New relationship? 7 things to remember when meeting the family

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Crazy Rich Asians is the feelgood romantic comedy of the year – but it can also teach us a LOT about family etiquette…

We’ve all been there.

You’re in a new relationship and you’ve passed a few milestones already: swapping clothes, spare toothbrush in the bathroom, sharing the TV remote.

But now it’s the big one. No, not that big one (step away from the bridal mags), it’s the next best thing – meeting your partner’s parents for the first time.

Now there are some who find moving and shaking with the parentals easy as pie, but if (like us) you’re already getting heart palpitations at the thought of exchanging polite chit-chat with a mother who – in your partner’s words – is sometimes ‘a little outspoken’, don’t worry. It just so happens we’ve gleaned some savvy tips from this season’s hottest rom-com Crazy Rich Asians about how to nail that first encounter.

© 2018 Warner Bros. Ent. All rights reserved

Featuring chortle-out-loud comedy scenes, quirkily dysfunctional families, stunning sets, a stellar cast and the feel-good soundtrack of the year, Crazy Rich Asians is probably our favourite flick of 2018.

Directed by Jon M. Chu and adapted from Kevin Kwan’s 2013 novel of the same name, Crazy Rich Asians follows the fabulous Rachel Chu (Constance Wu), an Asian-American NYU economics professor who travels to Singapore with her boyfriend Nick (Henry Golding) to attend his friend’s wedding and, yes, meet the family.

But guess what? Things don’t go to plan. Turns out Nick is basically heir to one of the richest dynasties in Singapore, complete with disapproving mother, bitchy aunts and a whole host of crazy cousins who will stop at nothing to tear Rachel’s relationship apart.

And you think you’ve got it bad?

© 2018 Warner Bros. Ent. All rights reserved

So, taking some cues from Crazy Rich Asians, here’s a set of fool-proof pointers to help you pass that parent-approval with flying colours…

1. DO a little bit of research

Ok not full-on cyber stalking, but talking to your partner about things their parents or family enjoy will ease you into conversation when you’re face-to-face. Sure, your colleagues may wonder why you’re Googling miniature railway sets, but hey…

2. DO take a little gift

Again, don’t overdo it with expensive candles or bespoke bottles of booze (that can come later), but a thoughtful, small offering like flowers or homemade treats goes a long way when you first meet.

3. DON’T dominate the conversation

Yep, we know that when nervous we have a tendency to prattle on, but try to rein it in. Your partners folks are probably nervous too, and the last thing they want to hear about is that time you went to a HIIT class and got stuck in your sports bra. Read the room, people.

4. DO listen

If you love your partner, being part of their family is a very important step in your blossoming relationship – listening to what they have to say is paramount to understanding how they communicate both at home and in company. Take the time to speak to individuals (yes, even the uncle who dresses like Elvis), and show an interest in their opinions – even if you don’t necessarily agree.

5. DO offer to help out

From passing the salt to pouring drinks, offering to help out always goes a long way. It shows you are a team player and happy to muck in with the family tasks.

6. DON’T drink too much

As we said above, it’s easy to get a little loose when nervous but that doesn’t mean reaching for the vino. We tend to lose inhibitions over a snifter and, while it might help you feel a little more relaxed, there’s always the risk you’ll wind up in full dancing queen mode in front of grandma’s antiques cabinet. Don’t go there.

7. And finally, DO be yourself

Your partner feels you’ve got enough of a bond to take this next step, and the reason you’re together is because of you as an individual. Put trust in that. Sure, we all have our quirks but the chances are your partner’s family do, too. There’s nothing more charming than a person that’s comfortable in their own skin, so go knock them dead tiger.

Crazy Rich Asians is in UK cinemas from Friday 14 September.

Pictures: © 2018 Warner Bros. Ent. All rights reserved

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