The dreaded first date with his parents can be an issue. Whether you will meet a kind woman or not (not all boyfriend moms look at you as an intruder and will do anything to prove that you are not fit for her precious son), here are the ten golden rules that must be followed when you meet your potential future mother in law for the first time.
1. Use the three Cs
- Compliment the outfit she wears
- Compliment the food
- Compliment the son
It’s that simple. Not to be confused with flattery: find things you actually appreciate. If she serves sandwiches with salami, it would be exaggerated to say it’s the best salami you’ve ever eaten.
2. Forget what interests you
The conversation is all about her. Rhythmic gymnastics? You love it! Greece? Never been, but you always wanted to go there. Patisserie? It’s fascinating! It is a mistake to turn the subject to a formula like “And something similar happened to me”. First, because it’s better to know things about her than her about you, and secondly, she will love your interest and modesty.
3. Watch your language
No matter how bohemian she looks like, do not swear, do not bare your belly, and whatever you do, do not mention drugs and alcohol. No “it only happened once in Amsterdam” or “when I was 16” stories. These could sound like “the worst daughter-in-law in the world” stories for her.
4. Does is sound like a family quarrel?
Common sense would be to stay out because you do not want to bring home some of the scandal, but if you dare to get involved, get on her side without any doubt! This will bring many advantages in the relation with her in the future: she will never forget an ally.
5. Ask for advice
Moms always known best and they like to be told that. Feel free to ask for her advice. We’re not talking about telling her about some personal problems with her son. Stick to the little things: how does she keep her flowers so pretty, how can she cook beef so perfectly. A compliment and asking for advice at the same time.
6. Act interested
Ask as many questions you can (do not exaggerate, of course) because you will find interesting things and it will leave her less time to questioned you. “Tell me, what is the most beautiful memory that you have with X when he was little?” If you start with the childhood questions, she will have much to tell.
7. Avoid public display of affection
Any points you have earned till then with a good first impression, you will lose immediately after she sees you on top of her little boy. Save the kisses and hugs and touching for the ride home.
8. Mother wants to believe that she knows her own son better than you
When it comes to his favorite food or his bad habits, it’s better to let her tell you about them. Act like you are trying to memorize them, even if you have very different opinions and you’re not going to do what she says.
9. Don’t go empty handed
It doesn’t have to be an expensive or extravagant gift, but it would still be advisable not to go empty-handed. In order not to fail, you could ask your boyfriend what his mother prefers. Do not venture to buy her clothes, knick-knacks or books, because it is quite risky since you do not know her. But you can easily go for a bunch of flowers (her favorite would be ideal), a box of chocolates or, why not, a bottle of wine, if the meeting takes place at home.
10. Don’t take things personal
And last but not least, remember that besides the great mysteries of the universe (Big Bang, black holes, antimatter), the relationship between mother and son was been much discussed and debated, so if your mother-in-law is behaving strangely with you, do not take it personally. She just wants what is best for her son and you have to convince her that you are. Not on the first date. In time.