Molly Boswell | Contributing Writer | Wednesday, 29 April 2015

How Not To Be  A Dick When You Meet Your Boyfriend\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s Mum

How Not To Be A Dick When You Meet Your Boyfriend's Mum

The Debrief: It's a total minefield. Here's how to handle it.

So, turns out apple of your eye, Hollywood man of your dreams Jake Gyllenhaal might not be The One after all. In a frank interview with your TV idol Ellen, the actor revealed that he always takes his first dates to his mum's house so she can judge them. He apparently thinks this is 'a good move'.

Um.

So, aside from crossing Jake off that list of celebrities we'd be allowed to cheat on our boyfriend with if the chance arose (heLLO Mark Ruffalo, congrats on finally making the list, we're sure you're very honoured), it got us thinking about the absolute fucking minefield that is meeting the boyfriend's mum. Meeting the dad? No problems there mate, just be friendly, open, honest and, unless they're kind of a wang, job done. But the mum? Well, imagine if you bore a child from your own womb, raised it for 25 years and then some young, overly educated thing with her whole life ahead of her came in diverted all of his attention away from you... wouldn't you be a little pissed off*?

*I just realised what a total fucking nightmare of a mother-in-law i'm going to be.

Anyways, here's a few tips for how to handle it.

Accept she is always right

I mean, unless she's a right-wing Nazi, cat murderer or Taylor Swift hater, there is little she could say that you should challenge her on. If your boyfriend's mum tells you it's imperative that you vote Conservative because they're the only party who have the right attitude to fox hunting then sure, you probably don't agree but what are you going to achieve by challenging a woman who's had fifty-plus years to form her opinions? You're not going to change her mind but you certainly will make things more than a little awkward.

Leave family politics alone

Especially important if your boyfriend is the product of acrimonious divorce or complicated family history. Between the parents bitching about each other and the big family scandal that is Aunty Jane running off with a Turkish waiter she met in Cyprus, there's a chance that you already know far more than you're meant to. Offering anything other than a vague nod when prompted is very much not advised; these guys have been bitching about each other for years, and if you chose to get involved, you're the bitch they're going to turn on when Aunty Jane comes back and they welcome her with open arms.

Don't suck up

You might think this is in stark contrast to the whole 'she's always right' rule but for goodness' sake woman there's a difference between a tactical massaging of her ego and complimenting every single thing she ever does. She might be house proud but not even Monica Geller would believe you were that interested in the 'stunning' order her cleaning products are in under the sink.

Don't make fun of your boyfriend

This one works well with the dad; joining in with a dad joke about how crap your boyfriend is at driving is your ticket to a bump-free dad-in-law friendship. Belittle him in front of his mother though and, while her face might proffer amusement, inside she's feeling like you took an artwork she's been working on for 25 years, laughed, took a shit right in the middle of it then set it on fire and chucked it in the river. Reign it in big guy.

Get up on time

For some reason, people from the older generation are obsessed with people getting up before midday. Even on a weekend. Something about it being indicative of whether or not you're a lazy person. They're wrong, obvs, but perhaps when you go to stay maybe make a concerted effort to raise yourself from your boudoir before 10AM. And like, help out with the dishes and the cooking. And generally be polite.

Conclusion: Do a lot of affirmative nodding. Don't be a dick.

Like this? Then you might also be interested in:

What You Learn When You Date A City Boy

Ask An Adult: How Can I Tell When It's Time To Break Up With Someone?

'The First Time My Boyfriend Turned Me Down I Was Devastated' - How To Handle Sex Rejection In A LTR