As if trying to convince your partner that you loved them was not hard enough, now you have to convince their family that you are what is best for them. For some, that is an easy fit. They walk into their in-law’s lives and everything works out as perfectly as it can be. For others, it is an uphill tasked based on the idea that you need to prove that you are worth their child. Meeting the in-laws for the first time can be sometimes extremely distressing. So what can you do to ensure that the meeting goes as seamlessly as possible?
Carry a gift
Take your time in selecting the gift you want to carry along with you. Remember, first impressions matter. Check with your partner if their family has allergies, what they like and what they do not like. Then centre your gift on that. Traditionally, the gift goes to the mother-in-law so you might want to put your emphasis on what she would like. Basically, it is always prudent to bring a gift when you visit your in-laws but the first time is a little extra special. It acts as an icebreaker right off the bat. The gift might not give you direct approval but is a great way to start.
Drive conversation away from yourself
Primarily, you meet your in-laws so they may get to know who you are. However, the conversation does not always have to be about you. Strive to find out more about your in-laws. Ask them questions about them or even what they like doing. Find a way to respectfully ask questions about their life experiences without prying into their lives. The idea is to actively want to get to know them better so that you may understand them more. People also find it comfortable to share their life experiences with people they are familiar with.
Do not take things personally
Most of the things that will happen during your visit will be solely to test you and see how you react to certain situations. This is no time to be hard-headed or irritable. Your in-laws may even push your harder than is necessary but tread carefully. Even if their comments may be a little provoking, ensure that you keep your calm. Unless things get out of hand, do not place your partner in a position where they have to pick sides. Just breathe and keep our manners in check.
Find common ground
Find out what your in-laws like to do for fun beforehand. Find out what interests they have that may coincide with yours. It can be sports, lifestyle, worldly news etc. Whatever it is, centre your conversation on those aspects. It will be much easier for both parties to be open to conversation and have fun if they are talking about something they enjoy doing. It is also a chance to let them get to know you without it feeling like it is an interrogation session.
No matter what you do, you may never be considered good enough for someone’s child. So at the end of the day, be yourself. Allow your in-laws to see what your partner sees in you and they might just end up loving you. Think of it this way, you can only pretend to be someone you are not for a short while. Eventually, the facade will wear off and they may like you less for pretending to be someone you are not. Being yourself can be scary especially in front of people watching your every move but after some patience and luck, you may grow on them.