How was the first time you met your girlfriend's parents

my boyfriend who is a westerner is coming to visit my parents in few days. he speaks a bit chinese but not good enough to talk with my mom and dad who don’t speak a bit English at all. I am worried what’s gonna happen. I think he will be stressful and I will be stressed too.

I am curious about other people meeting their TW girlfriend’s parents for the first time. was it okay? did you have fun?well, tell me your stories :slight_smile:

I think the key is alcohol. In most cases, it helps everyone to relax and lowers the communication barrier.

I was a little bit stressed out the first time I met my wife’s parents. They don’t speak English and I don’t speak Chinese. Luckily, the first visit was kind of short but they were happy that I came to see them and made a small effort to say something in Chinese. Since then, we have grown fond of each other, even though there is a huge language barrier.
Even though I am taking their daughter away from them to the US, they know that I will love and respect her and they are happy for us.

Are your parents aware of your commitment to your boyfriend?
When I visited 1st time in -90, they were kind of reserved and I did not know how to please them - very little internet advise those days.

Tell him that this is totally opposite to what he is used to.
Observe the way they are doing things, and repeat the good stuff.
Tell him to be humble, but straight and stand-up guy.

I actually split them up. First we went on a few dinner dates with her mother. Having won her over (always good to have the prospective MIL on your side :smiley: ) we got her brother to help us organise a blue truck and help us move into our new apartment together. Then I went after the dad. Having heard only good things he was quite keen to meet me. We had a nice dinner and now they’re all happy with me having married her…

They weren’t too down with the whole teenage lesbian experimentation thing, but her dad showed me how to take honeycomb out of his beehives. Now they are still kind to me as their daughter’s funny little friend who threw her education down the toilet and moved to the other side of the world.

We aren’t westerners, we are British, so no amusing ‘meeting of cultures’ anecdotes, although they did look a bit nervous whenever my father picked me up in that yellow Chevette.

Think of it this way: If he doesn’t speak Chinese and they don’t speak English, who’s in control of the conversation then?? :wink:

a lot of smart taiwanese girls take the very first opportunity to invite a guy over that they fancy to meet the parents and therefore prevent any issues arising later. Parents seem to warm up at the same speed as the daughter to the guy then.

I think its a great idea. LIke some dude? TAke him home to meet the parents while they are just pals.

doesnt work for all cases tho, of course. especialy ones where the daughter already knows its going to be a battle.

she will then not want to even battle in case the friendship doesnt even blossom into something else.

[quote=“sugar cane”]my boyfriend who is a westerner is coming to visit my parents in few days. he speaks a bit chinese but not good enough to talk with my mom and dad who don’t speak a bit English at all. I am worried what’s gonna happen. I think he will be stressful and I will be stressed too.

I am curious about other people meeting their TW girlfriend’s parents for the first time. was it okay? did you have fun?well, tell me your stories :slight_smile:[/quote]

When you first introduce him to your parents, don’t just leave him alone with them and disappear into another room. That would result in a very tense, awkward situation. Stay by his side, be an interpreter, and explain to your boyfriend how he should behave.

If your parents have any English speaking friends, especially those who have lived overseas, ask them to come along. They can help to reassure your parents that this is a good foreign boy (assuming he is).

My (now) mother-in-law refused to come downstairs, in fact, I could hear her saying something angrily in Taiwanese. Her father was okay, though. It took almost a year for them to be cool with it. Maybe that’s because they’re from Nantou, where there aren’t too many foreigners.

haha the nantou mantou :slight_smile: , they dont even like taiwanese from Taipei?? HOw they gonna like YOU??? man from mars :slight_smile::):slight_smile:

but eventually you have won them over , good job

I had a mixed response from my gf’s family. I’ll get the negative stuff out of the way first because I actually like most of them, especially her dad. My gf asked if he had any problem with me being a heathenous foreigner and he replied, ‘huh? what are you on about? 人就是人’. Anyway, her mum doesn’t like me and to be honest, I don’t really like her either so that’s fine by me. I can understand that she’s wary of her daughter dating someone six years younger but everyone says what a good match we are and that’s what’s important, right? Her ex boyfriends sounded like complete weeds who sucked up to the family at every opportunity, so I think it’s just going to be one of those things where the mother never completely gets on with me and the feeling is mutual. At the time my gf hadn’t exactly been completely open about our relationship so I promised her that the next time I meet her family I’ll pretend we’re starting from scratch and see how it goes. Moving swiftly on…

There isn’t really a language barrier because I don’t need my gf to translate (and probably filter) everything we say. Her brother does almost exactly the same work as me so that made things easier and we can probably even help each other out in the future. Her uncles, cousins twice removed etc. etc. have the same working class roots as my own family and they’re a lot of fun so we get on great. I think her dad appreciated that I was open and honest and just myself. At the end of the day I’m not Taiwanese, I’m just llary - take it or leave it, so why worry about trying to be what I think they want me to be? :wink:

Are you sure she hadn’t just run out of toilet paper after a particularly troublesome evacuation?

