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First Meetings with Prospective In-Laws

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That first meeting with the in-laws usually takes place long before anyone thinks seriously of walking down the aisle. In most cases, you meet your prospective in-laws for the first time when you and your intended are still dating. First contact usually takes place so early in the relationship that neither party really believes that this is It.

Here are two reasons why it's so important that you always kiss up to your date's parents, siblings, and assorted kinfolk.

  • First impressions are made fast. Studies have shown that most people form an impression of someone in less than five minutes. It usually takes longer to get a burger than it does to form a first impression. That being the case, you don't have a lot of wiggle room to impress someone with your strength of character.

  • First impressions can be lasting impressions. Most people are stubborn (as you surely know already). They may call it resolute, steadfast, unwavering, but it's really just plain ornery. They don't like to be proven wrong. This can work in your favor if you've created a good first impression. If things went well, you can glide on that goodwill for years. But what happens if your first meeting with the prospective in-laws was a clunker? It might take you years to convince your "resolute" mother-in-law that you're really not an ax murderer, a cross-dresser, or a Donny Osmond fan.

Ten Tips for Making a Good Impression on Prospective In-Laws

That being the case, it's vital that you make a great first impression on potential in-laws. Below are 10 proven tips to make that process less painful.

  1. Dress for success.

    Guys, put on clean underwear. I know this is tough because some of you are very attached to your undies, but work with me here. How can you tell it's time to change your dainties?

    • When your boxers have turned the color of a dead whale and developed new holes so large that you're not sure which ones were originally intended for your legs.

    • When your BVDs are down to eight loosely connected underwear molecules and have to be handled with tweezers.

    Women, the Morticia Addams look, classic as it may be, doesn't cut it in the Heartland. Ditto for the Spice Girls. Difficult as it may seem, even RuPaul may be a little over the edge for some folks. Consult the following chart for some role models to emulate when you meet the in-laws for the first time:

    Yes No
    Debbie Gibson Debbie Does Dallas
    Oprah Orca (the Killer Whale)
    Mary Queen of Scots Typhoid Mary
    Betty Crocker Joe Cocker
    Madonna (classic style) Madonna (zesty Italian)

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Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Dealing with In-Laws © 1998 by Laurie E. Rozakis, Ph.D. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit Amazon's web site or call 1-800-253-6476.

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