Spending time with your boyfriend’s family, especially if you don’t know them very well, can be extremely terrifying. Lucky for you, though, I’ve spent an abnormal amount of time watching my family members bring their own significant others around (one of the perks of a big family) and I’ve observed exactly what to say and do to make your time spent at the family events just a little bit easier!
The beauty of the 21st century and the Internet age is that we have access to information on almost anyone just by typing their name into the Facebook search bar. Learn a little bit more about your boyfriend’s family if you really don’t know anything about them. It’ll give you a chance to learn what will and won’t fly when you’re with them.
I sincerely can’t stress how important dressing nicely is, especially at a family event. As much as we all wish it weren’t true, a huge part of our first impressions of someone is based on appearances. I cannot tell you how many times my cousins have showed up with significant others to family events who weren’t dressed appropriately for the event we were at. I think it goes without saying that they never made it to another event after that.
If he has a sister that you’ve met before, or you know one of his cousins through a mutual friend, make a priority to connect with them. If you can get in with one person in the family, making friends with the rest of the family will immediately be easier. The more people in the family that like you, the easier it will be to stick around!
You know from seeing it with other couples that there’s nothing more annoying than a couple that can’t be separated. Don’t be that couple, even though it can be tempting when you’re around a ton of new people you don’t know. If you’re able to be on your own around his family, they’ll really love you! There’s nothing nicer than when someone can feel comfortable around your family with or without their significant other!
Just because you’re trying to be open and trying to get to know his family does not mean that you should share too much. In fact, have criteria in place. If it’s something you wouldn’t say to, say, your parents and their friends, don’t mention it at the dinner table. There’s a time and a place for everything, and there’s a slim chance that this is the place for the story about the week you spent in Mexico senior year of college.
A lot of the time it’s just a personality trait, but when put in a new situation with a bunch of people you want to impress, it’s so easy to come on too strong. Fight that urge. I can’t even tell you how often my family and I roll our eyes at the significant others that our family members bring home, simply because they’ve come on so strong that it’s obvious. Don’t be that person.
On that note, be yourself and they’ll love you! Don’t stress about being someone that you’re not. Focus on being exactly who you are (albeit a slightly more toned down version if you’re usually loud) and I’m sure that his family will love you and you’ll be able to get through the event with little-to-no issues.
How do you deal at your boyfriend’s family events? Let me know in the comments!
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