5 Tips for Hitting It Off With His Parents

How to make a good impression when you meet his folks.
So, you've been invited to meet your boyfriend's parents for the first time. First off, put the Meet the Parents horror stories to the back of your mind. Sure, nightmare scenarios do happen but just because one or two of your girlfriends had a bad experience meeting their boyfriend's folks, it doesn't mean you will too.

Stop panicking, and instead see it as a good opportunity to get to know his family better, advises Angela Marshall of Appearance Management, who is an image consultant and personal branding expert. She dishes 5 simple tips to maximize your chances of coming across in the best possible light!

1. Dealing with the conversation

If you're well prepared, you're going to stand a better chance of sailing through the day without inadvertently offending anyone. Don't panic -- you don't need to know every last detail of their family history, but it helps if you know at least the basics about their likes and dislikes.

Spending some time thinking about the kind of questions you might be asked or the topics that might crop up and mentally preparing some answers can also help you to feel more relaxed about the situation. It's easy to freeze and not know what to say when you're nervous but things can be less intimidating if you've got a few responses that you can fall back on.

Not sure what might be on the agenda? Just ask your boyfriend. After all, they're his family and he knows them well enough to predict what they might want to talk about. Beware of topics that could be controversial though, warns Angela Marshall of Appearance Management, who is an image consultant and personal branding expert.

2. What to wear

Have you ever judged someone on the strength of their outfit? Like it or not, the same is probably going to happen to you so it's crucial that you choose the right one. Think of the occasion as being similar to a job interview, if it helps. You wouldn't wear anything too revealing or 'unprofessional' in that context and you can apply the same logic to your first meeting with your boyfriend's.

Don't feel that you need to dress too formally though -- you're not actually for an interview, no matter how much it might feel like you are. "Wear an outfit that you feel comfortable in and which represents your personality, but nothing too outlandish," advises Marshall. Where you're going can have a big impact your choice of outfit, she adds:

Dinner: A smart dress is usually the best bet in this situation, as long as it's not too risqué. Think figure-enhancing but not too clingy or inappropriate.

Casual/informal meeting: A well-cut pair of trousers or smart-looking jeans works well in this scenario, especially when teamed with a nice blouse. You don't want to look overly formal but at the same time, it's not an invitation to look too sloppy either.

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