This is the first time in a long time where I will be meeting a girlfriend’s family.  Since she is an only-child, it will be just she and I and her parents.

I’m excited and nervous at the same time.  Excited because I’m in love with her and I’m curious to know more about her through her family but nervous because I want them to like me and accept me.

There are plenty of articles on the web that lay out tips for meeting your girlfriend’s family and in particular, her parents, so I won’t bore you with that.  What I WILL do is hone in on some of the less obvious things and help you prepare mentally.

First of all, just do a little prep.  Ask your girlfriend questions about each member of her family, what they do, what their personality is like, interests, etc.  This will give you easy conversation starters.  Then ask how her family interacts.  Do they joke around?  Are they brutally honest?  This will help you ease into the interaction.

Next, circulate.  Don’t be afraid to talk with individual family members on your own.  You don’t need her to lead you around and certainly don’t cling to her.  Pretend it’s a party and you’re just getting to know the people there.

It’s okay to make physical contact. Just keep it respectful – hand-holding and perhaps a hug or two.  Just be careful of making contact too frequently.  If you don’t let go of her hand, it will reveal insecurity.

It’s okay to be nervous and show it.  This can be endearing.  It tells her family you really care about her and want to make a good impression.  And let’s face it, that’s the most important thing.  Her family, first and foremost, wants to know that you care for her and will treat her right.  Trying too hard during your first meeting is better than coming off as unsure or ambivalent.

Last point – make sure you’re ready for this.  If you’re unsure, it’s probably because you’re unsure about the relationship and if that’s the case, just be honest with her.  Tell her you’re not ready.  Meeting her family is a serious step so you should have serious feelings for her before going down this road.

Now let’s talk about what’s going on in your head.

What are you thinking?

Here’s one of my thoughts – “I want them to like me”.

When I think it, I feel nervous, which leads me to do things like being helpful, offering to help clean-up, etc.  That leaves me hopeful that they like me.

While it sounds constructive and it’s certainly okay to be nervous, I’d rather be feeling the opposite – calm.  A thought that makes me feel that way is “I can’t control what they think about me” so I’m going to focus on that.

It’s not being indifferent but rather acknowledging that I can only be myself and it’s up to them whether they like me or not.

What are you thinking about meeting her family?  How does that make you feel?

Not sure?

Take a few minutes to write down your thoughts down and it should be apparent pretty quickly.

More so than any tips I can offer, it’s important to know what you’re thinking.  If those thoughts are driving negative feelings, you have a choice.

You can choose to think something else… and feel better meeting her family as a result!

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