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What to do when you meet her dad for the first time


The day that a man meets his partner’s father is always a momentous occasion. It’s an inevitable rite of passage. It’s part of the process of becoming close to the girl’s family. However, it isn’t something that all men look forward to. Despite their partners’ support, men will most likely feel a lot of pressure.

1. Let your girlfriend guide you through it before it even happens.

Take the case of Raffy, who, in the past, has met the fathers of his two ex-girlfriends. He relates: “It really depends on what your girlfriend tells you about her dad. She really is the best barometer on how to act and leave a good impression, so I found it really important to listen to what each had to say about their fathers. In both cases, I was apprehensive and I didn't hesitate to tell it to my then girlfriends. I thought that was important because they eased me in.”

It was a different situation for Kevin. Here was a guy who was terrified of meeting his girlfriend’s parents because his she’s from a Chinese family and he’s not. “Plus, I’m her first ever boyfriend,” he explains.

On the opposite of the anxiety spectrum is JC. When asked what he felt about meeting his girlfriend’s father, he coolly says, “Curious and a little anxious.” He adds that, “You always wonder what your girlfriend’s parents are like. Are they like her? Are they the exact opposite?” JC’s initial curiosity and mild anxiety helped him feel relaxed when his girlfriend told him that she wanted him to meet her dad. “It didn’t take long, maybe a couple of months,” he says. “I felt that I’m just meeting her parents it doesn’t mean I’m going to marry her right then.”

2. Find the right time for the meeting—and that doesn’t mean just picking a date.

Raffy was very wary of meeting either of his former girlfriends’ dads. “Every time a girl would bring up the possibility of meeting her dad any,” he begins, “I would try to avoid it because I find meeting and talking to the father a huge step in the relationship, so I'd like it to be really serious before that time comes.” He also notes that, “Maybe it's because a part of it feels like the father ‘passing his daughter on’ and that's also quite daunting.

3. Relax and don’t “over-think” it.

When the moment of truth arrived, the three gentlemen also had different stories to tell. Kevin says that five months after they became an official item, he finally met his girlfriend’s father. “I just made small talk and it was surprisingly easy to do so,” he happily narrates. “I guess my fears were more imagined than real.”

“Well, it was eye opening,” JC says. “You find out where some of her interests come from and on the other hand you're like ‘Whoa, how is he her dad?’ You also learn it's not too much of a big deal.”

4. Observe and follow the dad’s lead.

Kevin’s view on the process includes insight into how his girlfriend as well as her dad thought: “I guess introducing a guy to one's father has some symbolic resonance, so she, as with many girls like her, did not want to introduce just about any guy to her dad.”

Raffy’s concerns eventually proved to be overblown, but he still was on his best behavior. “I was always thinking of ways to show that I'm someone he can trust. So, I wasn't too showy of PDA (public display of affection), I tried to be courteous, etc.” To add another twist to the tale, Raffy notices that, “for some reason I find fathers harder to impress than mothers because you're looking at the man you have to live up to, and it is a fear of mine if the father doesn't see me as someone who lives up to his stature.”

5. Be the best version of yourself.

Each guy has to eventually meet this often intimidating figure known as “DAD” to his girlfriend. They clearly want to impress these fathers to show them they are worthy of their daughters but it’s also a rite of passage and a test of character but to all would-be suitors, the best advice may be from JC who says, “Be yourself. It’s classic.”

by Jason Inocencio

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