Look for an opportunity to engage them one on one
If you’re over their home for a meal, offering to clean up and help with the dishes is a great way to score some alone time your partner’s parents. “This helps them get a better sense of you, and you of them,” Dr. Six points out. “This will also demonstrate that you’re not shy and can hold your own without your beloved by your side.”
Bring a gift or a dish
This likely won’t be something you’ll have to do each and every time you see his ‘rents (though, bonus points if you do!), it’s a nice gesture when you’re meeting them for the first time. “Bake or make something simple that shows off your culinary skills without stepping on your mother-in-law’s toes—an appetizer, or a dessert,” suggests Claudia Six, Ph.D., clinical sexologist, relationship coach and author. If you do decide to make something, do find out if anyone in his or her family has allergies or aversions to be on the safe side.
Find a common ground
As topics arise in conversation, feel free to talk about yourself, as well. For example, if his mom says she loves Zumba, feel free to chime in and tell her about your own love of dance. And if his father mentions he loves hand-made furniture, feel free to let him know your father shares a similar interest, and maybe even that he made some of the furniture in your home. “Remember, they want to know about you, as well, without feeling like an interrogation is in session,” says Dr. Six.