Singaporebrides | The Groom Room
How to impress her family and friends
Got the girl eh? Or so you think. Fu Jinming shows you how to dazzle the people who have a big say in whether you stay, or go.
So you’ve impressed her enough to go out with you. Maybe you’ve even convinced her that you’re ‘The One’. You’ve done your little mating dance, plumes and all, and you think the job’s done.
Well, think again.
For behind every love-smittened bachelorette is an army of naysayers ready to write you off, pack you up, and show you up for who they think you really are. Make no mistake: they’ve already judged you before they’ve even met you. All those little snatches of anecdotes about you from her are enough to paint a hotchpotch of who you are, what you’re like, and how you’re likely to treat your better half in the future.
Never underestimate their influence on the heart you wish to steal, particularly if the character study comes from her BFFs, or (gasp) her mum. Studies have shown that women are likelier to trust other women than men. Even the ones they’ve never met!
And let’s not leave out the other most important man in her life – her dad. You would’ve thought he’d get over the I’ll-rough-up-your-teenage-boyfriend phase. But in his eyes, you’ll always be that teenage boyfriend. And he knows just what you want. Or so he’ll tell her.
So how does the innocent lamb of a man save himself from such hasty misjudgements? How do you make an impression so good, you’ll turn yourself from potential jerk to potential gold in their minds?
Here are 10 ways in which you can go on the charm offensive, and dazzle her circle of trust.
1. Arrive at your best
Treat your first meeting with her family or friends like you would your first date. Take note of the venue, and for goodness’ sake, dress the part. If it’s a classy dinner at a fine restaurant, wear a shirt. If it’s a casual brunch at a café, go ahead and ditch the collars, but never, ever show up in flip-flops. Whichever it is, always arrive looking neat, groomed, and the way even your grandma would’ve approved.
2. Chivalry rules
No matter how far feminism has come, gentlemanly conduct never gets old. Because the way you behave will reflect your attitudes towards the woman you care about, the people she cares for, and life in general. So do it like Mum taught you. Say “please”, “excuse me” and “thank you”. Hold the door open. Pull up the chair. Wait till she’s seated. And after the evening is over, text your lady to let her know it was nice meeting the people she loves. Oh, and look at her friends squarely in their eyes please – not their chests.
3. Be positive
It is said that the size of a man can be measured by the size of his problems. So don’t go wearing that broody look and pouring out your troubles to her friends. Especially if it’s the first time you are meeting them. Wear a ready smile and try to be positive. Even if you’re convinced the world will end tomorrow, smile like it’ll go on forever. Her friends will want a guy who can cheer her up on her bad days. And they don’t know you well enough to care about yours yet. So suck it up, and grin away.
4. Don’t be sticky
Or more specifically, quit trying to smother your lady in front of her family and friends. Refrain yourself from constantly kissing her, holding her hand, and following her wherever she goes. In other words, stop behaving like a lap dog. Give her some breathing space. All that show of neediness stinks of insecurity, and is a total turn-off – particularly for the one you’re dating.
5. Don’t fake it
Be genuine. Unless you’re an Oscar-winning actor, pretending to be the ‘It’ guy isn’t going to get you anywhere. Believe you me, ladies can smell fakery from a mile away. So pay real attention to whatever they have to say. Be genuinely interested in their work, hobbies and lives. If you’re feeling bored by the conversation, pose some questions. Participate in the conversation. But remember: talk about them, not yourself.
6. Remember their names
More than just a courtesy, remembering her friends’ and family’s names reflects well on you. It shows you’re interested in knowing them better. To hardwire them to memory, say “Hi” followed by the name after you meet each person. Or say the name in your head at least once. For extra brownie points, try also to remember the conversations you’ve had with them. It’s likely that you’ll run into them again, and nothing impresses more than a man who remembers what they said the last time you met.
7. Befriend her best friend
You know the type: standoffish at first. Fiercely protective of her friend. Assumes the worst of you; that you’re a jerk, just like all the other jerks your girl has had the misfortune to meet. A stamp of approval from her though, is one big fat tick off her list. To bring your girlfriend’s best friend round to your side, be genuine. Answer all her questions, no matter how rude or interrogative they may seem, clearly and truthfully. She’s not looking for you to be perfect, but for you to be honest. So bear with her. Who knows? She may end up being your staunchest supporter yet.
8. Befriend her pet
Yes, you’ve heard it right. If your partner’s family members are animal lovers, chances are, how the family pet reacts to you will determine how well they’ll trust you. The trick here is to let the pet, be it a cat or a dog, sniff you first. Once it’s comfortable with you, slowly scratch it under the chin or behind the ears. The pet rolls over and offers its tummy to you? They’ll think you’re the next Cesar Milan.
9. Involve her mum
The easiest way to get her mother to be comfortable around you is to get her involved in a celebration for your gal. Like a birthday party, or an anniversary. It shows that you hold her in high regard, and that she’s still very much a part of her little girl’s life. More importantly, it shows that you want her in yours.
10. Seek advice from her dad
He’s perhaps the most intimidating family member she has. The guy who can see through you in an instant, and destroy you even before the appetisers arrive. He wants a man who can give his daughter the life she deserves. And he’s not convinced you’re that man. That doesn’t mean you should talk about your salary – it reeks of insecurity at worst, and arrogance at best. Instead, ask for his thoughts on the economy. If he dabbles in shares and stocks, seek his opinion on the best ones to invest in. Apart from playing a little to his ego, it paints you as a financially responsible adult who’s planning for a more secure future for two.