How to Win Over Your Date’s Parents: Keys to Succeeding in Pleasing Parents

Meeting the parents has to be the most nerve-wracking events in a lifetime.  Even the most stout of heart, the most courageous warrior, and the bravest of the brave can turn into a pile of shaking Jell-O while looking across the dinner table at The Parents.  There is just something about those people that gave birth to and raised someone you love that gives them instant authority over your feelings of self-worth.  Meeting the parents can be one of the worst experiences in your life…or the best.  If you can win over The Parents you are one step away from picking out china patterns.  Here are some helpful tips to winning over your date’s parents:

  1. Use “Sir” and “Ma’am” until they release you and allow you to use their first names.  This is usually an immediate response to the handshake (“…Just call me Tom”), but if it is not…keep up polite niceties until they give you permission to do otherwise.
  2. Compliment the décor.  A woman prides herself on the home, so even if she has decorated their entire home with ceramic frog sculptures find some way to throw in a compliment.  For example, I’m so in love with this pink bullfrog playing guitar!  Wherever did you find it?
  3. Don’t eat at all until you get to their home.  This is quite useful because if you are genuinely starving you will look like his or her mother’s cooking is the best you’ve ever eaten.  When hungry, all food tastes 100% better.
  4. Compliment your own parents.  All parents judge you by: a) how you treat their child, and b) your potential as a future caregiver.   If you love and respect your own parents they automatically know that you will give them love and respect if they treat you well.  When complimenting your own parents, remember not to make it a competition.  User inclusive compliments.  For example, your pound cake reminds me so much of Mom’s…I used to love it when she would make us pound cake on Sundays.  Such good times…
  5. Compliment their child.  All mothers love their children more than they love themselves—and if they don’t…RUN!  When you compliment someone’s child it is better than complimenting them.  Say things like: ___________ is the kindest person I know.  That’s why I adore him/her so!  Whenever possible work in Hint # 4 with a: and having met you I can see where he/she learned it.
  6. Show in tiny ways that you are good to their child.  This is very important for the parental units to see.  They want to know that their child is in the best hands possible.  Give them the larger portion of chicken.  Smile at them lovingly.  Help them with their coat/purse/things.

The trick to winning over parents is really to just be as genuine as possible.  They’ll see through the façade anyway—except when it comes to décor.  Lie about your interest in ceramic frogs.  Your partner will thank you for it later.