How to Act in Front of Your Parents with Your First Girlfriend

Four Methods:Talking About your RelationshipInteracting with your Girlfriend in Front of your ParentsTalking with your Parents and your GirlfriendDoing Activities with your Parents and your Girlfriend

Why do you never seem to know how to act around your girlfriend and your parents? You care deeply about them, yet when you're all together it just feels awkward. In reality, this is a really normal feeling, especially when you are just starting dating. It's natural to feel this way, but there are a few steps that you can take to make sure that the interaction goes smoothly!

Method 1
Talking About your Relationship

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    Talk to your parents. Even if your parents have already met your girlfriend, it's a good idea to reference your girlfriend every now and then and to tell them a little bit about her. Your parents probably are curious about her and they may have questions about your relationship. It's best to clear these up before you all spend time together because that way your parents will feel more familiar with her.[1]
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    Mention your girlfriend from time to time. If something comes up that relates to your girlfriend's interests or skills, mention her in conversation. Slipping your girlfriend into your everyday conversation will show your parents that she is someone special in your life.
    • For example, if your girlfriend does ballet and you see an ad in the paper about a dance performance, say something like "Sarah would love that; she is a really talented ballerina." Your parents want to know that you are serious about your girlfriend.
    • If you only talk about your girlfriend when she is around, your parents may not think you are very serious about her and they may not put as much effort into talking with her or getting to know her, which will make interacting with them when she is around less easy.
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    Talk to your girlfriend. It also is a good idea to talk with your girlfriend about your parents. Even if you've already spent time together, she probably has some questions about them. Everyone's parents are different. Tell your girlfriend about your parents and the way that you were brought up. If, for instance, your family is very religious and she is not, it might be best to tell her to avoid certain topics. [2]

Method 2
Interacting with your Girlfriend in Front of your Parents

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    Don't overdo the PDA. This is your first girlfriend, and you want your parents to understand how much she means to you. However, this doesn't mean acting the same way you do around your girlfriend when you're both alone together. Overdone PDA can cause the interaction to be a lot more uncomfortable for your parents, and it could affect their view of the relationship.
    • If you want to show your girlfriend your support and affection, put your arm around her or give her hand a squeeze. This is a mature level of physical interaction between a couple and will not make your parents uncomfortable.
    • Avoid prolonged kissing or touching. Although this might be normal for the two of you around others, this is not a good way to act around your parents. They will appreciate your maturity if you abstain from this kind of behavior around them. [3]
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    Act respectfully towards your girlfriend. It's important to show your parents that you respect your girlfriend. Do not tease, yell or swear around her in any way. You may be feeling vulnerable or even confused about how to act in this interaction. It's important to remember that your girlfriend is probably feeling the same way! Make sure that you treat her with support and respect and make her proud to be dating you.
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    Don't talk about personal things with your parents around. Although you and your girlfriend may talk together about every topic under the sun, there are just certain things that your parents don't want to hear. Keep everything G-rated when they are around. Talk to your girlfriend in the same way your would talk to a close friend and keep the conversation family friendly.

Method 3
Talking with your Parents and your Girlfriend

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    Don't ignore your parents. If your girlfriend is coming over to your house, don't immediately invite her upstairs without talking to your parents first. Even though it may be awkward to chat with your parents with your girlfriend there, having your girlfriend and your parents talk is actually a way to make it more comfortable in the future. The more they get to know each other the less strange it will feel every time she comes over.
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    Don't be rude to your parents. Even if you are feeling weird or awkward, be respectful of your parents. Your girlfriend will appreciate that you have a good relationship with your parents and that you are acting mature. It will also make the situation a lot more comfortable because it will make your parents want to put forth effort into talking to you and your girlfriend. It could also save you the embarrassment or your parents calling you out in front of her!
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    Stay positive. A good way to ensuring a good interaction is to stick to positive subject matters. No one wants to feel depressed, and sometimes when depressing subjects come up they cause a lull in the conversation. Plus, your parents want to know that you and your girlfriend make each other happy. Instead of talking about heavy or upsetting topics, talk about more happy subject matters.
    • One good thing you can talk about is a funny story that involves both of you. This puts your relationship in a positive light and will put a smile on everyone's face!
    • Smile when you're talking. You may feel really awkward but smiling is a way to put everyone at ease. Studies even show that smiling can improve your mood and makes you feel more relaxed![4]
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    Talk about your girlfriend. Your parents are curious about your girlfriend! They want to know more about her and are excited to be meeting her. When you are all talking together, mention something positive about her, whether it be a talent or an interest of hers. This will give you all something to talk about, and will let you parents interact with your girlfriend. It can also help to take some of the pressure off of you if are still feeling nervous!
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    Talk about things you've done together. This is a great topic if you are looking for things to talk about. Because it involves your girlfriend, she will be able to contribute to the conversation so the burden won't just be on you. Aside from having something to talk about, studies show that talking about shared experiences is a great way for couples to strengthen their relationship. [5]
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    Ask questions. This is a tried and true way of getting any conversation off the ground. If you feel like you don't know what to talk about with your parents and your girlfriend, ask your parents a question! This keeps the ball rolling in the conversation and takes the focus from you. Even asking your parents about how their day went or what's for dinner will lead the conversation in a direction, and will allow your girlfriend to jump in to the conversation. [6]

