Meeting her family for the first time? Here are four things to absolutely avoid

If you have been going steady with your lady for the last few months, she could already be bugging you to meet her parents and since it is the holidays, you have no excuse. This can be a stressful event and you’re justified to be nervous about making a stellar first impression. You don’t want to be branded “the dumbass our daughter used to go out with”. You want to earn their approval.

Unfortunately for you, their protective instincts are kicked into high gear. They want to make sure their precious little girl bags herself the best guy available. No matter how delightful and charming you are, they will have their BS detector cranked up high. You’ll need to bring your A game if you want to hit it off with them and have them singing your praises after you’ve left. Here are a few tips to help you win over her folks:

Dress like a man: The fastest way to lose her parents’ respect is to show up looking like a slob or an overgrown teenager. First impressions are everything. Lose the graphic tees, ripped baggy jeans and dirty beat-up sneakers. Opt instead for a simple, sharp and masculine look. It doesn’t necessarily mean you have to wear a suit. You can look well-dressed in casual wear.

Just keep it sharp and polished. This means fitting attire with no embellishments and no big logos. Pay attention to your footwear too. People notice such stuff. Instead of your everyday sneakers, try classy loafers for that sophisticated look. Also, lose that ridiculous ‘no-shave-November’ beard you’re still holding on too.

Play to your strengths: You don’t want to sound like a loser to her parents. Even if you’re not doing as well as you may like in life, aim to show them the best version of yourself. Instead of focusing on your dead-end job or your boring life, give it a positive spin. When talking about your work, rather than talking about the boring tasks you’re assigned, talk about how you’re working to move up that corporate ladder. Don’t make yourself sound like a slacker. You want to make them see you as responsible, hard-working gentleman worthy of their daughter. It is just like a job interview. Play to your strengths!

Be gracious: As they say, manners maketh a man. Grace is a sense of fitness and propriety. It is also a disposition to be generous and helpful. Make a conscious effort to be pleasant, benevolent and courteous. Speak to her parents respectfully. Think before you speak. Learn to say, “Please,” “Thank you,” “No, thank you,” “Mr ____,” and “Mrs_____.” Show appreciation for the ways in which her parents will try to make you comfortable or accommodate your preferences. Be gracious to everyone, not just her parents, otherwise you will be perceived as a pretentious phony.

Keep pda to a minimum: Needless to say, no matter how handsy you and your partner are, her parents don’t want to witness you groping her. Keep your hands to yourself during your meeting with them. Do not attempt to initiate any kind of romantic touching at this time. It is okay to put your arm around her or hold her hand, but anything beyond that is not recommended. The last thing you want to do is make her folks feel awkward because you couldn’t keep your hands to yourself. Remember that they still think of her as their innocent little girl. Do not make it too obvious that you have taken away that innocence.