For most couples, meeting the girlfriend’s parents marks a major milestone in their relationship. It can be a stressful experience, but it doesn’t have to be.

Meeting Your Girlfriend's Parents
Meeting Your Girlfriend’s Parents

It pays to prepare before the meeting by knowing what to expect. It’s also a good idea to steer clear of dicey topics such as politics, religion and sex.

1. Be Prepared

As with any first impression, it’s important to be prepared. This means bringing a gift, smiling and showing good body language (no crossing your arms), and making eye contact.

It’s also a good idea to learn as much as you can about her parents, such as their work, hobbies, or interests. This will help you find common ground and make conversation easier.

2. Be Confident

It can be nerve-wracking meeting your girlfriend’s parents, but you should exude confidence. This will go a long way in making them trust you and like you.

When saying goodbye, shake her father’s hand firmly and hug her mother (unless they tell you not to). It shows that you are confident. Also, write them a thank you note. It’s the least you can do.

3. Be Yourself

Dating a great girl is fun and exciting, but every now and then she’ll ask you to meet her parents. This is a huge milestone, and you’ll need to take it seriously.

Dress well, be punctual and bring a gift. Don’t use first names unless they ask you to, and be respectful of their privacy. Polite small gestures like holding doors and opening doors will also go a long way.

4. Be Polite

Don’t treat her parents like your friends and don’t talk about controversial topics (politics, religion, money or sex). It is also nice to bring a small gift for the occasion.

Be polite, shake hands and say “please” and “thank you”. Avoid deafening silences by being genuinely interested in the conversation. Asking her parents questions about their jobs, family and hobbies is a great way to show your interest.

5. Be Open

Meeting your girlfriend’s parents is a big step in a relationship. It signals that you are taking things seriously and moving away from casual dating.

You can help to make the experience as enjoyable as possible by being open to the conversation. Knowing something about her parents (like what line of work they are in or their hobbies) can be a good icebreaker.

6. Be Respectful

Meeting your girlfriend’s parents is a big deal for her. She wants her family to approve of you and see you as a positive addition to their lives. Be respectful of their views, opinions and traditions.

Talk to your girlfriend beforehand about her parents. Asking about their hobbies and careers helps keep the conversation lighthearted and makes for good ice-breakers. It also gives you information that can help you avoid sensitive topics like politics, religion and money.

7. Be Affectionate

If you want to win points with her parents, a little affection won’t go unnoticed. Holding their hands or grabbing their hand when you leave the room is a simple, but heartfelt gesture that shows you care about them.

Ask her about her parents before meeting them and try to learn some facts about their lives. This will give you something to talk about and make the meeting a lot less awkward.

8. Be Honest

It’s important to be honest when talking with her parents. Avoid discussing controversial topics, such as politics or religion, until you know her parents better.

Instead, talk about common interests. For example, if her mom likes to garden or her dad likes cars, this is a good topic to discuss. This will help you keep the conversation flowing and show that you are interested in them.

9. Be Generous

Whether or not her parents expect you to bring gifts, be generous. This will make you seem kind and caring.

For example, if her parents invited you to dinner, buy them a bottle of wine. And if they made you stay overnight, write them a thank you note. These little things can make a big difference. They’ll appreciate the thoughtfulness. And you’ll look good doing it.

10. Write a Thank You Note

Meeting your girlfriend’s parents can feel like a major milestone in your relationship. It’s a time to step up your game, make a good impression and prove that you’re the one for her.

Writing a thank you note is an important way to show your appreciation. It also shows that you’re thoughtful and respectful. But what do you write?