Your relationship is going well and your looking towards your future together, but it's time to meet your future in-laws. You want to appear charming, friendly, intelligent, and most of all, perfect for their son or daughter. This intimidating and unsettling event that takes place in every relationship can't be avoided, but with a few tips, your first time meeting will be a little less awkward and a little more enjoyable.
Before you meet your future in-laws for the first time, make sure that you know your stuff. Have a discussion with your partner ahead of time and have him or her give you a quickie course of "In-Laws: 101". Find out what things they like, what they do for a living, what their hobbies are, and so on. Make sure to get pertinent info on any touchy issues, such as politics and religion. Learning a bit about your in-laws ahead of time allows you keep the conversation flowing while avoiding touchy subjects.
First impressions are difficult to change, so make yours a good one. From the first hello to goodbye, it's important to mind your manners and be polite. Smiling, shaking hands (or hugging) and offering a compliment make a great introduction. Throughout your meeting, remember to always say 'please', 'thank you', 'excuse me', and so on. If you're getting together for the first time over dinner, be particularly aware of your table manners. If you're getting together for a meal at their home, offer to help prepare the meal or set the table.
This last one is particularly important as your future in-law's are going to be part of family for the rest of your life. Starting the relationship off on the right foot makes a world of difference as time goes on. During dinner conversation, show interest in your partner's parents by asking questions and learning more about them. Take the time to find out what they like and what you have in common with one another. Asking questions and making comments let's them know that you're interested in them and they in turn will become more interested in you as well!
While meeting your future in-laws is an intimidating and potentially scary event, if you follow these tips, all will go smoothly and your relationship will grow more comfortable over time.