New Girl, Old Guidelines

Dear Stephanie,

I’m going to meet my boyfriend’s parents for the first time at their house. Should I bring something? We’ve been dating a few months now and I really like him.


The New Girl in Town


Dear New Girl,

Thanks for writing in! I remember the stress of meeting my boyfriend’s parents for the the first time. The harder question here is not if you should bring something, because of course you should bring something, but instead what should you bring?

Flowers are nice and always beautiful. However, I think there are more cons than pros when it comes to flowers. Someone could be allergic, they die quickly, they leave a mess of petals and pollen and there is always a slightly awkward fuss in finding the right place and vase or container to put them in. Personally, I have always appreciated the gesture of someone getting me flowers more than the flowers themselves.

In my opinion the perfect gift or “something to bring” is something that can be appreciated as much or  more than the gesture you are trying to make. That is why I think food or drink is always the best. It’s never in the way, the mess is relatively contained, someone could be allergic, but you could use that to your advantage (let me explain below), it can become a memorable part of the experience, and there is always an easy place to put it — counter, fridge, oven, stove, freezer etc..  I am just going to assume that during your visit with them you will share at least one meal. So, not only does food and drink have the potential to be all the great things I mentioned above, it will also be relevant — and when things are relevant people remember.

Now, that you know you should be getting something and that something should be edible, lets decide on what to bring. If you’re in a rush wine is always a good option. If you are looking for a red wine to bring to dinner, below are my two favorite. Maybe you will introduce someone to their next new favorite?

If you’re looking for a crisp and delicious white wine, any Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand will be a crowd pleaser. My personal favorite is Matua. Besides it being delicious it is also fairly economical, so your wallet will also be thankful.

If you would rather bring food or his family doesn’t drink, ask if anyone if your boyfriend’s family has a food allergy or dietary restrictions. If they do, obviously avoid anything with those ingredients, but go a step further and find a delicious substitute. Say, your boyfriend’s sister recently developed a dairy allergy and now all she want’s is a giant slice of cheese cake, like the good old days. This is your time to shine. Do your homework, and find the best dairy free (maybe vegan) cheesecake in your neighborhood or city to bring with you. It might take a lot of effort but it is actually a genuinely kind and thoughtful gift. His family would not forget that anytime soon and I’m sure they would be so happy that their son is with someone so kind. Lastly, it is also something the whole family can enjoy and providing a little bit of joy is the best way to make a good and lasting impression.

Just remember that no matter what you bring, your boyfriend’s parents will probably like you regardless, because you are good to and for their son and making him happy. From what I hear, that’s way more important than any thing you could bring. ; )

With Love,


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