Here it goes, you are at the point of creating a family with your partner and your head goes spinning while trying to take care of all the preparations. However, there’s still one moment of frustration and anxiety – the meeting of future in-laws.
It is often a win-it-or-lose-it encounter, as they either find common ground or start off on the wrong foot.
Obviously, everyone wants to make the best impression as the family connection makes everyone close, creating a feeling of unity. Yet it’s important not to overvalue such meetings, their result can’t influence you as a couple.
1. Do the Research
Before setting up the date and venue it’s important to learn the background of the parents, the family culture, the interests, and outlook on life.
Such details will help both of you to navigate the meeting. If the parents are divorced and hold the grudge against each other, it is recommended to hold separate meetings or to agree on manners and behavior.
Another important issue is the sensitive topics as they can turn a friendly meeting into a political dispute at a stroke.
2. Decide on the Venue
The most winning option is definitely a quiet restaurant or a cafe, avoiding the ones that are located near bustling squares and crowded places, as the conversation will always be interrupted.
Luckily, London knows no shortage of them. Before booking the table it’s crucial to learn the menu and make sure that everyone will have something to choose from. It’s also worth going for a classic design, as it will not cause any visual annoyance.
Setting up parents at home is also a good idea because there will be just you, the families that are soon to be united. However, it will require more preparation and time.
First of all, cleaning. You don’t want your parents and future in-laws to see all the ugly truth about you. Considering all the fuss you are both now undergoing, it’s better not to get involved in all the cleaning matters and hire a cleaning company.
The professionals will do everything quicker and you will not have to blush over the specks of dirt on the windows, or stains on the floor.
A deep cleaning by Islington cleaners will free you from at least one burden.
Secondly, food. If you are good at cooking, you can demonstrate all your skillfulness, however, it’s important to be attentive to the choice of the product. If the top level of your cooking skills is making an omelet, there is always a takeaway option, which is sometimes life-saving.
Depending on the backgrounds of the family, it may be a good idea to have an outing together, closer to nature, have a BBQ family party along with a friendly talk.
People are typically more relaxed when being outdoors, so such surroundings will definitely benefit the first encounter.
3. Be Yourself
These people are going to become your family quite soon, and the desire to make everyone happy is obvious.
However, avoid all the jumping through hoops, as such behaviour will make people uncomfortable.
Be yourself, tell jokes, and take an active part in the conversation, however, don’t steal someone’s initiative, share the ground.
4. Forget About the Smartphone
Instant messaging may be an integral part of life, however, our parents typically don’t share the same opinion. The meeting of families mustn’t include all the other people waiting for your response.
When you use the phone while having a face-to-face meeting, it is simply disrespectful and can become a matter of an ‘after-party’ dispute.
You can use it just to take photos, share some specific moments with your partner, or exchange phone numbers; everything else can wait.
5. Make Parents the Central Point of the Conversation
Make parents the central part of all the talking, let them share their moments and memories, as it will let them feel important and appreciated and you will understand your partner better. It is always great to listen to their family stories, about first dates (if the couples aren’t divorced), and pleasant episodes with kids.
Such conversation will create a heart-warming and trustful atmosphere, which is what we really need for such gatherings.
6. No Complaints
If you and your partner share an unpleasant moment, it’s definitely not the time to confront them, just keep these things private (during other meetings as well).
First of all, it will make the whole atmosphere tense, secondly, it will make the idea of a wedding doubtful.
All these meet-and-greet moments are an important part of becoming one family. Obviously, people get anxious and not every time people can start on a positive note. However, it’s not the end of the world, as it takes time to build up relationships.
There are two main people in your world – you and your partner. Enjoy this pre-marital time together, as it is simply priceless.