Meeting her parents is a huge milestone for your relationship; obviously you want to win them over. With that kind of pressure, you’re bound to run into a few awkward situations—it’s the nature of the beast when it comes to meeting the folks. Here’s our advice on how to survive with the least amount of damage.

1. You made a political joke and they’re not amused.
You misjudged their political views and thought it was a safe zone for a quick jab at a certain politician. They don’t laugh and now it’s awkward. Your first instinct might be to backpedal, but don’t overcorrect yourself so much that you lie about where you stand. A simple apology is your best bet, and then swiftly change the subject. It’s okay to have different ideologies but moving forward, keep in mind that politics and family usually don’t mix. 

2. The show you’re watching together has an unexpected sex scene.
You’re all enjoying a pleasant TV show when suddenly two characters start going at it on screen. You feel everyone stiffen as the scene unfolds, each of you powerless to make it stop. Blurting out a joke will most likely just make things worse. There’s nothing left to do but excuse yourself for a snack refill and hope that it’s all over by the time you get back.

3. There’s a lull in the conversation.
Your girlfriend excuses herself from dinner for a moment and you’re left alone with her parents. After you’ve covered how great the food is and complimented their home, silence sweeps across the table. Even the shortest awkward silence can feel like it will never end. To avoid the dreaded lull in conversation, come prepared with a few topics up your sleeve. A good trick is the F.O.R.D. Method (family, occupation, recreation and dreams). Ask some open-ended questions from any of these categories to keep the conversation flowing.

4. They accidentally walk in on you and your girlfriend in a… compromising position.
Maybe you’re spending the weekend at her family’s house and you think the door is locked. Except it’s not and in comes her mom. We’ll be honest, this is a tough one. Claim you’re performing CPR? Hopefully her mom will realize her mistake and make a very fast exit. Act naturally and pretend it didn’t happen at breakfast the next morning. If you’re going to take the risk, check out these quick tips on having sex when her parents are next door first.

Photo: iStock/JackF