You dream about meeting the love of your life, getting married, and starting a family. Like most people, you tend to skip the difficult parts, like the crucial first meeting between you and your future in-laws. The movie depictions and personal experiences shared on social media can be enough to start a panic attack. After all, who wants a war with their in-laws?
Perhaps the biggest mistake people make going into this is setting the wrong expectations. Moderating your assumptions to realistic standards will help you handle it better.
Steer Clear of Confirmation Bias
Your partner would likely have told you plenty of things about them. It’s essential that you know their likes and dislikes and what topics to avoid to maintain a light-hearted conversation. It’s also helpful to know which champagne gift set will get you into their good graces and whether they’ll appreciate the addition of flowers.
The only downfall of overdoing it is that you become prone to confirmation bias. This is when you perceive their actions as confirmation to every good or bad thing your partner said about them. Add that your future in-laws could also be nervous or shy, and you’ll have a first meeting established on a wrong mindset.
Feel free to make your own impressions of them based on your interactions. It’s easier this way to avoid getting offensive or forming baseless ideas that they don’t like you.
Sit Tight for an Interrogation
You’re about to be a part of their family. It’s normal for them to want to know as much about you as they can. While some parents are more subtle, others tend to shoot one question after another.
Practice patience and answer honestly rather than to impress. Most of the stress people experience comes from the need to make each answer likable. If they ask personal questions, especially about your family, remember that they feel the need to know these kinds of information. It’s more likely that they do this to protect their children instead of having something to gossip about.
You’re Lucky if They Like You
There are many reasons your future in-laws may not like you, and some of them have nothing to do with you as a person. Marriage will change not only the life of their child but also theirs. They might feel protective or be in denial that their child has grown up. They can project these frustrations on you.
If it so happens they have things about you that they dislike, don’t take it to heart. Even you have stuff you don’t like about your parents and your future spouse. The crucial thing is to learn how to get along. Set your intentions straight that you love their child and are intent on a successful marriage.
Do It as Partners
Consider meeting your in-laws an excellent opportunity to know your partner better and to strengthen your relationship. Any drama involving your in-laws might be inevitable. It is knowing how to resolve issues as partners that will make the biggest impact on your marriage.