The holidays are a time for family and friends to come together. But what if your girlfriend’s family doesn’t like you? It is important to know how to win over your girlfriend’s parents, because they have the power to say “yes” or “no” when it comes time to talk about your future. Follow these 12 helpful tips on how to get their approval and make this holiday season one she will always remember.
Prepare yourself for the holidays
The first thing you should do is prepare for the holidays. If you have any family gatherings or parties, be sure to plan some time to spend with your girlfriend’s family. You don’t have to spend an entire weekend at their house, but make sure you spend time with them when it is appropriate. You need to build a relationship with her parents if you want them to approve of you. This is also a great way for people in your life to meet each other and get comfortable with one another long before any serious talk about marriage takes place.
Understand what’s going on
The first thing to do is to try and understand what’s going on with your girlfriend’s family. If they don’t like you, it might be because they fear that you’ll break their daughter’s heart. They might also feel threatened by your presence and think that you’re a threat to their family. Before you can win them over, it’s important to figure out what the problem is.
Be honest – but not too honest
Winning over your girlfriend’s parents starts with honesty. However, there are some truths you might want to omit. There is an old saying that goes something like this: “honesty is the best policy.” But in this situation, it would be better if you were a little bit less honest. You should always be honest with your girlfriend’s parents – but don’t go over the top with information about your past relationships or indiscretions.
Manners are important
No matter where you are, manners are important. Do not forget them.
Manners are a part of any relationship, but they are especially important when you’re meeting the parents. You don’t have to impress everyone right away, but it’s always important to make a good impression.
The best way to impress someone is by being yourself and demonstrating interest in them. When you show genuine interest in the person you’re meeting, they will be more likely to take notice of your efforts. You don’t want to come off as fake or insincere because it will only lead them to dislike you more.
Make sure that you ask about their lives and take an interest in what they have to say. This shows them that your interests align with theirs and helps people get a better impression of you from the start. If this doesn’t work, then try using small talk or being polite and respectful of their personal space (unless they initiate contact).
Offer to help in the kitchen
If you are invited over to her parent’s home for a family dinner or holiday gathering, offer to help in the kitchen. Be sure to ask what they need help with and volunteer to do it. Showing that you want to be involved and invested in their lives will go a long way. You should also try your best not to criticize the food, especially if it is homemade, which can be difficult for some people.
Pick up after yourself
It is important to show your future in-laws that you have manners. It may be hard to change your habits, but it will help them get to know you better and they may even start liking the way you are.
Pick up after yourself. If there is a mess, sweep it up or pick up your dishes if there is some food on them.
Don’t dominate the conversation. The family should feel like they are valued members of the conversation, not just an audience listening to one person talk about themselves for hours.
Don’t interrupt when someone else is talking. If someone starts talking about something you want to say, wait until they have finished what they have to say before jumping in with your opinion. Remember: listen more than you talk!
Show respect for their culture and traditions One thing which may separate their culture from yours could be holidays or traditions which go along with celebrating those holidays. Showing respect for their culture and traditions might just help win over some points with them (and keep them from holding it against you if you don’t share their holiday celebration).
Keep your voice down
Parents are always looking for a reason to dislike their children’s significant other. They are constantly watching and listening, so it is important that you keep your voice down when speaking to your girlfriend. Parents want to be able to speak to you without having to worry about what you’re saying. If they see that you are polite and respectful, they will like you more.
Ask for permission before touching anyone
It is important to ask permission before touching anyone. (i.e. a hug, a pat on the back, or holding hands). It’s especially important when going in for an embrace that looks like you’re trying to steal someone’s purse or knock them over.
Know when to leave – and don’t stay too long!
No matter how well you think you know your girlfriend’s family, there are some things that her parents may not want to share with you. It is important to leave as soon as the meal is over and they start putting away the dishes.
It can be awkward to stay too long after a meal ends. If you’re worried about being rude, just let her parents know that you need to get back home. They will appreciate your honesty and it will save everyone from any potential discomfort.
Everyone deserves their space, so make sure to keep that in mind when visiting someone else’s home!
Give them a gift from you and your girlfriend
This might seem like a no-brainer, but the best way to win over your girlfriend’s parents is to get them something from both of you. It will show that you are committed to making their daughter happy and you’re willing to invest in her even if they disapprove. You should give them a gift card or flowers or a simple home-made card with some words of love from the two of you.