So you’re finally meeting your LDR boyfriend/girlfriend’s family! This is a huge step in your relationship. Meeting his/her family for the first time can be totally terrifying. There is only ONE CHANCE for meeting them for the FIRST time and leaving a good impression 🙂
Here are some life-saving tips for when you meet their family for the very first time, we’ve got you covered!
Pre-meeting – Video Chat With Them ♥
Before meeting them in real life, your SO can introduce their parents or family members through Skype, Facetime, etc.
Next time when you guys video-chat, include a family member, even just for a little “hello”.
My bf has two siblings, and they share the room, so I had the chance to talk with them and get to know them on Facetime before him and I met for the first time. When we finally met, it felt so natural.
It’s so important that your parents already know your partner. Talk about your relationship, and tell them how much he/she makes you happy! The thing your parents most care about is your happiness!
Bring a small gift ♥
You will probably already have in mind a gift for your SO, but don’t forget his family 😉
If you live in different countries, bring something symbolic for siblings and other family members:
- traditional cookies/snacks, etc.
- hand-made gift
Language barriers and cultural differences ♥
This is obviously a tip only for couples who live in different countries, and speak different mother language. If your SO is visiting and he/she does not speak your language, or your family is not fluent in english or other language, you will be a living-google-translate. You just have to accept it 🙂
Think in advance about topics that can be easy and interesting. If it gets awkward sometimes (trust me, it will) don’t make a big deal out of it. It’s something you will laugh about later on.
Adding to this: Teach your partner about traditions and cultural differences that are specific to your country. Just a simple example: Do you only shake hands, do you kiss, or hug when you meet someone for the first time?
Guest rules ♥
Sometimes, when you are visiting and staying in your partner’s house for longer periods of time, you can feel almost like at home. But you are still in you partner’s PARENTS’ house. Though it’s nice to feel as a family member, be careful about feeling “too much” at ease.
My boyfriend once felt so at home, that he felt free to move around my mom’s (pronounce as Gollum) “prescious” furniture (read: almost scratching the new floor). He was so relaxed decorating the room, while my parents freaked out big time.
There can be million examples of this. So just remember the rule – if you are a guest, act like a guest 🙂
Also, don’t forget your manners! But be careful of coming across as “fake nice” and not genuine. Being yourself is as important as being respectful and polite.
Balance time alone vs. time with family ♥
Related to guest rules…
It’s tempting to be alone with your bf/gf, and want to isolate yourselves from the rest of the world. Especially since you haven’t seen each other in a while! While it’s important to be alone and catch up on all that lost time together, it’s also important to find a balance (alone-time vs. family-time). You’ll have a chance to cuddle and be physically together, don’t worry!
This also relates to being touchy-feely. Since this is the very first impression, it’s important to keep some boundaries between yourself and your partner. This is where paying attention to their culture is really important. Some cultures frown upon public displays of affection, while others don’t mind it (for example, Japanese vs. South Korean cultures). In general, parents are really only comfortable with hand holding. Save the kisses for later, love birds.
Get to know them ♥
Seek opportunities to really bond with their parents and siblings. Suggest going out to dinner together, or ask them to show you around their city. These moments will allow them to get to know you better in an environment that isn’t so nerve wracking. There is plenty of space to escape to the bathroom or walk ahead to take a breather if you’re nervous.
Going out also helps stimulate conversation, which is key in getting them to like you. The more you can talk and exchange laughs, the more fond of you they will become. You’ll also feel more comfortable with them, as well! They will highly appreciate you showing interest in them.
Related (External Link): What To Talk About When You Meet The Parents For The First Time
Should you sleep alone or with your partner? ♥
This is totally up to your discretion, but I would advice asking your partner how their parents would feel about the sleeping arrangements before you come over.
If you are the one who is visiting, be careful not to pass the boundaries of what seems appropriate to you partner’s parents. Leaving the door open, if you sleep together, can be the right way to diminish parents’ nervousness. Or just sleep in separate rooms until they express their comfortability with you sleeping in the same bed.
This may seem a little silly, especially if you are older, but it will make their family feel more comfortable and that is most important.
Put away your phone ♥
It is really tempting to browse your phone when you are feeling awkward or disconnected from the conversation. Your partner and their parents may be chatting away in their own language and not frequently engaging you. Taking out your phone is not going to make this situation any better, and can actually leave a bad impression.
When you feel a little left out, try asking questions. Not only will it include you in the conversation flow again, it will also show your partner’s family that you are interested in getting to know them. This is a win-win.
Talk to them even when your partner isn’t around ♥
Let’s say your partner had to run out of the house to get something quickly, or is picking up food with their parents while you’re left home alone with their siblings. What do you do?
Do you ignore them and browse through your phone OR do you try to initiate conversation?
Although it may seem like a super scary idea, it’s important to try initiate that conversation if you’re in the same room together. It’ll break the tension in the room and in the future, you will seem way more approachable.
Related: Dealing with Disapproving Families
Share your plans for the future ♥
Let’s face it, your parents just met your LDR boyfriend/girlfriend. The whole LDR thing might be new for them, and they are getting used to it. But when it comes to dating in general, they want to know how serious you are about it. Despite this being only your first visit, show that you are thinking as an adult, in a mature way. Explain to your parents and theirs that you have a plan on saving the money, and that you planned your steps for your future meetings, and eventually, closing the distance.
You might not have exact vision of how or when to close the distance, but speak out your ideas and intentions. There is nothing more reassuring, than having your partner communicate their real feelings to your parents. If you have your family’s support and trust in your partner, your LDR gets so much easier.
With all this in mind, have an amazing time, and enjoy every moment together! Good luck!
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