Meeting the parents can be a scary proposition, however it definitely means that the relationship is going well. It is normal to be nervous but it is important to be prepared and be on your best behaviour as first impressions always last.
Manners are one of the fundamental rules when meeting the parents. Starting off with 'nice to meet you' and using 'thank you' when necessary will make the encounter a positive one.
When it comes to manners, phone etiquette is also important. As many of us are immersed in technology more than ever, we may forget about simple phone manners. Ensure that you do not have your phone on the table or where it is a distraction, as this will give the impression that your interest is at a minimum. You should definitely not be on Facebook or any other social media platform when meeting the parents. I recommend that you keep your phone on silent and out of sight as this will help defeat the urge of temptation and distraction.
Keeping your public displays of affection to a bare minimum is also an important factor to consider. There is a time a place to show your affection and, trust me, this is not the time and definitely not the place. This can make others feel very uncomfortable and can be a turn off.
When meeting the parents, conversation starters may be difficult but the sound of silence can be more awkward. Small talk is a very handy skill to have on encounters like these. Conversation topics that you may consider include employment, pets, family, current affairs and movies. Try and stay away from serious topics such as religion and politics as many individuals have strong opinions. Try and keep the mood positive and light hearted.
There is always the possibility that you are asked a question that is too personal and makes you feel uncomfortable. Be prepared for this situation. Once you have control of the conversation, steer away from the topic and get them to focus on another aspect or your life or conversation topic that would be of interest. Remember, when it is your turn to speak, the conversation is in your hands - don't be afraid to take control!
It can be overwhelming remembering all this information, however if you are yourself you will not go wrong. Do not be something you are not and ensure that you are always respectful in your meeting. Good luck and have fun!