Win your in-laws over

Published Dec 5, 2013, 7:27 pm IST
Updated Mar 18, 2019, 10:10 pm IST

You know it’s going to be the toughest interview of your life when your partner requests (forces) you to meet the prospective in-laws. An interview you can’t afford to mess up. In an age where love marriages are, if not the norm, at least more than a rare incident, impressing a girl alone isn’t enough. Especially in our country where most families are tightly knit and traditional, every man needs to go the extra mile to impress his in-laws and is almost always at a disadvantage for coming in the way of their dreams of an arranged marriage for their daughter.

Be at your courteous best, just as you were when you courted your partner. All eyes are going to be on your chemistry with her throughout, so stay relaxed and don’t go overboard. Public displays of affection are a definite no.

The key, actor Arjun Bajwa, says, “is to be yourself. Never pretend to be someone you’re not. Never put up a fake front because you won’t be able to hold your act for long. So just be yourself.” On being asked what he would wear on his first visit to the prospective in-laws, Arjan’s response is spontaneous — “Clothes”. The actor then continues on a much more serious note, “Everyone appreciates a well dressed man so just ensure you stick to something formal.”

Be yourself but save the funny stories for later. Your in-laws definitely don’t want to hear stories of you wedgie-ing friends in high school or about the party animal you are/once were. Keep it on the mellow side.

Always get a heads up from your partner on topics you should steer clear of and ones that could help seal a bond. Avoid discussing controversial topics like religion and politics, especially if your views on them contradict that of her parents. Don’t be the yes man but don’t get off on the wrong foot on the very first day.

Meera. V, a card designer, from Kolkata recalls an incident. “When my husband first came over to meet my parents he got into an argument with my father over his favourite football team, East Bengal, while my mother and I watched on helplessly knowing we could do little to break it up. Thankfully they set their differences aside for me but three years on there still is tension in the air when both of them are in the same room.”

Meeting your in-laws is always going to be awkward irrespective of how accommodating either party is. Time can stand still as awkward silences start to creep into conversations. Always seek the help of your partner to seamlessly fit into your new family, advises Thomas, an IT professional from Bangalore. “Thankfully in my case Aswathy (wife) nudged me towards all the directions I needed to go — starting discussions on topics we shared common knowledge of, carrying awkward conversations forward and throwing in a few funny anecdotes to relax everyone.”

When you are going to ask a girl’s father for her hand in marriage the last thing you want to do is make a bad impression, so prepare yourself and don’t take no for an answer. As football commentator Andy Gray would say, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression, son.”



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