So, after all the chasing, wooing and dating, you decide to get hitched to your dream partner. But before your fairy tale romance materializes into marriage, you’ll have a crucial task to get through- meeting your future in-laws and convincing them of you as the perfect match for their beloved offspring.
It is said that marriage is not only between two individuals but it is an alliance of two families. And so, passing this ‘test’ of being observed and analyzed by your in-laws should be very important to you. Perhaps, it would be a wise idea drop the pre conceived notions that all in-laws will be domineering and understand that maybe not all mother-in laws are necessarily monster-in laws. They are clever because of experience and in no way does that imply that they’ll all have to be mean. All you need to do is to be relaxed and put your best foot forward. In fact, impressing your in-laws may not be as daunting or fearsome a task as it is made out to be if you follow a few valuable pointers:
10. Dress well
Your attire will give the first impression of the person you are and coming across as well groomed can earn you some extra brownie points. Semi formal dressing is the ideal way to go for both men and women. Ladies, you should ensure minimum skin show and avoid going overboard in the make up department unless you intend to look like a Barbie doll for the rest of your life. While for men, it would suffice to look neat and dapper. If you are meeting them for the first time, it is imperative that you dress to impress. You do not want them to form a bad opinion of you as soon as you walk in.
9. Be interested
Yes, you are here to make an impression but no, it would do you no good if all you do is talk about yourself, your life and achievements. Learn to be a good listener too. Try to get to know your in-laws, talk about their interests, dislikes and their lives. Show that you are genuinely interested in getting to know them as individuals. You will need to develop a comfort level with them and effective communication is the only way to do that. They will be pleased to see the effort you are making in building a rapport with them.
8. Compliment and appreciate
Do not make the mistake of being ignorant. Find something to compliment, whether it is the scrumptious meal cooked by your mother-in-law, the house, the decor or a piece of furniture. They have invested time and money in everything and will be glad to have their efforts appreciated and a pleasant remark here and there can make all the difference. You could even subtly appreciate the fine upbringing given by them to your spouse as parents love to know how wonderful their child is. It wouldn’t be a bad idea either to resort to a little bit of flattery.
7. Bring a present
There is no age limit to giving gifts. We all love it and your in-laws would be no exception. It does not have to be extravagant but even a bouquet of flowers and wine or an item of utility would be enough. It would be even better if you ask your partner beforehand what would make an appropriate gift. It is the thought that counts and your parents-in-law would love you for getting them a thoughtful gift. It shows that you care and going that extra mile now will be beneficial for you in the long run.
6. Ask to see photos
This serves two purposes. One, you get to see your spouse’s cherished childhood and two; it could help you and your mom-in law bond. She would love to narrate stories of her kid’s childhood accompanying each photo and this could be your golden chance to develop a connection with her and so use this opportunity to your advantage. Besides, you’ll enjoy getting to know your partner better through photos from his younger days.
5. Find commonalities
When you were a kid, you made friends much more quickly with someone who had a shared interest with you. The same applies to your in-laws too. If you have a common interest, you’ll be able to spend your time together more constructively by pursuing it. You’ll also discover varied aspects of each other’s personality and would be able to understand each other better. It will also make your conversations much easier and enjoyable. The quality time you spend now will form the foundation of your future equation with them. So, it would do you good to keep in touch with them even if you are the one who has to make the first move.
4. Do not establish monopoly over your partner
Mothers are generally wary of ‘losing’ their sons to their daughter-in-law. They fear having no influence on their son’s life and your job here should be to prove this notion false. It is natural for her to be possessive about her son, so consult her frequently, seek her advice, ask for a recipe or do whatever you can to make her feel involved. Make sure to convey her the message that you do not intend to steal her son and even after marriage, she will continue to be an important part of her son’s life and decisions. And you must mean every word you say, you’ll be caught instantly if you try to fake it.
3. Mind your manners
It is ok to loosen up later but during your initial meets with your in- laws, you need to be extra careful. How you speak, what you say and the way you behave, everything is being scrutinized intently, especially if you are a woman. Use polite and refined language as far as possible and be courteous always. Respect them and you’ll be respected in return. Offering them help whenever you can will also work in your favour as this is the time you need to need to be the best that you can be. Also to keep in mind is that you should avoid drinking too much of alcohol with them. They are definitely not the people you would want to be witnesses to your crazy side and you should refrain from getting drunk at all costs.
2. Mum’s the word
There will be numerous occasions when you and your parents- in- law will differ in opinion and ideology. It is only a natural consequence of a generation gap. The best way to handle such a situation would be, well, to keep quiet. Whether it is regarding the plans for your wedding or a general discussion on a debatable topic, there is no need to over indulge in an argument to put your point across. Learn to respond rather than react and if you cannot do that, stay quiet. Try accommodating their opinions and suggestions as much as you can even if you do not completely comply with them.
1. Treat your partner well
Your in-laws deserve to know that you care for their child or else the whole point of the tedious exercise of meeting them would go down the drain. Treat your partner with respect and say nice things about them although it should not sound exaggerated. But treating them well does not mean that you must indulge in displays of affection. Even though you maybe deeply in love and cannot keep your hands off each other, it would pay to maintain a respectable distance between the two of you in front of your elders. You are going to be bestowed with the responsibility of their child and you would not want to give them a chance to complain or doubt your capabilities.