Films and TV shows can have a bad habit of making us expect the worst from meeting a partner’s parents for the first time. It’s either going to be a series of awkwardly humorous events, or downright painful and to be avoided at all costs. Right? We like to think that whilst you might be nervous about meeting ‘the rents‘ for the first time (because let’s face it, who isn’t?), it doesn’t always have to be an emotionally scarring experience.

It’s important to gauge what kind of relationship your partner has with his parents. If he is totally at home and comfortable with them and they’re great about ‘the whole gay thing’ (as my parents say), it’s safe to say that meeting them should be a smooth ride. Sometimes it can be a little more complicated than that though. You are always going to feel pressure because you want them to like you. But you may also feel the pressure of being a gay couple.  Can you be tactile in front of them?  Is that accepted?

Try and ask these questions before you meet.  Get the ‘lo down’ on what is/isn’t allowed.  And don’t forget, you are meeting HIS parents, so there is nothing wrong with letting him lead.  If he puts his hand on your leg then take this is a sign that mum and dad are OK with that.  He’s not going to do anything to make them feel uncomfortable.  This meeting is just as important to him as it is to you.

If conversation feels a tad stale, why not take the lead and use this as an opportunity to get to learn as much about his parents as your can. Ask his parents about their home, their careers, where they enjoy visiting, your partner’s childhood (not always safe).  You probably know all this already, but questions like these are good base questions from which to build.

It’s normal to feel proud of your relationship and all of its details (well, maybe leave out some of the intimate information). Talk about how you both met, what you bonded over, places you have been together or things you have done together.

They’ll want to get to know you too don’t forget.  Where you are from, what you do, what your hobbies are… It’s almost like an interview isn’t it?  But the good thing about this is that you already have the job.