10 Ways to Win Over Your Partner’s Parents This Thanksgiving

meet_the_parentsImage via IMDB

You know the relationship is serious when you’re spending any major holiday with your significant other’s family. Sure, you may have met them briefly once or twice before, but something like Thanksgiving is the battleground where approval can be won or lost forever. So follow these ten simple rules to ensure your partner’s parental units will be glad to call you family (even if you’re not sure you want them as in-laws).

  1. Bring some sort of contribution to the festivities. A bottle of wine is good — even better if you pair it with a nice dessert or some flowers.
  2. Do not make your hosts do all the drudge work in the conversation — ask questions, be interested, fake it if you have to.
  3. Always ask the family members preparing the meal if there is anything, anything at all, you can do to help, even if the game is on.
  4. The occasional hand-holding and peck on the cheek is fine, but resist any further physical displays of affection. To be safe, you should engage in no more PDA than your partner’s parents do.
  5. When you sit down to eat, listen to your own mother’s voice in your head: put your napkin in your lap; wait for everyone to be seated and served before eating; chew with your mouth closed; don’t gesture with your silverware; don’t use your fingers or fork to dislodge food stuck between your teeth; and never reach across someone at the table — just say “Would you please pass the [blank]?”
  6. No cellphones or Blackberries at the table. If you absolutely, positively must take a call, keep your phone on vibrate, but for heaven’s sake don’t whip it out. Wait for an appropriate pause in the conversation to excuse yourself from the table.
  7. No burping. If it can’t be avoided, nonchalantly use your napkin to muffle the closed-mouth emission. And, please, for the love of all that is holy, excuse yourself to the bathroom when you realize the bean dip was a mistake.
  8. Engage in appropriate dinner conversation. That means avoiding sex, politics and the boil you just had removed from your butt.
  9. You must assist with the clean-up. To lazily lounge around by the TV or play with the X-box while your hosts wash and dry the dishes is just plain rude. And guys, remember that this is the twenty-first century: clean up is not the women’s duty.
  10. Always thank your hosts for a lovely Thanksgiving, even if you had a terrible time.


  1. Jo Ann,

    Perhaps it is because you are not intelligent enough to work the shift key and all of your I’s are lowercase. Your sentence structure is that of a 10 year old with a learning disability. I wouldn’t take you to the dog park.

  2. I wanted to say that i have a problem with my boyfriend i dont know if he is serious because he doesnt want to invite me to his thanksgiving with family. He says that he doesnt know what there going to do and make up excuses.

Comments are closed.