“It definitely puts me at ease when a guy tells me what I’m getting into with his parents,” says Tess*, 28. “If I know about certain character traits beforehand, I won’t take their actions personally and I’ll feel more comfortable being myself.”
Also mention if your folks have specific gripes or preferences. Like, please don’t let me walk into your house with shoes on if that will send your OCD mother into a tizzy, and don’t let me call your father Bob if he prefers Mr. Greene.
Discuss dress code
Fashion makes a statement. And you have the power to provide your mate with intel that ensures his/her ensemble choice -- and first impression -- are both good ones. True, telling someone you’re dating how to dress can be touchy -- it can come off as naggy, or like you don’t trust him/her to impress your family. It’s all in the context and delivery. For instance, don’t say something vague and insulting to your girlfriend like, “My mom will think you’re trying too hard if you wear heels.” (True story, that was said to me once. Ouch.) But, you can elaborate on the day’s plans and suggest appropriate attire: “We’ll be in my family’s backyard all day, so wear comfy shoes!”