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First impression: 6 classic approaches to impress your girlfriend's father

You are never prepared enough to meet your girlfriend’s father. You may have loved the Steve Martin movie Father of the Bride, but you wouldn’t want your first interaction to be like that. However, if you take a little time to reflect and prepare, you can impress your girlfriend’s father when you meet him for the first time and continue to impress as your relationship with his daughter grows.


Dress well. When your girlfriend’s father opens the door, the first thing he will notice is how you are dressed. You don’t want to turn up in a sloppy sweatshirt and torn jeans. Even if it is a casual event, you need to look presentable. Ensure that your clothes are clean and well-ironed. If you are wearing shoes, ensure they are polished. Avoid t-shirts with bold graphics of your favorite band or offensive slogans.


Greet him warmly. Part of making a good first impression involves your demeanor during the first greeting. You want your girlfriend’s father to feel like you are a warm person who is easy to get along with after he meets you for the first time. Remember to make eye contact with your girlfriend’s father and smile. You should also include a more formal aspect of calling him by his last name (for example, Mr. Jones) until he tells you to call him by his first name.


Give a strong handshake. Most men appreciate a strong handshake. And your girlfriend’s father is probably hoping for a sign of strong character when he meets you so he knows you can take care of his daughter. That may seem like a lot to read into a simple handshake, but it is often the truth. Take his hand firmly in yours and grip tightly – but not too tightly. A limp or weak handshake will probably not make the best first impression.


Take a gift. Find out what your girlfriend’s father likes. The safest bet is to bring food or a drink, especially something that goes well with dinner. You can also opt to bring flowers, or a gift for your girlfriend's mother. Bringing a gift to your girlfriend's mother shows your girlfriend's father an example of how you might treat his daughter.


Control your nervousness. It is normal to be nervous, but you need to control it. It’s only when you feel great that you give out positive vibes. It is even good to appear nervous at first and then relax later. It makes her father know that you are taking this meeting seriously. There are many ways to treat your nervousness. Consider some mild relaxation exercises, like yoga and deep breathing. You could also try meditation. Some people feel better after a short mental distraction, like watching a comedy show on TV or listening to some soothing music.


Appear confident. Smile a lot and speak with confidence. Shake hands firmly with your girlfriend’s father. Prepare a few sentences about yourself and your career or aspirations. Avoid talking too much about yourself. Rather, ask questions about your girlfriend’s father and show interest in what he has achieved. For example, you could say, "I'm a software engineer at a small company, and ultimately I'm looking to move to a management role. I visit my parents down south every couple of weekends, and I also love to windsurf. "You could also say something like, "I'm not sure what I want to do exactly with my career, but I definitely want to do something creative in the New York theater world. Right now I'm working on a play with a friend that I'm hoping to get published soon."

Be engaged in conversations. People enjoy conversing with others who seem interested in what they have to say. Listen intently when others speak and add thoughtful comments to the conversation. Ask follow-up questions when they seem appropriate and avoid controversial topics when possible. Tell a funny anecdote about yourself so your girlfriend’s father feels like he’s getting to know you a little bit.


Turn off your phone. Checking your phone constantly is considered rude during most social engagements, or at the very least a sign of disinterest. If you want to impress her father, stay off your phone while you’re hanging out with the family. People from older generations can be especially critical of this kind of compulsive phone checking. So her father might interpret this behavior as very rude.


Be respectful. A lot of people try being humorous or witty. While these are amazing qualities to have, they can often backfire. However, being respectful does not have drawbacks. This does not mean you need to pay a lot of compliments. There are many ways to show respect. Avoid laid back postures. Mind your Ps and Qs. If your girlfriend's parents offer you food, make sure that you say "please," "thank you," or, if applicable, "no, thank you." Good manners are always impressive. Use your manners and call your girlfriend's dad "Sir" or "Mister."

Content created and supplied by: Undergroundnewsgh (via Opera News )

Father of the Bride Steve Martin

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