Meeting your partner’s parents is a scary step. Let’s go ahead and get that out of the way.

And during a stay-away-from-each-other pandemic where the meeting will inevitably have to happen over video chat: it can be, somehow, even more intimidating.

But if your sweetheart is so into you that they’re ready for the next step of parental introduction (hey, that’s a good sign!), even if it does have to mean doing it over Zoom … 

First of all: be flattered. Second of all: be prepared.

The Perks of Meeting Digitally!

The already awkward situation is made even more awkward with lack of body language and that dreaded lag. But there ARE perks to meeting each other over the internet first. I swear.

They’ll appreciate your ability to roll with the punches

And your willingness to meet them, regardless of the unusual circumstances.

It will probably be shorter 

Especially now that everyone has Zoom fatigue.

You’ll know if there’s something in your teeth

This may sound like I’m grasping for straws here, but one time I met my boyfriend’s parents for the first time and, afterwards, discovered a piece of raisin between my teeth. I mean, a big piece. They were either both too polite to tell me, or they thought I was missing the right half of my left front tooth.

Either way, the great thing about Zoom is that you can see yourself. The. Entire. Time.

And if there’s a “raisin situation,” you can remedy it immediately. And in the privacy of your own off-screen.

Why did we have to eat trail mix in the car on the way there? Why?

You don’t have to figure out whether they’re a handshake or hug family

Oh, she’s going for a handshake. Or is that a hug? Oh she thinks I’m going for a hug. Wait, am I going for a hug? Why is her hand out? Oh we are shaking hands– no, this is a hug. Okay, handshake-hug it is.

Meeting the Parents Outfit

Couple video chatting on the couch

The whole “what to wear” situation is already a dilemma when meeting your partner’s parents for the first time. And, even though you’re not in person, it still matters.

Sure, you don’t have to worry so much about donning your most politely cleavage-reducing outfit. You don’t necessarily have to worry about trying to cover up every single tattoo. Your skirt doesn’t specifically have to abide by the “fingertip” rule from high school.

But, in this case, it’s still important to wear something that makes you feel good. Yes, we’re all aware of the “professional top with pajama bottoms in a meeting” joke (you may have even done it yourself …!). Don’t forget, though: clothes DO make a difference in our attitudes.

So, when meeting your partner’s parents: keep it casual, but keep it serious. Throw on your favorite jeans and top (still, do mind the cleavage). And dress to impress yourself as much as them.

Meeting Parents for the First Time Questions

Meeting the parents for the first time

Even though meeting your partner’s parents for the first time isn’t exactly a job interview, it can kind of feel that way. And it doesn’t hurt to prepare.

Questions They Might Ask You

Frankly: be prepared to tell them about yourself. They want to get to know you, but first and foremost, they want to get to know the person their child has found significant enough to, well, “bring home.”

They’ll want to know what you do for work. If you have any hobbies. How you two met. What your family is like.

Psst: don’t think of it as though you’re getting grilled. They’re simply just as interested in getting to know you as you are about getting to know them.

Questions You Can Ask Them

Be sure, however, to bring your own curiosities to the table. Where are they from? What do they do? How are they faring during the pandemic?

And hey! Feel free to turn the questioning around on them. How did they meet?

Oh, and yes: keep the controversial chatter (like, say, politics) to a minimum.

Pro Tip: Try Not to Do All the Talking!

Hey. Some people are nervous talkers. It’s generally a charming trait, and yes, you’re perfect just the way you are.

But an overtalker on Zoom can be extremely distracting (in an already distracting – not to mention unconventional – setting). So, if you feel yourself getting a bit too chatty: throw out a question, sit back, and … listen!

Some Other Things to Keep in Mind When Meeting Your Partner’s Parents … 

Meeting your partner's parents over Zoom

Leave Your Phone Out of This

It can be all-too-tempting to grab your phone in the middle of, say, a lull, or a conversation that doesn’t pertain to you. Since they won’t see it (you may reason to yourself), what’s the harm in checking up on Instagram stories or chiming in on the group text?

But scanning the screen will immediately take your brain out of the current situation and into another focus. It will be harder to get back into the conversation at hand. Plus, you may think the topic isn’t relevant to you: but paying attention may give you fodder for further conversation.

And, though they may not notice the phone itself, they will notice the sudden zone out. Which speaks volumes. Especially to parents.

Be Aware When Interacting with Your Partner

You both may be on the couch for this Zoom call, and in this situation, it’s probably instinctual to snuggle. Especially if you’re in a less-than-comfortable setting. But be aware of the too-close or the PDA.

Just like you never wanted to see it with your parents, they never want to see it with their kids. Even if it isn’t in person.

And Most Importantly?

Be. Your. Self! Your partner already likes you enough to introduce you to their family. For most parents, that’s enough for them to like you too.