So, I have been in a relationship with a wonderful woman for a reasonable amount a time. She is a great counterpart with formidable patience, which is drastically required when accepting me as a suitor. Due to a crazy combination of spiritual epiphanies, destiny dating (dating with purpose), and my smitten-esque giddy love for this woman, I have taken every relational step dealing with this union very seriously. Having breezed through the chemically combustible “first date,” the revealing comfort of the sharing of seasonal holidays, and the auspicious potency of the “first fight,” I have possessed consistent worry about the unpredictable event of meeting the parents. Well, the meeting came and went, and while I walked away with modest success, it didn’t come easy ... but when meeting the parents, it never does.
I often compare meeting the parents of a significant other to negotiating with a firing squad. The objective is not to be pardoned from all wrongdoing, but to keep the number of marksmen to a minimum. When sitting down with the parental units, you are already looked at in the negative. To be honest, you are essentially confiscating a massive amount of time and emotion from a person (their son or daughter) whom they love and protect, so they are testing your worthiness of such a bounty. As informal as the meeting may seem, it is definitely a serious scenario that doesn’t need to be taken lightly. So, to help anyone else with this encounter, I have three simple rules (lessons) to keep in mind when meeting the parents.
Rule #1: Do your homework. Nothing says “I care not” like ignorance regarding the family of your significant other. It is not devious to do some research on the family’s culture, or the company for which the father works, or maybe the favorite television show of the mother. Extra brownie points are scored by a simple name drop of the favorite sitcom, plus it generates conversation, and can sometimes keep questions off of yourself.
Rule #2: Be honest, but use discernment. Honesty is the best policy in this situation. With the far reaching tentacles of the Internet and modern social media, nothing is sacred anymore, and all lies will be revealed. So, being truthful at the outset is remarkably important and will prevent future catastrophe. With that said, you do not have to blab about things that may induce caution. We are all imperfect beings, but dumping on the parents about your struggles and shortcomings upon the first encounter can be a little too much, too soon. Inequities are only important if you choose not to improve upon them, and they will come to know those issues soon enough.
Rule #3: Please your significant other. While getting along with the parents is important, it is only part of the puzzle. No matter what kinds of doubts they may have, their child’s happiness is what’s important. So, continue to make your significant other happy. That is the “trump card” that cannot be denied, and will ultimately win over parents. Your best advocate is their own child.