Prep your boyfriend ahead of time when meeting your family

The one positive aspect of having experience with not-so-great meetings between your family and previous boyfriends is that you know what to do next time. Although some outright disasters might not leave you with better advice than simply to choose more wisely when dating, others teach you why you should prepare for the meeting well in advance.

Explain the Family Dynamic

Is your family more of the laid-back type who will be offended if your boyfriend doesn’t accept a beer and watch the game with everyone? Or are they a more conservative bunch who will be horrified if he puts his elbows on the table during dinner? You don’t often think to talk out loud about these things; but for an outsider, it can be like visiting a foreign country. Encourage your boyfriend to offer help with the cooking and cleaning, and to brush up on his knowledge of current events, if this what the family tends to talk about at the table.

Political and Religious Sensitivity

They say politics and religion are taboo subjects that should never be discussed on a first date or with a significant other’s family, but certain aspects of these beliefs are bound to make their way into the conversation sooner or later. Before your boyfriend makes a faux pas criticizing the president’s health care bill, make sure he knows your sister was a campaign advocate for him in college. Or, if it’s against your parent’s religious beliefs to use the Lord’s name in vain, make sure he knows to opt for “gosh” during family outings.

Have an Icebreaker Ready

You know what your family likes better than your boyfriend does, so take a short shopping trip before stopping by. Especially if you plan on visiting during the holidays, make his first impression count by bringing a homemade dish or some personalized gifts for the whole family. Even better, your boyfriend can break the ice before visiting your parents in person by sending some birthday flowers to your mom on her special day. You can ask him to download the app Birthday Calendar + (free on iOS) to keep all of these important dates on hand, but don’t count on him checking it. He’ll need to be reminded and that’s up to you.

Prep His Social Media Accounts

You can bet your family and friends will be creeping your boyfriend’s social media accounts before meeting — and they might even add him to Facebook or follow him on Twitter. Make sure your boyfriend increases his privacy settings to keep his most important info private, and deletes all of those drunk statuses and party pictures that aren’t quite as flattering. If family members do attempt to add him, make sure he accepts their requests right after adjusting these privacy settings, so there aren’t any awkward moments at home. Although it might seem extreme, consider making him a new account with an alias for public tweeting.

About the author: Chloe Baker

Chloe is an avid sports fan and sports marketing guru. She started her own company in 2009, and business has been picking up ever since.

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