Will your new partner’s parents judge you if you’re divorced?
Dating after divorce and meeting your new ‘in-laws’ can be stressful and scary. It is a daunting prospect but many singles find new relationships and are introduced to their partner’s family after previously being divorced.
There are lots of ways to meet someone new when you’re ready following the breakdown of a marriage. You could start a new hobby or take classes in an existing one, or do anything else where you’re likely to meet someone with similar interests. Another way to meet like-minded potential dates is online – whether with over 50s dating sites or sites especially for vegetarians. Find the right site for you and you might be matched with someone really special.
For anyone who has managed to find someone special, this article offers a survival guide on meeting the parents…
Small talk ideas
The best way to come up with small talk ideas is to prepare in advance. Talk to your partner and find out some information. Do their parents have strong religious or political views? Are they likely to be offended by some of your opinions? Do they have hobbies or interests that they will enjoy talking about? Do you share a passion for the same books/ films/ television shows? If you are really stuck then ask lots of questions about your partner and their family life – hopefully they will crack out some baby pics to get everyone laughing!
Ways to break the ice
One of the easiest ways to break the ice is to turn up with a small gift. Show that you care and want to impress by bringing a bottle of wine, some flowers or chocolates. Don’t go over the top, as this can seem showy and insincere, but find out what they like and show that you put some thought into your choice. Another way to break the ice is to gush about your partner – all parents want to hear about what a good job they’ve done! Tell an interesting story about how you met (as long as it is appropriate!) and let them know that you are serious about the relationship.
Topics to avoid
If you are nervous about what they are thinking about your divorce then it is best to try and avoid bringing it up. If they ask you about it in conversation then keep your answers polite but brief – you don’t want to go through all the messy details, or start showing a negative side by trashing your ex. Be careful about telling jokes until you understand their sense of humour, as they may take offence at what you say. Concentrate on matching your personality to theirs and asking lots of questions, instead of dominating the conversation.
Keeping it natural
The most important thing is to be yourself. Of course it is important to put some effort into your appearance but there is no need to go as someone you are not. As long as you are in clean clothes and have toned down any items that may offend, you should be fine. I am sure your partner’s parents trust your partner’s judgement, so just show them the personality that won your date round and hopefully they will fall in love with you too!
Most parents just want their children to be happy, so they will be wanting the meeting to go as well as you do. As long as you are treating your partner with respect and making them happy, you will already have made a good impression on the parents. If you have tried your hardest and it still didn’t go well, don’t fret. The most important thing is your relationship with your partner. Stay positive and don’t engage in any negativity. They will come around when they realise how serious you both are about the relationship.