There are some pretty basic unspoken rules when it comes to meeting your bae’s parents around the holidays: be your authentic self and try not be overly familiar to the point of discomfort. But, this season is a little different, as the Omicron variant of COVID-19 spreads throughout the country and people begin to rethink their holiday plans, Zoom may be how some of us meet our partner’s parents. So, we came up with a few pointers that will get you through these Zoom/FaceTime link ups.
If you’re invited to an official virtual holiday supper, it’s a good idea to be on time, even though we know that some families don’t always stick to set time. Being there near the predetermined time is about being respectful and getting off on the right foot. It also will assure that you don’t miss any special customs the family would like you to be apart of. A first impression can have a huge impact on how your digital dinner goes, and the rest of your relationship for that matter. Also, if you’re on time, you’ll have time to ask questions and get acquainted before the meal starts, if you’d like to.
If it’s an emergency though and you’re running late, don’t beat yourself up! It was unavoidable. Remember, you deserve just as much respect as they do.
Additionally, avoid trying too hard. You don’t have to laugh at every joke or compliment someone’s dress when you don’t like it. Making a good impression is one thing, but altering your personality and tastes for the sake of likability is another. You’re great, and your partner’s parents should have the privilege of meeting the real you.
Also, you don’t have to offer commentary on family matters. It’s early in the game and you may not know certain backstories and personalities. Furthermore, it can be difficult to tell when a something is a joke and when things are really getting heated. So it may be best to sit back and observe.
Of course, if this doesn’t extend to objectification, prejudice or anything of the sort. Definitely speak up if someone is using harmful language. You also always have the option of leaving the call — you don’t have to sit through any kind of verbal abuse. Your mental health comes first.
Lastly, you may want to talk to your partner about any cultural differences, especially your own. If you have any specific customs surrounding holiday meals, make it known. Their parents are looking forward to meeting you, and they probably want to make the holiday a little extra special for their guest.