Introducing a guy to your parents is a big deal in any relationship. Forget presenting him to Dad—you know how male parents hate to see their daughters with any guy who doesn’t live up to their precious little girls’ standards of perfection. Mom at least serves as a less threatening option when it comes to parental introductions. She dated when she was your age, after all, and understands what it’s like on your side of the coin. Still, knowing whether your man is ready to meet your mom takes a certain amount of deliberation, and the following factors should help swing things in his favor:
1. He Can Chew With His Mouth Closed
Basic table manners will impress any mother. At least, they won’t repulse her.
2. He Has A Job
Unemployment is a big red flag for any parent. If your mom thinks he lacks ambition, he automatically becomes a no-good stoner layabout in her eyes (or in my mother’s, anyways).
3. He Can Put On An Unwrinkled Button-Down
Moms tend to care about presentation. If his shoes match the rest of his outfit, he gets instant bonus points.
4. You’ve Been Together For At Least 6 Months
Your specific situation will of course dictate how exactly this guideline should apply, but you get the gist—don’t introduce Mom to the guy you’ve been fucking for the past three weeks and expect that go smoothly.
5. He’s No Stranger To The “Parent” Topic
Don’t spring a parental meeting on the poor guy. Make sure you’ve discussed the idea before you invite him to brunch with Mom.
6. He Sort Of Smiles When You Mention Her
A subtle hint, this means he’s not inadvertently cringing at the thought of meeting your mother.
7. He’s Described His Parents To You
To ensure that the parental topic has been thoroughly breeched, recount (in your head) what you know about his parents. What he has (or hasn’t) told you should serve as a good indicator as of how close to you he really feels.
8. He’s Good At Interviews
Let’s face it, withstanding a first meeting with your mom resembles a job interview just a little bit. If he faces those with ease, then you know he can probably take the barrage of questions your mom will throw at him.
9. He Doesn’t Make You Late To Work
If you’re dating the kind of guy who doesn’t understand how an extra 10 minutes of morning sex might get in the way of your promotion, he’s not yet mom material.
10. His Parents Definitely Know About You
If his parents would quizzically raise their eyebrows at the mention of your name, you should probably think about why your parents know everything from his income to his shoe size.
11. Or You’ve Met Them Already
You’ve met his parents? Then it’s most likely OK to introduce him to one of yours. Fair is fair. Unless his family is just the sort of big, loving bunch that rolls that way.
12. He Doesn’t Have To Lie About His Job
Mom doesn’t need to meet a drug dealer. Just saying.
13. You Haven’t Lied About Him
If meeting this guy is going to discredit everything you’ve said about him, from his age to his favorite book, best you keep Mom at bay until you straighten this out (or at least assess why you’ve fed her such untruths).
14. He’s Googleable And That’s Ok
When Mom plugs his name into the search engine and a criminal record pops up, she’s going to ask some uncomfortable questions. If she’s super waspy, she’s just going to look really uncomfortable, which is also less than ideal.
15. He’s 10 Years-Plus Older Than You
Honestly, parents are never too thrilled by the significantly older man. It implies an imbalance of power that moms are rarely comfortable with, even if she dated older when she was your age. Remember, moms don’t care about comparing you to them-at-your-age. They care about comparing you to their perfect version of you.
16. His Political Views Don’t Strongly Oppose Hers
You do not want this initial meeting to verge into political territory, trust me. However, if his views (and Mom’s views) are strong, they might not be able to help themselves. Then you’ll just have to duck for cover as the partisan (or whatever) warfare follows.
17. Neither Do His Religious Ones
Obviously, same goes for religion. This difference is less likely to result in an out-and-out argument, but will definitely end in some palpable tension.
18. Your First Meeting Story Doesn’t Involve Strip Clubs Or Ecstasy
If it does, think this through beforehand. Coming up with a believable, PG tale (PG-13 at best) will be crucial to attaining Mom’s approval.
19. He’s Low Maintenance
When you arrive at the restaurant where you’ve planned to meet your mom, you can’t have your man moving around tables and sending back dishes…unless that’s your mom’s MO, as well. Then they’ll probably get along (while you sigh and wonder how the hell you always end up with these people).
20. You Guys Do More Than Fuck
No matter how close you feel to this man, it’s important you figure out exactly why you’ve achieved this closeness before you take him to say hi to your mom. If you realize that pure, raw chemistry rules your relationship, dinner with Mom might turn out to be a very silent and fidgety endeavor.
21. He Can Keep His Hands Off You
Mom doesn’t want to watch a guy’s hands travel dangerously close to your boobs during lunch. Furthermore, you don’t want to have to keep kicking him under the table or suppress pleasure faces when your mom is present.
22. Your Sibling’s Boyfriend Is Way More Embarrassing
So your sister’s boyfriend is a total slob who got drunk over brunch for his first impression and hasn’t successfully held down a job in two years. Your guy should look like a knight in shining armor in comparison (… let’s hope).
23. He’s Read A Book In The Past 6 Months
Literacy goes far with moms.
24. He Willingly Visits Museums
Culture goes far with moms, too.
25. You Don’t Have Any Secrets Your Mom Could Spoil For You
He doesn’t know that you were engaged to your previous boyfriend? Mom may let this tidbit slip even if she knows she’s not supposed to. You know how moms are.
26. He Knows More About You Than What Your Favorite Drink Is
If he doesn’t, not only will this show Mom how poor your judgment is in significant others, it will also lead her to believe that you are both alcoholics.
27. He’s Not In The Middle Of “No Shave November”
Meeting a beard instead of a man will probably freak out your mom or even make her think you are dating a lumberjack.
28. He’s Not Glued To His Technology
If he has trouble dividing his attention between his iPhone and your mom, he might as well be at home in front of his computer screen.
29. You’re On The Same Page About What You Can Tell Your Parents
When he starts bringing up your crazy Vegas trip, you don’t want to have to pretend he was talking about something with his last girlfriend.
30. He’s Not Wearing A Court-Ordered Ankle Bracelet
31. He Doesn’t Constantly Reek Of Cigarettes
Unless Mom is a smoker, this can serve as the ultimate mother turn-off.
32. He Doesn’t Have Any Facial Tattoos
Or probably any over-the-top, visible tats, like an ex-girlfriend’s name on his shoulder (right beneath your name on his shoulder).
33. You Know Him
As he gets to know Mom, you don’t want to find yourself repeatedly coming out with, “Really?! I didn’t know you loved SciFi!?” Mom will end up questioning what your relationship is all about if she’s learning more about your significant other on their first meeting than you have during your entire relationship.
34. He’s Reliable Enough To Actually Show Up On Time
Or at all…
35. He Can Discuss At Least Two Recent Current Events
After talk about the weather runs thin, you guys will need more to draw from in your small-talk well.
36. He Thinks Of This Meeting As More Than Just A Free Meal
If he’s destitute enough to agree to meet your mom for the benefit of eating lunch on her, he may just make it obvious by gobbling up his food with only the occasional “mmhmmms” to show that he’s “listening.”
37. Your Mom Likes To Drink
This will smooth over any possible awkward tensions between her and your boyfriend pretty easily…unless it goes the opposite direction and exacerbates them.
38. He’s Showered Within The Past 72 Hours
At least. If he showered right before meeting your mom, extra points.
39. His Mom Is Crazier Than Yours
The positive comparison will serve you all well. If anything will run smoother than your first meeting with his mom, then you guys can sit back, relax, and enjoy a relatively pleasant brunch.