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How to meet the parents

Impress your potential in-laws

How to meet the parents

It's a rite of passage for any major relationship. Being taken back to the family home and desperately hoping your girlfriend's parents won't hate you. The stakes are scarily, almost unthinkably, high. But what do you do? How do you act? What should you say?

Luckily we've been chatting to TV relationship expert Jenni Trent Hughes ( who's been filling us in on the minefield that is meeting the folks.

1. Mums and Dads are just like regular people. Get them to talk about themselves and they'll think you're wonderful. Ask your girlfriend what their interests are, what team they might support, where they like to go on holiday and their political leanings. That should keep you busy for a fair while. Make sure you maintain control of the conversation so they don't have an opportunity to start grilling you.

2. Be alert. No slouching. Both feet on the floor. Lean forward. Pretend you're at a job interview, which of course in a way you are.

3. Be honest about your job. Less honesty about your lifestyle and your family is up to you - I guess it depends on how many skeletons are in your closet.

4. Avoid discussing your past relationships. Try not to be too negative - remember these people are thinking of you as the possible father of their upcoming grandchildren. They want to feel confident that you're a safe pair of hands.

5. Things have changed a lot over the past few decades so the differences between how you would approach a mum versus a dad are not as pronounced as they used to be. Both are going to want to feel that you are going to be kind to their daughter, treat her well and participate at least equally in supporting the family and raising their grandchildren. Whatever you can do to create that impression should put you at the top of their list.

(Image: All Star)