Soon after my boyfriend and I made it official, we decided that I should probably meet the parents. Since they live in the same town, we arranged for me to visit their home on a Saturday evening. My married coworker, who is always eager to give unsolicited relationship advice, told me to dress conservatively. Moms don’t like slutty girls, according to her. (She thinks I’m far more scandalous than I actually am.)
Nevertheless, I spent a considerable amount of time trying on outfits. Something that was conservative but not schoolmarm-ish. Something I felt comfortable in, because my comfort usurps all. I wondered if I should wear my new pair of heels, but finally decided against it. In fact, I think I ended up in a casual linen shirt and jeans.
Before we headed to his parents’ house, we met my sister and her kids first. Though my sister’s approval is important, it’s rare that she ever declares a dissenting opinion until I am upset by the man in question. I hoped he would feel better about the upcoming meeting, and I think he did.
You see, I’m rarely nervous about meeting the parents. Why? I approach meeting the parents like a job interview. Still confused? Let me share a few tips.
1. Take a look at your resume.
Well, not a work resume. But your “in your mind” resume of your accomplishments in life. I imagined all the “credentials” a parent would seek in a mate for their child, and made note of these factors about myself that would fit them. Respectful? Check. Ambitious? Check. Self-Supporting? Che…well for the most part, check. Educated? Check that twice.
2. Anticipate dialogue.
One of the worst things you can do at an interview is be completely unprepared for the questions. When meeting most parents, you typically won’t have a full out grueling but it’s good to be prepared to engage in conversation. Be sure to have some questions for them as well. You know, hold a conversation.
3. Thank you, and follow up.
At the end of a job interview, you thank your interviewers and make promises to be available for questions in the future. Also, if you are good interviewee you send a thank you note. When you meet the parents, be sure to end the meeting on a great, polite note. If they are huggers, be sure to hug them as you leave and be sure to make your intent known to see them again.
While meeting the parents shouldn’t be as formal as a job interview, you can use your grown-up professional skills to put your best foot forward. Remember, be yourself. You are pretty awesome both in your book and his if he is ready to bring you around the family.