Hit It Off With Her Family and Friends

When it's time to meet your girlfriend's family and friends, you might naturally start to get a little nervous. You want to make a good impression, right? When meeting the important people in her life, remember a few key points and you'll be welcomed by her crew more easily.

Get Parental Approval
Don't be too casual when you meet her parents - show the respect that you would when meeting business colleagues for the first time. You know your girlfriend intimately, at this point, but don't assume the same level of comfort at the beginning of the meeting with her family. Let them set the tone, whether they are totally laid back or slightly reserved. Follow their lead and you'll fit in better. As time goes on, you can loosen up and set the tone yourself when they come to your place.

Chill With Her Friends
When you get together with her friends for the first time, of course you want to be yourself, but you also want to hang back a bit. See how they all interact and don't overpower the vibe with your way of relating to your sweetie. This approach acknowledges your girl's longer term relationship with her friends and the fact that at this point they know her better than you do. They'll appreciate the nod of respect.

Take a Balanced Approach
During your new interactions with her old friends and family members, remember that all of you are important parts of your sweetheart's life. Of course you should be yourself so that they get to know the real you. But it's also critical to let your girl be herself with these other people who are near and dear to her. They will naturally start telling stories about fun times and big events in her life. Don't feel that you have to counter with your own tales of special times you've shared. Just listen and learn more about your sweetheart from their reminiscences.

Through all these interactions, remember that it's not a competition. Each of you knows your girl in different ways and in different contexts - some very private! - so just take it as a learning experience about who she is and how she got to be here. If you handle it right, you'll keep making your own special memories that no one else will share.

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