Things to Avoid When Meeting Your Partner’s Parents
That moment when you meet the parents of your partner for the very first time can be quite intimidating. According to Danny Gibson, a family and marriage therapist, the first impression can most times be a lasting one. Gibson mentioned that when someone exhibits one or all of certain bad behaviors on such an occasion, the person puts himself or herself at the risk of having the parents of the partner have some emotional barriers. That can make the process of establishing their long-term relationship a bit more difficult.
Ensuring that you make a good first impression is therefore important. Gibson, as well as other marriage therapists, have shared some behaviors people should avoid when they are meeting their prospective in-laws.
Excessive Public Display of Affection
There is absolutely nothing wrong with publicly displaying your affection for your loved one. However, there is the appropriate place and time for that, and when you are in front of your in-laws might not be the best for that. According to Jamie Goldstein, a psychologist, simple acts such as holding hands and light touches are sweet manners of communicating your respect and care for your partner and also their parents.
2. Meeting them when you are wasted
Gibson said it’s wrong to meet your partner’s parents when you are intoxicated or go ahead to get intoxicated the first time you meet them. According to Gibson, it sends them a signal test you are unable to make right decisions and you are also not able to control yourself. He added that you need to be coherent, authentic and present when you are meeting them and you can’t do any of that in an intoxicated state.
3. Talking about controversial topics
It is advised that you don’t talk about controversial topics such as politics, intimacy or religion. Even if you and your partner actually have similar views, you shouldn’t assume their parents share similar views. In fact, in a case where you are aware that you share similar views with them, some still deem bringing up the topics, in that case, a poor decision.
Talking about intimacy or your intimacy life isn’t also right. Even in a case where they actually bring up such talks, you shouldn’t contribute till your relationship with them is more solid. According to Gina Delucca, avoid talking or making references to your sex life as most of them would rather not hear about it.
4. Telling lies or exaggerating
According to Kurt Smith, pretending to be who you are not is a terrible mistake and it may cause your mate to get upset. There is a probability that you’ll get discovered and that can have an adverse effect on your relationship. Smith noted that provided that your partner is okay with who you are that should suffice for the parents as well.
5. Remaining on your phone
According to Janet Brito, a sex therapist, and psychologist, you should avoid remaining glued to your phone, going through social media, checking mails and texting. This may send a message to your partner’s parents that you do not have an interest in knowing them better.
6. Being close-minded
Samantha Rodman opined that your partner is an entirely different person who has a background different from yours. You should endeavor to meet them with a totally open mind. Do not expect your partner’s parents to turn out to be like yours. Being impatient or intolerant with their own perspectives can ruin your chances of subsequently building a close relationship with them.
7. Leaving them to clear the table
According to Brito, do not sit after dinner and expect them to be the ones clearing the table for you. Brito suggested offering to help them clean up. Not doing this might send them the message that you won’t make a good team player.
8. Talking about money
Smith noted that talking about money isn’t ideal and can come off as rude. As soon as you have established a connection first, quite a number of people will be okay telling you how much it costs to get their watch. However, when meeting people a first time the best approach is to stay off financial matters.
9. Talking all about yourself
According to another expert, while the parents of partners are most likely interested in knowing more about you, that doesn’t mean they are interested in listening to just the story of your life for the entire period. It is advised that you try to strike a balance in conversation. You can do that by asking them different questions that indicate you also have interest in knowing them.
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