It might be hard to believe, but her parents were teens once, too. They have a pretty good idea of the thoughts running through teens' minds and they are likely strict out of concern for their daughter. If a movie is a chaperoned affair or you’re limited to homework “dates” at the kitchen table, use your circumstances as an opportunity to build a rapport with your girlfriend’s family. During every visit, make sure her parents see that you have a common goal -- to treat their daughter with love, kindness and respect -- the foundations of a healthy relationship, asserts TeensHealth.
While you might not instantly top her parents' favorite people list, you can aim to make a good first impression to avoid making it onto their least welcomed list. Arrive on time, and show up well-groomed and neatly dressed -- save the humor shirts and rock band tees for a night out with friends. When the introductions are made, shake each of her parent's hands and make confident -- not cocky -- eye contact. During your meeting, pay special attention to your manners, minding your Ps and Qs and listening attentively when her parents are speaking.
Watch the Line
While your girlfriend’s 9 p.m. curfew might irk you sometimes, staying out late isn’t going to work out for either of you in the long run. When her parents lay down the law, stay on the lawmaker’s good side by following the rules to a T, and don’t encourage your girlfriend to cross the boundaries on her own. Watch out for displays of affection, particularly in your girlfriend’s home, by finding out what’s acceptable ahead of time -- holding hands might be OK, but cuddling up in front of the TV might be a definite no-no in front of Mom and Dad.
Following the rules isn't only about avoiding trouble -- that's just a perk. To develop a relationship with your girlfriend and grow as a young couple, you’ll want to spend time together, and the most effective way to get the green light from strict parents is to demonstrate your trustworthiness. When you first begin dating, treat every moment with your girlfriend like her parents are in the next room. Be upfront about your intentions, where you’ll be going, who you’ll be with and when you’ll be home. Stick to group dates with friends if her parents are more comfortable with that arrangement. If her parents could check up on you at any given time during a date, try to make sure you line up with the rules.
Share a Little
It’s difficult for a parent to warm up to you if he doesn’t know you at all. Spend some time at your girlfriend’s home, getting to know her parents and giving them an opportunity to get to know you. Share information about your hobbies and interests, the courses you enjoy in school and any career aspirations you have. Learn a little about each parent from your girlfriend and then show an interest in hearing about their hobbies, favorite vacations and even the family history. By putting in the effort, you get a chance to show off your personality and character
- Psychology Today: Parenting Adolescents and the Problems of Letting Go
- NYU Child Study Center: Boyfriends, Girlfriends: What Parents Need to Know about Teenage Dating
- TeensHealth: What If My Parents Say "No"?
- Psychology Today: Adolescence and Gaining Parental Permission
- PsychCentral: My Parents Won't Let Me Talk to My Boyfriend
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