Meeting his parents over the holidays? Or maybe he is meeting yours? Regardless of whose family is doing the meeting, there are several things you can do to make the greeting less stressful and actually fun for everyone! Remember: Keep the Romance and Connection Alive! BEFORE YOU GO:
Why? You are creating a space for some privacy and some couple alone time.
Why? Private couple time isn’t about being selfish, it’s about being conscious of your significant. If you set the expectation before you go, you minimize the risk of confusion and awkwardness.
Why? If you are meeting his parents, you should bring a gift. If he is meeting yours, he should bring a gift. But help each other decide what to get. This shows respect and that you appreciate their hospitality. It’s also just another way to make a good first impression. But don’t go overboard. The gift should be simple and inexpensive, but thoughtful.
Why? You want to let each other in on inside family anecdotes, stories, background, and maybe even jokes. Again, it’s about expectation, it’s also about providing context and helping your significant other not feeling like an “other” or an outsider. If there is a particular family member who your significant might have a lot in common with, let them in on that too. Give them talking points.
Why? Take a walk before you make the introductions. Show off your town. Establish a feeling of comfort first.
Why? This is about feeling connected before entering the unfamiliar family unit.
Why? If your significant is meeting your entire extended family at the big holiday dinner, first try to set aside some time for meeting the most important few people first at coffee, lunch or taking a walk. This way they can feel comfortable with each other and feel a connection before being part of the craziness.
Why? You want to present a united front, showing your family how happy you are, what a great connection you have. The family wants to see it too. IF any little tiffs or annoyances arise between you two, save it for later.
Why? In addition to being a time for family, remember that this is a time for each other as a couple. This is a major stepping stone. Fuel it with some romance time. A few ideas: AFTER:
Why? Your first impression ends after the end of the trip. It all lumps together as one full experience. All’s well that ends well. Email a note ASAP, then mail it the old fashioned way immediately after.