If you’re serious about a woman, it makes things a lot easier when her parents like you. Sometimes a first meeting goes well and everyone gets along wonderfully. Other times, it’s more like a not-so-humorous reenactment of Meet the Parents. While it would be great if your girlfriend’s parents are cool and openminded, there’s a good chance they’ll judge you long before you ever meet. Here are nine reasons you might be doomed from the get-go.
1. You drive a motorcycle. To their house.
Okay, yes, this one may seem super clichéd, but if you show up to your girlfriend’s parents’ house on a Harley, you’re immediately going to be seen as a bad boy… which is a bad thing. Unless, of course, they’re both big fans of The Fonz.
2. You’re unemployed.
Parents want to feel like their daughter will be well taken care of—even if she’s perfectly capable of taking care of herself. If you’re between jobs (and especially if you’re not doing much about it), they’re going to see you as dead weight.
3. You have a neck tattoo.
Even if her parents are okay with your general bad-boy vibe, they’re probably not going to love that tribal art you have on your neck. Like, even if it’s really well done and artsy.
4. Or worse, a face tattoo.
Are you kidding me with this one? Did you kill someone? Why did you get a tattoo on your face? Seriously. I WANT TO KNOW.
5. You’re divorced.
Look, there are plenty of good reasons to get divorced, and often it’s simply because people marry too young the first time around. But just know that her parents might not be so openminded about it. If you’ve already made one trip to the altar they’re likely going to hold it against you.
6. You have kids.
You may be the best dad and co-parent in the world, but your girlfriend’s parents might see you as that guy who abandoned his family. On a more positive note, they may just want their daughter to experience all of life’s big firsts with someone who is also experiencing those things for the first time.
7. You hold wildly different political beliefs than they do.
These days political divisions can divide even the closest of families. If your girlfriend’s parents are Trump supporters and you give all your money to Black Lives Matter and the Sierra Club, it might not be the best thing to bring up at the dinner table—if you want them to like you, that is. Otherwise, carry on, friends.
8. You’re a lot older than her.
Sure, you’re both full-grown adults and a perfect match for a multitude of reasons. But if you’re a decade or more older than her, no matter how old she is, they’re probably going to see you as a predator. It’s not your fault. It’s unfortunately just the way many parents are, especially when it comes to their “baby girl” (gross, I know).
9. She’s already complained about you to them.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t really matter if you’ve actually done something questionable here or not. If she’s already complained to her parents about anything (your unavailability, wandering eye, angry streak or a lack of ambition), even if she was just exaggerating because she was upset, they already think you’re no good for their daughter.