In my case I had studied some Chinese (but not well enough to understand them–plus they both have “accents”) and had been to Taiwan before (though not in this situation). From their point of view, their 30-year-old daughter (oh yes, I’m sure that was a factor) had just come back from a year of studying in America, and surprised them by answering “yes” to the inevitable questions from her sisters about whether she had found an American boyfriend.

Fast forward a few months to when I flew there and met everybody. My first impression was that everything was a little bit dirty and creepy. The TV was turned off that first night, but never again thereafter, as if they were vigilently monitoring world events via the aptly-named TVBS (whose theme song I soon memorized). They kept their dog in a small cage, and to add that perfect Stephen Spielberg touch, there was this huge Chinese altar in the middle of the room with flickering neon lights on either side.

The father was quiet, the mother too at first but I soon came to think of her as Godzilla. She is loud. (I mean, I’m half-deaf and I still cringe when she shouts up the stairs.) Gradually I begin to discern their actual personalities, and also see what tough and resourceful people they are. (They struggled through war and poverty and ended up putting five kids through college.) The daughters were all just normal Taiwanese, though I remember being taken aback by the brother’s habit of nonchalantly farting at the dinner table.

Another important aspect of my first impression is that their family was huge, from my point of view. Those first couple of days I had to meet about a dozen family members. Since then I’ve created a little chart for the benefit of my own relatives (and one of mine for theirs). By all means, do that if we’re talking about very many people. Oh yeah! The family is not only big but also close, in ways that we rarely see back home. If money were no object, I’d see my relatives once or twice a year! They had several thirty-year-olds living with the parents (but two have since moved out–both nearby) and the daughter who’d married brings her family over every couple of weeks.

As for their impression of me, I must have struck them as funny-looking, and I know they think of me as tall. (Actually they’re short.) Eventually the mother got around to asking me whether I stood to inherit money from my father. They asked whether my family worships our ancestors. They asked whether my hair color (brown) is natural. (Yes, for now…) I remember having some trouble explaining that “father’s wife” does not equal “mother,” which must have produced some consternation.

After that first stay, my girlfriend asked her father what he thought, and he said something to the effect of “We’ll support whatever you decide, but it’s not easy to marry a foreigner.” (Which is perfectly true.)After I came back and built a career here, and made friends with their grandchildren and the dog (who had been put in the cage mainly for my benefit–little did they know that I love dogs), I guess they started to think of me as a normal part of their lives.

Anyway, good luck, and let us know how it goes!

First time I can say Ni hao.

On comand from my gf I brough some smoked salmon and after reciving that my gf father disapared with a ricebowl and some beer. My gf mother was shy but was not a problem.

I was told later by my gf that her father told her she could marry who ever she wanted as long as it was not a negro.
Her mother was more off the opinion that she should meet more guys and it worried her that I was her first bf.

Later my gf father has changed to think it’s ok we are together, but don’t want us to marry, but now it’s all fine.

My gf mother has after the older sister married started to make hints to me that we should marry.

But like someone else allready told you don’t walk into a other rom and leave him alone with your parents. I really hate the times that hapend.

It was pretty mellow.
“How old are you?”
“How tall are you?”
“How much money do you make?”
Smile. Eat.

Being one of the recently married, I now seem to be getting into the following situations, Friday was my mother-in-laws’ birthday, so I was co-opted into a phone call to wish the (not-so) old girl, “生日快樂!” And on Saturday we went out to dinner with her mom to celebrate. Silly me, I thought it would just be the MIL, wife and I. We were, however, joined by to of MIL’s friends. Not bad, and kudo’s to them, they all spoke in Chinese to accommodate me as opposed to their usual Taiwanese.

I seem to be getting roped into these sort of things more often now.

edit Maybe that’s because my Forumosa title/classification has changed. I see I am now a Combat Zone Mama-san… :astonished:

Hmm my ex-girlfriend introduced me to her parents early on. However, she insisted that they didn’t know we were a couple. I was surprised. But, nonetheless, her parents were very hospitable, smiling, gracious etc and I got along very well with them.

And as the relationship progressed, it seemed that they would one day introduce me to others as their daughter’s boyfriend.

So, I offer this advice. Tell your boyfriend to make pleasant chit-chat but not to reveal anything. You might have met at a disco. It is ok for Westerners to reveal this to their girlfriend’s parents – but it doesn’t seem cool to Taiwanese parents as the idea of “disco” is very different here.

Know what I mean? Prepare him – by asking him a little.