For most couples, meeting the parents is the first serious step in a relationship. No longer are you casually dating -- you're crossing the threshold into long-term expectations. And if you do hope to be with this girl for a long time, her parents will also be part of your life, whether you like it or not. Just as you can't choose your own parents, you can't choose your girlfriend's.
No wonder meeting the parents can be such a nerve-racking experience. Luckily, in this modern age, the future of your relationship probably doesn't hinge on their approval of you. However, you can't deny life will be much easier with their approval.
Family disapproval can put tremendous stress on a relationship. And if your girlfriend comes from a different cultural background with traditionally-minded parents, winning approval will be all the more difficult. This momentous meeting could even bring to the surface issues you haven't discussed yet with your girlfriend that could threaten the relationship.
First impressions matter, too -- a good first impression will go far, but it's difficult to get over a bad first impression [source: Bryner].
But never fear: We'll arm you with the tips to make the first meeting go smoothly.