You found your special someone during quarantine or perhaps you’ve been together for quite some time and you’re ready to meet each other’s families. You may not be able to meet your significant other’s family in-person this holiday season, but you can certainly hop on a group video chat!
If you feel nervous, that’s completely normal! Of course you want to make a great first impression, and if you keep the following eight things in mind, you’re guaranteed success.
#1 – Get schooled
Your partner knows their family best, so before you hop on a video call, ask your partner to school you on a couple of things. Who will be on your call? What is their relation to your significant other? Do they share any interests or hobbies that could spark a good conversation?
Knowing some of these things ahead of time is good, but don’t overwhelm your partner’s parents with your sleuthing skills. Let them tell you about themselves — it’s a great idea to have your partner chime in with funny childhood memories and let the conversation lead where it may.
#2 – Now is the time to swap out the sweats
Meeting your significant other’s family, even over video chat, is a big step in any relationship and you don’t need a tuxedo or spectacular outfit to make the perfect first impression. Dress how you feel most comfortable and like yourself but I encourage you to swap out the Covid19 sweatpants and into something more business casual.
You and your partner should also set your call up in a comfortable spot (comfy couch preferred!). Grab everything you’ll need, some water or tea, snacks, the dog, and enjoy quality time with your partner and their family in the comfort of your own home.
#3 – Stick to formalities
Sir…Ma’am? Meeting the family for the first time can be a confusing encounter. Unless your partner insists you address their family in a casual manner, it’s best to treat the first conversation with the respect it deserves. Use formal titles to address your partner’s parents. Wait for them to permit you to use their first names.
If your SO’s parents seem interested to talk about something — talk about it! Follow their cues to learn their interests and views and, most importantly, be interested in them. Meeting the family isn’t a job interview, but it is the start of a new relationship. Get off on the right foot by showing off your manners.
#4 – Be confident (easier said than done, you got this!)
Your significant other likes (or even loves) you so don’t be afraid to be yourself with their family. Speak your mind, be assertive but, do so from a place of respect. It is not the time to hash out political or spiritual views, and if things seem to head that way, it might be best to hold your tongue while also being true to yourself.
#5 – No need to panic
Sometimes, things don’t go as planned. If the conversation or even the entire meeting seems to head south, don’t panic. Remember why you’re meeting your SO’s parents in the first place — this is all for your partner. This meeting isn’t about you as much as it’s about paving the way for your relationship to grow.
If you need to take a minute, you can easily walk away from this virtual meeting. Excuse yourself and grab some water, go to the bathroom, or just get some area away from the camera’s view. Nobody will blame you for stepping away and your partner may enjoy a bit of alone time with their family.
#7 – Everyone enjoys a love story
“How did you two meet?” Keep this question in your pocket in case the conversation hits a stalemate. Even if the conversation never dulls, be sure to ask this at some point. This question is sure to spark some beautiful moments between your SO’s parents that now you’ll get to share and bond over.
#6 – Show some affection
Remember what this meeting is all about — your significant other. Focus on making a good impression by prioritizing your relationship and your partner’s feelings. Showing some affection like holding hands, putting your arms around each other, and giving out a peck on the cheek will show your SO’s parents that you care for each other (definitely run this by your partner first). By putting your affection on display, you’re showing that this isn’t a relationship you are unsure about and that it has a lot of promise for the future. You mean to be where you are and you’re serious about your partner.
#8 – Avoid the 0% goodbye
We all have that one friend who’s phone is always on 1% battery life, now is not the time to be that person! If you’re meeting on a smart device, make sure your battery is fully charged beforehand. Keep your laptop plugged in or a phone charger handy in case you need it. You don’t want to be in the middle of a conversation and suddenly hit a black screen.