meeting the parents

“Good luck meeting the parents!” is something all newly dating couples will nervously laugh at. There’s a million and one question that springs to mind before the big introduction. What are ‘appropriate’ clothes to wear? Which ‘break-the-ice’ gift do you get to impress? With all that in mind, add “we met online” to that and you’ve got yourself a really fun evening. Having been in this situation before, I thought I would pass on some pointers.

Before we get into the nitty and the gritty details of ‘how to meet the parents of your other half’, there’s a decision to make. When? When do you take the initiative of meeting his or her mom or dad? If you have met online, you’ll probably want to give it a little longer dating than you usually would before you introduce them. A few months should do it, but obviously it depends on the both of you love birds and the logistics of the situation.

Believe it or not, you’ve hit more milestones than the typical ‘Tinder-er’. You’ve both swiped right and decided to start dating, which is more than most dating app users do. So when do you meet the parents? I mean, you don’t want to go in there all guns blazing, ruin your chances with him and scare the poor guy off, do you? But, then again, showing a bit of responsibility and commitment is a good sign, isn’t it?

The details matter

So you’ve set a date! But before the nerves kick in, let’s get you something to wear. Whether you’re a guy or a gal, they say you should dress to impress. Needless to say there’s added pressure to get the outfit bang on for when the “we met online” line comes up. Girls, short skirts might have been a cute little option for your date, but this particular attire is probably exactly the sort to avoid here. Nor do you want to be revealing all your secrets with that new low cut you bought last week. Save that for a more fitting occasion, a date perhaps. Smart but chic will go a long way here. Stylish but classy will give the right impression of sense and sensibility. In a nutshell, remember that ‘almost too tight LBD’ you slayed in your online profile picture? Loosen the top, add some smart jeans and slip on the cutest dolly shoes you can find.

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The naked look might work well in certain circumstances, but definitely not this one. Let’s do your make up. I repeat, make ‘up’. Slapping on six buckets of ‘Mac Sheer Coverage’ foundation and giving your eyes the wings that are the same length of a RyanAir plane’s wings is not what I have in mind here. It might say the words ‘Sheer’ and ‘Coverage’ on the tin, but his mom won’t be inspecting your face. To stick with the makeup puns, it’s your Simple intentions she’s more concerned with. As for those eyelashes, use Benefit if you must but remember it’s not for the benefit of your new man. It’s better to not make a stamp in this case and make a nice impression. Steer away from looking like your eyelashes are the stick ons for cars. So, do keep the make-up simple, but put a little effort in when it comes to your hair. It’s Nice ‘n Easy to style. After all, ‘You’re Worth it!’ and if it goes as smooth as your hair, they’ll see that straight away.

Lads, my boyfriend has some top advice you should probably take, I mean it’s worked. Dress smartly, first impressions are everything. “She’s organised for you to meet her mum and dad, she obviously respects them, so you should too”. To add to that, I know it’s cliché but the big tip is to buy a belt. If for some reason, your new girlfriend is totally into the whole ‘I can’t afford a belt so I’ll just let them hang around my ankles’ jeans look, lovely. Good for you, even. But I can pretty much guarantee her parents won’t approve of the ‘so swag, I’m on the floor’ look. Buy a belt and save the awkward squirms.

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Catfish or a great catch?

Things are going well. Once the gift has been given, warm welcomes are made, the big question of ‘what do you do?’ has been asked and answered sufficiently, the next question is a bigg’un. “How did you meet?” Dot, dot, dot indeed. With a 2013 study in USA finding that 23% of Americans admitting that they met a long-term partner through online dating sites, this topic is inescapable. Now the technology and the Internet has made even more progress. With Bumble, Tinder and bringing both genders together, we can’t avoid that it is harder to make good impressions on such a taboo subject. Meeting the parents is one thing. Proving you are a well-intentioned, pleasant soul with no-psycho behaviour can be tough! That’s why when you introduce the topic of a new partner from the T’internet, it’s always a good idea to have pictures. Show your parents a selection of pleasant images and the key information of your new man or girl. It’s certain to reassure them in advance.

Obviously, this all seems well and good, but things do have the possibility to turn sour when one of you mentions the ‘O’ word. Online. With an abundance of newspaper articles alerting millions of parents of the rise in cyber bullying, stranger danger and cyber criminals, it’s no wonder they’re concerned about their teenage girls being victims of a dangerous and predatory catfish. Though, I’m not saying this is a females-only issue, it is a scary thought for any parent. Not many mums or dads will enjoy the news that “I’ve met a boy on an online dating site”. I’m not trying to scare you away from using online dating apps or stress you out if you’re in a similar position. I’m saying you might have to work a little harder to show his or her parents those simple, good, loving intentions. Basically, if you’re the guy, you’ve got to convince her dad you’re not a psycho. It’s a toughie, but let me tell you something. It’s not as hard as you think; just be you. If you’re the right guy, that “we met online” phrase won’t be a deal breaker for your parents. In fact, they’ll see it as a miniscule detail and give you the approval. Be a nice, respectful date for your girl and it should be as easy as that right flick of the thumb. In true Bumble style, “don’t worry, bee happy”.

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Still nervous? Worried that’s not enough for how smoothly ‘The Big Meet’ will go? Well, if I haven’t settled your jitters about how to handle the awkwardness of ‘Do I handshake or hug your dad at the door?’, then hopefully these final two tips will ease the nerves. Find out in advance to buy flowers or wine. Girls, you’ll look even more polite if you greet his mum with a bunch of flowers and guys, this might be the man who ask for permission of his daughter’s hand in marriage one day, so best foot forwards. Watch the ice break, the conversation flow and the relationship blossom. Approval check!

Katie is a fitness-loving blogger from Birmingham, United Kingdom. Follow her on Twitter and stay updated on her Facebook page.

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