Meeting the parents for the first time is one of the most nerve-wracking parts of dating! When you and your girlfriend are from different cultural backgrounds, it’s even trickier. There are specific expectations and cultural differences that you should be aware of, so you don’t inadvertently offend the people who might well become your family in the future. First impressions matter a lot, so you need to make sure you get it right. In this post, we share five things you should think about before meeting your Asian girlfriend’s parents for the first time.
Address her parents respectfully
In short, under any circumstances, don’t greet your Asian girlfriend’s parents by using their first names! This is a big no-no across all Asian cultures and is a mark of immediate disrespect. Talk to your Asian girlfriend about this in advance and learn what she thinks would be appropriate. You could always go with the traditional ‘Mr & Mrs,’ or you could even try ‘Auntie & Uncle.’ This might sound weird to those of us raised in the west, but it’s actually a sign of respect in most Asian cultures. Whatever you decide, consult your girlfriend first, as you don’t want to cause offence!
Dress modestly and appropriately
This isn’t rocket science. While you should be your authentic self as much as possible, don’t turn up to the first meeting with your girlfriend’s parents looking like you’ve just been out drinking with your mates. It might be difficult for her parents to understand your culture and work past some of the stereotypes they might have, so don’t give them any reason to think badly of you by dressing inappropriately. Looking smart is an easy win!
Pick up a token of your gratitude
If you’re heading over to her parent’s house for dinner for the first time, pick up a small gift to show your appreciation. This doesn’t have to be anything grandiose; it should simply show that you care about this meeting and want to make a contribution. Don’t buy wine or alcohol, even if they enjoy a drink, as this sends the wrong message. Keep it simple with a freshly baked cake or some lovely chocolates.
Don’t even think about a PDA
If you are the type of couple that usually enjoys a PDA (public display of affection), then rain it in for the big meeting! Touching or kissing your girlfriend in front of her parents is social suicide. It shows a complete lack of respect for her parents and is just not appropriate at the dinner table.
Ask open questions and listen to the answers
Even if you’re an extrovert and feel comfortable talking about yourself and your own life, the key to success when meeting your AsianDate’s parents for the first time is to ask open questions and wait to hear the answers. Asking about their lives (respectfully) and showing interest in the topics they introduce shows that you’re interested in them and want to know them. Although they will likely ask you questions about yourself, don’t forget that it’s a two-way conversation, and you should show a willingness to get to know them as well!