Meeting the in-laws? How to make a great first impression

So you think you’ve finally found ‘the one’? The Bonnie to your Clyde. The Kenan to your Kel. The Lyle to your Scott. You’ve actually deleted that dating app off your phone, and your favourite t-shirt has been commandeered and re-branded as a pajama top. You’ve swapped nights out at the pub for nights in with a box set. Oh yes, life is sweet, but there’s a spanner about to be thrown in the works, you do know that at one point you’re going to have to meet the parents right?

Cue clammy hands and mild panic, you can’t put it off forever. Now, I can’t help you with building a legendary relationship with your potential in-laws (that’s all on you I’m afraid) but I can definitely give you four simple tips to help make a good first impression. After that you’re on your own, better hope that your natural charm shines through…

Show some respect

Don’t bring up politics, mind your Ps and Qs and don’t forget that these are your partner’s parents. Sure, they want to know that you two are in a healthy, loving relationship, but don’t want to know anything about your sex life (if they do, make your excuses and leave). So no OTT PDA in front of them, that would just make everyone uncomfortable.

Show interest

You may not be interested in the inner workings of a lawnmower motor, but you’re going to have to pretend to be, at least for now. They’ll probably have a whole heap of questions for you, but don’t make them do all the work, fire some questions back at them. It’s a conversation, not an interview (even though it might feel like one at times). Try and find some common ground, if in doubt ask your partner to prep you on their interests beforehand. Also, make a note of the route you took, father-in-laws always seem to want to talk about that…

Bring a gift

I’m not talking about socks or a ‘world’s greatest in-laws’ mug here. Something classic like flowers (not from the petrol station) and a bottle of wine never go down badly. For extra points, find out if they have a favourite tipple and turn up with a bottle of that under your arm.

Dress to impress

I’m not talking top hat and tails here, just a simple, smart look. Remember these guys are probably from the good old days when sweatpants were only acceptable wear at the gym (can you imagine!?) Your outfit should be simple and not too dressy, but also smart and respectful. Get this right and a good first impression is guaranteed. You can’t go wrong with: