You are a gorgeous, intelligent, and, let us not forget, independent woman—no one is arguing with that. But even the most amazing women can be nervous when meeting their significant other’s folks for the first time—especially if you’re hosting a dinner party.
What are your best options for calming your nerves and impressing the parental units? My vote is for a wine tasting dinner.
It is important that you think through what exactly you’re going to do for your wine tasting dinner, including what type of food you are going to serve and which wine you can best pair it with. Do you think your decided meal is well-balanced?
You don’t want the meal itself to be too heavy and sit uncomfortably in the stomach, but you also don’t want it to be too light, and leave your guests hungry. Cover all your bases before your guests arrive so that you’re not left with grumpy parents. You don’t want a sour first impression.
You may be the one hosting, but a nice touch is to supply his parents with a special gift. Whip up an extra pie they can take with them, or an extra bottle of wine. If it’s the latter, make sure that you grab a lovely gift bag and tissue paper to wrap the bottle with. If you are a “less is more” gal, simply tie a ribbon around it, and voilà!
Remember to ask your significant other what’s appropriate—what type of dessert do they enjoy, or what type of wine do they like best? When it comes to the wine, do they prefer red or white? What years or brands do they prefer? He should know a thing or two. This is about impressing the parents who may one day be your in-laws, and you want to show them your thoughtful side.
It may seem hard to just relax and “go with the flow,” but it’ll definitely help you at your wine tasting dinner. You don’t want to seem too stressed out—it is, after all, only one dinner. There will be plenty of others. You want to seem like the confident woman you are, even if you’re shaking in your boots. If your guests start playing games, join in!
While you want to make sure that his parents enjoy the evening—which takes an extra heap of mindfulness and preparation—you want to be yourself.
It’s important that your man’s parents like you for you, not for who you think they (or he) want you to be. Enjoy yourself. Don’t do a horrible imitation of how you think a girlfriend or fiancée should act.
Your man is on your side, so talk to him before the dinner, and agree on a “safety word”—something that you can say to him that is innocuous in and of itself, but means that you need to take a breather. Maybe his mother is bringing up her differing viewpoints on religion and politics—two of the absolute worst subjects to discuss at a dinner party, especially if you do not know how others in the room feel.
A wine tasting dinner—or any dinner involving your significant other’s parents—can be nerve-wracking. I get it! But believe me, you can get through it, and you’ll come out on the other side feeling proud of yourself, confident, and with new ideas for a second dinner party.