our everyday life

What to Say to Your Boyfriend's Mother at the First Dinner

by Wannikki Taylor

Things are serious between you and your boyfriend, and he wants to introduce you to his mother. You already have nervous jitters and thoughts running through your head about what to say to her at the first dinner. Be yourself and keep the conversation simple and you will be sure to leave a good impression.

Offer Subtle Compliments

Find a way to flatter your boyfriend's mother. Compliments let her know you admire her good taste. Always remember to be genuine as she will sense insincerity. If you will be meeting his mom at her home for dinner, find something you like about her decorating skills. Tell her how much you adore a painting on her wall or a colorful vase on the table. She took the time to prepare a special meal, so rave over her casserole or pie. Alternatively, compliment something she is wearing to let her know you admire her fashion sense.

Find Common Interests

Ask your boyfriend beforehand to tell you about his mother's interests and hobbies to give you something to talk about. There is likely something both of you like to do, such as hiking or sewing. Tell her about your favorite places to shop for material or how you made pillows. She'll be happy to have found common ground and will open up about a mutual hobby. Alternatively, if you have little in common, simply ask her about her hobby by saying, "That sounds interesting," or "I would like to try that."

Avoid Tough Topics

Discussing controversial topics at the dinner table can bring about a heated discussion. Ask your boyfriend ahead of time about certain topics, such as religion or politics, that should be avoided. If a controversial issue arises and it becomes clear that you disagree with her, simply give a general answer: "Everyone has a different opinion." Try to move on. Keep the conversation neutral with topics about weather or school life. You want to make a good first impression. Deeper discussions can be saved until you know his mother better.

Offer Help

When dinner is over, show your good manners by offering to help clean up. [You should also ask if she needs help before dinner.] You and your boyfriend may be the guests of honor, so his mother may decline the offer. She will still appreciate the gesture, even so. If she agrees, ask what she wants you to do. You don't want to impose on her turf.

About the Author

Wannikki Taylor is a professional writer with a Bachelors of Arts in journalism from Temple University. She serves as a children's columnist and covers family entertainment for several print and online publications. She specializes in games, crafts and party planning ideas for kids and their families.

Photo Credits

  • Steve Mason/Photodisc/Getty Images