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Get in Good With His Family

Follow our clever tricks to schmoozing with his clan.

Photo: Stephen Campbell

Even if you hit the in-law lottery and win a stellar set of bonus-parents, it's not always easy to get on their good side (even if you're the most charming person in the world, which we know you are). So instead of shying away from hanging out with them, try jumping in and making an amazing impression. Here's how:

Bring a Special Dish
This 9 x 13-inch offering the next time you're invited over is your clever token of gratitude. It shows you appreciate how much effort they put into hosting dinner. Aren't you a peach! The real truth is you've guaranteed there's something digestible on the table.

Embrace Their Weird Habits
Their thermostat never rises above 60 degrees, they eat dinner at 5:30 p.m., and the whole gang gathers around the TV whenever there's a M*A*S*H marathon. Whatever you do, don't whine, or you'll look super high-maintenance. Solution: Bring a turtleneck, Powerbars, and an iPod shuffle to weather the storm, and you'll be golden.

Accept Gifts Strategically
No, you can't immediately go on eBay and list the 3-foot-tall, electric-pink Easter bunny his mother gave you because they'll just look for it on their next visit to your place...unless you conveniently tell them that you love the gift so much that you brought it to work (wink, wink).

Throw the Family Pet a Bone
Nobody seems to mind that your man's family dog isn't house-trained and bites. But insult Thor at your own risk! The way to their hearts is through their best friend. So bring along pet toys. You may even avoid getting tooth marks in your leg.

Silence Your Inner Cruise Director
Recommending cutting-edge novels, restaurants, or movies to his parents in the same way you would to your own family can be risky. Sometimes, it's best to be bland, boring, and unopinionated—for once. The more you get 'em talking about their own favorite things, the faster they'll warm up to you.
>>> Got in-law issues?
>>> In-law invasion stories
>>> Handle his mother!

-- Dina Koutas Poch

See More: Couple Issues , Family & In-Laws , Love & Sex