Method 4
Doing Activities with your Parents and your Girlfriend

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    Get input about what everyone wants to do. Rather than picking out an activity by yourself, it's a good idea to check with the group and see what everyone wants to do. Make sure to do something that everyone is comfortable with. If your dad hates heights, don't suggest something that would put him in an uncomfortable position. Make sure that everyone is on board and excited about the activity.
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    Decide on something to do. Try to reach a consensus about what would be the best activity for all of you. Although it might seem daunting to go do something with your girlfriend and your parents, it has the potential of being a great bonding experience. Doing things together creates memories between all of you and can make everyone feel closer to each other and more comfortable in the future. [7]
    • Just because you are choosing to do an activity, it does not need to be something incredibly exciting or time-consuming. Even having dinner could be a good thing to do all together. Other options could be talking a walk around the neighborhood or seeing a play or movie together. An activity that involves physical exertion is always a good option, as studies show that exercise increases your mood. Pick an activity that you feel suits you all best. [8]
    • Go for something casual over something fancy. You want to feel at ease when you are all doing something together. A casual setting can help you to relax, while a formal one might make you feel nervous or stiff.
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    Pay attention to your parents and your girlfriend. Although some activities can be engaging or exciting, make sure that you don't get too wrapped up! After all, this is supposed to be a time when your girlfriend and parents are getting to know each other. You are the common denominator between them, so don't forget about your role as a bridge between them [9]
    • Make sure that you are not paying attention only to your girlfriend or only to your parents. If you are at dinner, make sure everyone is included in the conversation. If you and your girlfriend are on the same ping-pong team, for example, make sure to talk to your parents as well.
    • Try to keep up conversation between your parents and your girlfriend. Just because you are all doing an activity, that doesn't mean you can't talk! If you are playing a game, talk about how its going, it doesn't have to be anything deep!
    • Don't be too competitive. Maybe you're a naturally competitive person. Or maybe your mom always beats you at bowling and you're finally winning for once. It's important not to be competitive when you are doing activities with your parents and your girlfriend. The point of doing something together is to bond, not to win. Try to remember that even if you have a competitive urge.
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    Check in with everyone. Make sure that they are all enjoying the activity that you are doing. If one of them looks like they aren't having fun, go over to them and check up with them. If they aren't enjoying themselves, ask them what they would like to do after the activity is over. If they don't have a preference, ask everyone or suggest an activity and see how everyone feels about it. Remember that this is about everyone having a good time.
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    Express your gratitude. After the activity is over, tell your parents and girlfriend how much fun you had. You can even say something like, "Thanks for doing that with me, I had a lot of fun." Even if you didn't have a fantastic time, it is a nice way of letting your parents and your girlfriend know that you appreciate them and that you want them all to get along together. This gratitude could go a long way in making interactions between everyone easier! [10]


  • Remember, you mean a lot to both your girlfriend and to your parents. They want you to feel comfortable and to have a good time! Try and be yourself, because that is the person your girlfriend and your parents know and love!
  • Check in with your girlfriend and your parents separately after they have spent some time together. Assess and talk through how the interaction went. If there is anything that your girlfriend or parents want to change for the next time you all spend time together, take their advice to heart!

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Categories: Going Steady