblings are there, it's important to make sure everyone feels like they're part of the conversation. His parents will notice that you took time to include everyone and the other people at the table will feel more amenable toward you.[11]
    • Ask your boyfriend ahead of time about the general interests of everyone who will be there. For instance, if you find out his sister likes sports, you could say, "George tells me you're into sports. What's your favorite sports team?"
  3. 3
    Listen and respond to what's being said. Of course, you're going to be a little nervous around his parents, which may make you want to think ahead about what you're going to say. However, it's more important to be engaged with the conversation, which requires listening carefully to what's being said. Then, you can ask relevant questions.[12]
    • For instance, if his dad is talking about his work, you could ask, "That sounds really interesting. What else do you do at your job?"
  4. 4
    Talk about your life in positive terms. No one wants to hear about all the complaints you have. You don't have to sugarcoat everything but aim for a positive attitude overall. Discuss the hobbies you have, what you like to do with your boyfriend, and what you like about your job.[13]
    • For instance, if you just lost your job, you can say, "Well, I was just laid off, but I have some good prospects already."
  5. 5
    Steer away from controversial topics. No matter how much you want to vote for a certain candidate, bringing it up the first time you meet your boyfriend's parents isn't a good idea. It can cause discord and tension, especially since you don't know how everyone at the table feels.[14]
    • It's also a good idea to avoid topics like religion, abortion, and other controversial political topics. You can answer politely if someone asks you but try to avoid it if you can. For instance, if his mother asks you what church you attend, you can say, "I actually don't attend church, but I appreciate you asking. Where do you attend?"
  6. 6
    Open up and act like yourself. Don't try to say what you think his parents want to hear. Instead, just be your silly, fun, or honest self. They can tell if you're being fake, and they really just want to get to know you. After all, you're dating their son, and it's possible you could be family one day.[15]
    • Even if you're shy, try to be more open than you usually are.
    • Try to be confident! Smile at them when you're talking and make eye contact, too.[16]

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      • Try to remember things your boyfriend has told you about his parents so you can bring it up in the conversation.[17]


      • Don't be too intimidated. The parents are probably just as nervous as you are.

      Article Info


      This article was co-authored by our trained team of editors and researchers who validated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness. Together, they cited information from 17 references. wikiHow's Content Management Team carefully monitors the work from our editorial staff to ensure that each article meets our high standards.

      Categories: Featured Articles | Family Friends and Dating

      In other languages:

      Espa?ol: conocer a los padres de tu novio, Português: Conhecer os Pais de Seu Namorado, Italiano: Incontrare i Genitori del tuo Ragazzo, Русский: познакомиться с родителями своего парня, Deutsch: Die Eltern deines Freundes kennenlernen, Fran?ais: rencontrer les parents de son petit ami, Bahasa Indonesia: Menemui Orang Tua Kekasih (untuk Perempuan)

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