Don't underestimate the influence your guy's parents have over him. The smart woman knows the value of steering them into her corner.
Step 1: Quiz boyfriend Quiz your boyfriend. Are his parents liberal or conservative? Religious or agnostic? What are their hobbies? Did they take a recent trip?
TIP: The more you know, the better you'll be able to make pleasant chitchat and avoid conversational minefields.
Step 2: Dress conservatively Err on the conservative side with your clothing. You shouldn’t feel like you have to lose your style entirely, but avoid midriff blouses, low-low riders, stilettos, and anything skintight.
Step 3: Tone down makeup Tone down the makeup.
TIP: Wear clear gloss or neutral-colored lipstick. You don’t want his folks to be reluctant to get close to you for fear of greasy lipstick stains.
Step 4: Bring a gift Bring a gift. You can’t go wrong with a bouquet of flowers. Hydrangeas, mums, sweetheart roses, and lilies will stay fresh for several days.
TIP: If you're in it to win it, send the flowers to his mother a few days before the get-together with a card saying you’re looking forward to meeting her. It's sucking up, but it works.
Step 5: Pitch in Pitch in. No one likes a guest who sits around waiting to be served. The more you help, the more his family will see you as part of the gang.
Step 6: Don't correct or criticize Don’t correct or criticize your boyfriend--it’s the fastest way to make an enemy of his adoring mom. In fact, slip in some compliments.
Step 7: Send a thank-you note Send a written thank-you note. Old-fashioned? Yes. But very impressive.
FACT: In a 2004 survey, half the men said they’d be willing to let their in-laws visit as often as they liked in exchange for their wife letting them buy a plasma TV!