Meeting Parents For The First Time During The Holidays

December 8, 2021
Image of holiday floral arrangement on a dinner table

While I know it can seem very intimidating, the holidays are actually a really good time to meet the family! Plans to gather together are already in place, and it alleviates the stress of coordinating a time where everyone is available. Plus, the holidays always put people into a grateful and loving mood, which can make it easier to feel like we fit in with new people! For these reasons, and many more, we believe that this season is the perfect time to meet your new partner’s family.

There are a lot of great blogs on the subject and we as well have our experiences but to get some parent friendly tips – but in addition to that I went to my mom to find out what she thought would be some great advice for meeting a child’s significant other for the first time. She was happy to help me by sharing her tips on what she would appreciate in someone I brought home for her to meet.

Tips For Meeting Parents For The First Time During The Holidays 

  1. Be Yourself! You are a fabulous person, so make sure you show up as that person. Do not try to be anything you are not (Parents are super excited to know what is going on in their adult child’s life, so they will be thrilled to meet you).
  2. Bring a small gift that your partner has told you his parents would like or use. If you bake bring something for dessert if not bring some luxury chocolates or something that makes it look like you took the time out to think about what the group would enjoy! A nice bottle of wine or flowers are always an option too!
  3. Engage with the family. Make eye contact. Ask questions. Be curious about the family and their careers, traditions, and fun family stories.
  4. Ask them to tell you their favorite story about your date; parents LOVE talking about their kids, and LOVE embarrassing them!
  5. Try to branch out! Of course when you walk in the door and you are spending the first hour with said family it makes sense to stay with your partner and hopefully they will be great at introductions and keeping you engaged but it always bodes well in your favor if you show interest in branching out. This is something that I always remembered being the youngest in my family- when a relatives significant other would go out of the way to go talk and interact with me or other relatives and not needing to be side by side with their partner. It makes it so much easier to become part of the family- even if that sounds a bit too early in the stages but after all you are meeting the family so chances are there is potential interest in a future!
  6. Offer to help in the kitchen. This goes a LONG way (like very longgg way!) in letting the family know you appreciate all the hard work that goes into preparing and serving a holiday meal.
  7. Please do not drink too much. It’s likely that you will be a bit nervous, but try not to overcompensate with copious amounts of alcohol. It’s not a good look!
  8. Find out how the family will be dressed and show up dressed to impress! If the family is super casual- of course go with something in between but in our opinions we always feel it’s better to be overdressed than underdressed!
  9. Put away your phone and be present in the moment with the family. Repeat- put away the phone! It may be totally fine to be on your phone at your own families holiday parties but we assure you that there are plenty of families/ people in general who take looking at your phone as a sign that you are disinterested in engaging with the group! Plus how can you get to know the group if you are preoccupied with the phone!
  10. Remember your manners. Good manners are a way of showing other people we care about them.
  11. Participate in traditions or games as they are introduced.
  12. There are many tips we have but being that we know how nerve racking it can be in dating and getting to know a significant others relatives – our advice for those anxious moments is to just continue convo by asking questions! people do enjoy sharing and talking about their passions so regardless of who it is you can be sure to find a subject of their interest. We know that it can be overwhelming having to be the newbie and answer dozens of questions so at those time flip it and ask away!

 We hope this helps when you are meeting your date’s parents this holiday season. For more tips- check out our dating and relationships section here