If you are dreading the thought of meeting your girlfriend's family and want to get it over with as soon as possible, then follow these tips to not only survive, but thrive.
1. Be Polite
While the "Hello sir and ma'am" may seem too military or childish for introductions, the titles still bring a form of respect that will get you off to a good start. Add a firm handshake to these polite words and your girlfriend's parents might think you're not such a bad guy. To qualify the sir and ma'am statement, if a parent is a doctor then refer to that person by their professional title of doctor.
2. Be Yourself
Nightmare meetings happen when you start acting like you are someone you're not or you get caught in a web of lies. To avoid a disaster and capitalize on the good start by being polite, be yourself. Because your girlfriend, who is most likely similar to her parents, likes you, then her parents will probably see why their daughter likes you and feel the same way. Lying makes people nervous, awkward, and give off bad body language, so avoid it.
3. Treat Your Girlfriend with Respect
This should be an easy step. It is crucial that you treat your girlfriend with respect in the time around her parents. No parent wants a disrespectful man for their beloved angel. Also, parents are known to have eyes in the back of their heads, especially moms, so respect your girlfriend even if her parents don't seem to be around.
4. Avoid Controversy
Debating volatile social, political, and economic issues while getting to know your girlfriend's parents is not a good idea. Odds are that you will disagree on one of the issues and you might be too tempted to hold your tongue. At this point, just play nice and nod your head in agreement. You can wait to ruin a family Christmas party with your disagreeing comments if your relationship makes it that far.
5. Find Similar Interests
Be resourceful and get information from your significant other before the meeting about what her parents enjoy. Ask yourself if you share any topics of interest before hand, and if you do then talk about that for a safe and fun conversation. Otherwise, ask her parents a lot of questions and you will eventually find something to talk about.
6. Try New Things
So maybe in your free time you wouldn't play volleyball, but if that is the group activity then join in and do your best. Her parent's are not going to judge your athletic performance. In this kind of activity it is your attitude that matters the most.
As you can see, sometimes it is more important to not do something rather than doing something. Be polite, be yourself, respect your girlfriend, avoid controversy, find similar interests, and try new things, then you can be confident in making a solid first impression with your girlfriend's parents.