And unfortunately, like most people do, parents may tend to have a negative opinion about long distance dating. This being the reason why winning them over as soon as possible would be a great relief for your relationship.
One of the most popular issues that guys write me about lately is the issue of dealing with her parents. I’ve got about six emails in the last month from guys looking for ways to get their girlfriend’s parents on their side, after they noticed how her parents were dragging the relationship down.
The truth is that trying to win over a girl’s parents AFTER they’ve already made their mind negatively about you and your long distance relationship is not an easy task.
Please, don’t be one of those guys who have always been ignoring their girlfriend’s parents , and then when they see that her parents are dragging down the relationship, then they try to look for remedies and solutions.
Take the preventive approach.
Here are 4 tips that will help you prevent any parent issues, and will definitely increase your chances of winning her parents over.
1. Be understanding of their concerns.
You see, long distance relationships are generally seen as unsafe, and even if they are safe, then there’s another concern – they are seen as a complete waste of time and youth. And these beliefs about long distance relationships make parents very concerned about their daughters, they want to protect them.
And that is perfectly understandable, isn’t it?
And because that is something normal, something that any parent would feel given these circumstances, it would be very useful for you and your relationship that you show some understanding of her parent’s concerns.
If you were in their position, believe me, you would feel the same way, unless you felt understood and you trusted the guy. Therefore it’s your job to empathize with her parents and let them know that you understand their concerns.
How would you do that?
- If not by talking to them directly, it could be by talking about it with your girlfriend and telling her that you completely understand her parents concerns, and that if you were in their position you would be as worried as they are. But of course this is not the case to be worried about, because she is a good girl and you are good guy, and you both love each other and want the best for one another.
- Never speak badly to your girlfriend about her parents. Even if you don’t like something they said or did, and even if she’s criticizing them first. Instead, try understanding them and not taking their rejection personally (if that’s the case). They are simply concerned with their daughter’s well being. Same applies to her brothers/sisters if she has any.
Eventually she might talk about the relationship with her parents, and most probably she’ll tell them that you understand their concerns about the long distance dating, she might tell them that you respect them, and that you care about her, and so they should not worry so much.
However if you get the chance to talk to her parents directly, you have to smoothly slide into the conversations how unsafe and how uncertain might such a relationship usually be, and how much they could be worrying about it, but fortunately this is not the case, because her daughter is the sweetest thing on this planet and you love her deeply.
2. Show them your good-natured personality.
A parent cares for his/her daughter deeply and wants to know that she is in good hands and won’t be influenced into trouble especially by someone who she is so attached to. Her parents need to know that you are a good guy, a guy who they can trust their daughter to be with.
Making a good impression, be it on Skype, in person or even through their daughter’s words is an important aspect of a successful long distance relationship, and this impression is very much based on how comfortable you are in your own skin, and how friendly and politely you communicate with them.
How would you do it?
There’s a variety of different ways to demonstrate how good of a guy you are, and all of them imply being a polite, mannered man, but at the same time open and comfortable in your own skin; talking to them on a friendly tone and being very kind and considerate.
Read that last paragraph again, because that’s a great recipe for making a good impression to her parents.
A few more life-tested suggestions would be:
- Pay attention to your body language. If you meet her parents, make sure to shake her dads hand firmly and warmly, and also her mom’s hand (but not too firmly) and if you feel comfortable kiss her on the checks. Look them in the eyes when you shake hands and when you talk, and also don’t forget to stand straight and firm. (not like a soldier of course, but neither like a wet turkey). Good body language is very important, because it shows how confident and how comfortable in your own skin you are.
- Offer to help. If you have the chance, offer to help them with something. That will build a lot of trust in you, but do it sincerely; otherwise chances are that they’ll detect the superficiality.
- Be curious. Also make sure to be curious about them, about their life, about their work and so on, but again be sincerely curious, and discrete in your curiosity too. People don’t like being manipulated, and insincere curiosity and interest in someone to gain their approval is just another form of manipulation.
- Be a little conservative. I hope that this goes without saying, but when you meet them, be appropriate in your displays of affection with their daughter, at least for the beginning until you get to know each other.
- Make them feel important. Another suggestion is to ask for their opinion on some matters, their advice on how to deal with something. This way you’ll make them feel important, and also show them how considerate you are of their experience and wisdom.
- Be prepared. And the last and probably best suggestion that I can give you in this regard is to prepare yourself. Before any contact to her parents, or even after you met them, ask your girlfriend to tell you about her parents. Let her tell you about their jobs, their preferences, their past; let her tell you who is wearing the pants in the house, who is more authoritative and who is more friendly and so on. You’ve probably heard the expression that “information is power”, well in this case it can prove very helpful knowing more about her parents.
3. Show them your ambitious side of yourself.
Parents think about the future. They think rationally not emotionally (because they are not in love with you, not yet at least), and when their daughter has a new boyfriend, they might at least for a second consider the possibility of that guy being the one she could possibly marry.
And because they tend to do that, parents want to see potential in you. They want to see that you are an ambitious young man that has done a lot of great stuff so far in his life and who strives to be the best he can be.
You don’t have to necessarily have a well paid job, or have your own successful business and be a fully accomplished man yet, BUT you have to show potential, you have to show ambition. And as long as they can see that you are an ambitious young man, they can calm down and relax about this issue, at least for a while.
How do you show ambition?
- If you are studying right now something that you love, that’s an ambitious thing. If you went abroad to study, that’s even more ambitious of you.
- If you have a job or even a part time job and you are supporting yourself without relying on your parents – that’s also an example of your ambition.
- If you have plans about the future – to get a good job or to start a business, these are both evidence of your ambition.
- If you are particularly good at something, be it a hobby or a passion that you have, or a skill that you have developed over time and are really good at, this is another expression of you ambition and persistence.
And talking about such aspects of yourself and your life, of course not in a bragging way, is going to plant in her parents mind the idea of you being an ambitious man, a man who they can trust their daughter to be with.
But again, don’t brag. Please, don’t brag! Ever!
Talk about such topics if it’s relevant to the conversation, or even better if you are asked to talk about it.
4. Show them your great boyfriend side.
And lastly, by being a great boyfriend to their daughter, treating her right and making her happy you are adding the last ingredient to the recipe of winning her parents over.
When her parents see how happy she is, they will be much more comfortable accepting you and your long distance relationship, even if they may not like you that much, and even if they have a negative view about long distance dating.
How do you do that? Well, that’s completely up to you and up to your girlfriend. But to give a few general indications, here is an article that might prove very helpful: The Elixir Of Love – Discovered!
Don’t get discouraged.
If you did everything right so far, but they still seem to not be very happy about their daughter’s long distance relationship, don’t be discouraged. Parents may still be reserved in their opinions.
In this case, what I recommend is to be persistent. Persistence and again persistence. Parents may not like you the first time, and maybe not the second time either, but if you keep persisting and following the suggestions I gave you in this article, then they will start to like you, or they’ll just have to start liking you, because you’ll leave them no other choice.
Photo credit: Jon Aslund