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meet the parents

The agonising awkwardness of meeting your other half's parents for the first time

They didn’t make a whole three films based on the experience for nothing, y’know.

MEETING YOUR OTHER half’s parents for the first time is an event very few people look forward to – unless you’re one of those unflappable sorts, immune to awkwardness (if those people even exist).

For the rest of us, it’s a minefield of social conventions, overly formal dinners and barely concealed discomfort.

If you can crack the first meeting, you’ll be laughing. But it’s a tough nut to crack.

The agonising reveal

When each of you tell your parents about your new relationship. “Eh, mam. I’m seeing someone.”

You really need to psyche yourself up for this, because you know what’s coming next…

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The endless invasive questions

They come in a barrage, before the words have even left your mouths.

mammyquestions Shutterstock Shutterstock

And then, the most worrisome one: “WHEN CAN WE MEET THEM?” So you’ll have to set a date now, won’t you?

worrying-gif Thats-normal Thats-normal

The panic over the greeting

Shaking the father’s hand is a given, but what about the mother?

A handshake might do, but then there’s always the possibility she’ll throw a curveball at you and go in for a kiss on the cheek.

cheek kiss Flickr / Simon Blackley Flickr / Simon Blackley / Simon Blackley

Then there’s the fear that you’ll be caught awkwardly in the middle, shaking hands while pecking each other’s cheeks.

The selective truth-telling

So how did you two meet? Oh y’know, mutual friends.

howwemet Shutterstock Shutterstock

(You drunkenly shifted each other on a night out, he bought you garlic chips after and shared your single bed. Romance.)

The worry-inducing dinner

The parents will definitely want to cook for you. What if it’s mank? Will you have to pretend you love cauliflower? You’re sure it’s clear from the look in your eyes that you don’t REALLY like her dad’s peas.

cabbage Flickr / SaucyGlo Flickr / SaucyGlo / SaucyGlo

The “Do I be myself?” dilemma

There’s a chance your other half’s parents won’t understand the subtle dynamics of your relationship.

You think your banter is playful, but his parents are concerned that you appear to be bullying their son.

laughingbeach Flickr / craigallyn Flickr / craigallyn / craigallyn

The nerve-shattering after dinner chat

Here’s where the parents will get down to the business of grilling you about your life.

It’s important to have a substantial bit prepared on work, your house, your college degree and your own family, lest the conversation wither away to nothing.

sittingroom Flickr / Adam Tinworth Flickr / Adam Tinworth / Adam Tinworth

DO NOT let the conversation wither away to nothing.

miley-awkward-gif Wordpress Wordpress

The puzzle of the sleeping situation

If your significant other lives farther away, you may have to stay over – but not in the same bed, obviously.

The visitor usually gets the childhood bedroom, with its infinite potential to embarrass the former owner, while the other gets the uncomfortable couch.

bearsbedroom Flickr / katsniffen Flickr / katsniffen / katsniffen

The relief of goodbye

Breakfast has been eaten, the car has been packed, and both parties can hardly hide their relief that the visit is over.

Hopefully a cheeky phone call home later will confirm this one was a success. Go now in peace, and hope that the next visit (if there is one) is a little more relaxed.

seeyasss Flickr / 416style Flickr / 416style / 416style

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