"I'm really looking forward to meeting your Mom and Dad!"
No man in the history of mankind has ever had those words leave his lips, and if he has then he was undoubtedly lying in the hopes that his girlfriend would believe him to be a calm, confident alpha male rather than the quivering, nervous wreck he becomes when confronted by the challenge of spending an entire afternoon trying to convince her parents that her dating him isn't a terrible mistake.
Here are Crave Online's top Dos and top Do Nots when meeting the parents:
DO: Shake Hands and Kiss Cheeks
Upon first arrival it is important that you must greet her parents correctly, so shake her Father's hand and politely kiss her Mother on the cheek.
DON'T: Bump Fists and Hug
Pimp-limping over to her Father, bellowing "YO WASSUP DADDY?!" and then proceeding to bump his fist and hug him like he's just bought you a shot of sambuca will probably not earn you an invite to the dinner table next Sunday.
DO: Talk About Yourself
The one thing you are told to never do on a first date is talk about yourself too much, but that shouldn't be the case when meeting the 'rents. While you don't want to risk sounding like a Wikipedia page by exhaustively listing your personal achievements, throwing a couple of humble brags into the conversation will help you on your way to impressing them.
DON'T: Talk About Their Daughter
They've known their daughter for a while now. In fact, they've known her for as long as she's been inhaling oxygen. This means that whatever you say about her, they probably already know it (unless it's about that cute little mole on her right bumcheek, but it's probably best that you don't talk about that anyway).
DO: Be Opinionated
No one likes a man who has developed a nasty rash on his buttocks from sitting on the fence for too long, so when you are asked to share your opinions on certain topics don't be afraid to politely and respectfully give your two cents.
DON'T: Bring Politics or Religion into the Conversation
It's said that two things you should never talk about at the dinner table are politics and religion and there's a reason for that – while you may be under the impression that everyone is as forward-thinking and logical as you, there is still the chance that her Mother is a neo-Nazi. Do you really want to risk getting into a conversation about that?
DO: Be Charming
You've been forced to sit through enough romantic-comedies by now to know what a charming and charismatic man does, so now's the time that all of that money wasted on crap Matthew McConaughey movies finally comes into good use. Make sure you brush your teeth good before you meet them because the next 4-5 hours of your life are gonna involve a lot of shit-eating grins.
DON'T: Be Yourself
All dating advice, whether it be online, in a magazine or otherwise, features the tip "just be yourself". Complete bollocks. If you were to actually "be yourself" when meeting her parents you'd wind up alienating/offending them after discussing the Star Wars blu-ray changes with her Dad whilst making a myriad of sexist sandwich jokes to her Mom. Tips telling you to "be yourself" are assuming that what you are is Hugh Grant, but as you are not Hugh Grant you're just going to have to spend the afternoon being a pale imitation of him.