Meet the Parents: Helping your Partner Survive their First Encounter

 Helping your partner survive their first encounter with your parents doesn't have to be a nightmare. It can bring you closer together.

Christmas time is here and you know what that means! Hundreds of couples are introducing the person they are dating to their parents. Meeting someone's parents usually means they are serious about the relationship and could possibly want to take things to the next level. It's one of the most exciting and nerve wrecking parts of a relationship. What if they don't like him? Will they show her embarrassing baby pictures of me? Will they say something crazy and make him want to run for the hills? To help make your experience a little easier, I've created this guide to helping your partner survive their first encounter with your family.

Stay by their side, at least for the first couple of hours

The worst thing you can do is introduce your girlfriend or fiancé to your family and leave her alone with them as you run off on an errand or something. She'll be nervous enough, worrying about how she'll be received and possibly judged by your family members. No amount of words will change these fears but your presence can work wonders! Tell her everyone's name, hold her hand and stay right there by her side until she's comfortable. Depending on what your family is like, it might be best not to leave her alone with them until the 2nd or 3rd visit.

Help them get on your parents' good side

You know your parents' interests, pet peeves and deal breakers. Use this to your advantage to make sure your man is viewed in the best light possible. Help him pick out a gift that your Dad would love like a limited edition case of craft beer, adding the suggestion of splitting it during tonight's football game. Give them a quick run down of the dos and don'ts of navigating your parents' home. Your boyfriend will appreciate evading offensive actions like wearing shoes in the living room or leaving his coat out on the sofa. Not only that, but your mom will see him as considerate and respectful.

Share a story about your partner that gives them mad props

You can get in front of the long string of questioning from your mother by telling engaging stories about your girlfriend. Don't just say she's a caring person. Tell mom how she nursed you back to health after you got the flu last semester. Brag about how she's excelling at university or work. Your parents will still ask her more questions but they'll likely be to get her to talk more about what they just heard. It will be so much easier for her to talk about those experiences in comparison to answering the tough open ended questions.

In the spirit of the holidays, Gernelle Nelson is now offering Lovers Mini Sessions all December long. Instead of taking awkward photos together at the department store, get captured doing something fun with the one you love. Take a stroll beneath the canopy of Christmas lights at the nearby shopping complex. Share a cup of coffee on the porch in front of a cozy fire pit. Put up your holiday decorations. These are the kinds of photos you'll cherish forever. If that sounds like something you want for your own lovers session, contact me today to set something up. New Years will be here before you know it!

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