Scoring an invite to your girlfriend’s house over the holidays is a serious step for any relationship. It’s also another chance to impress the number one guy in her life: her dad. So you better bring your A game.

So how do you earn a permanent spot on your future father-in-law’s good side? Steal these smart tips from real dads.


1. Get to Know Him—Even If It’s Uncomfortable

We get it: The father in law can be intimidating. But don’t keep your mouth shut around him out of deference.

Take it from Bob Gronberg. He first met his son-in-law, Garyt, when he was just a high-school kid dating Gronberg’s daughter.

Gronberg was a little skeptical of the young love, but as the years went on, he was impressed by Garyt’s ability to simply sit down and chat.

“Sometimes it was awkward,” Gronberg says, “but he would engage in conversations about life, goals, and even religious beliefs.”

You don’t have to tackle those heavy topics right off the bat, but you do have to take initiative.


If your girlfriend’s dad is a football fanatic, sit and catch a quarter with him before you hang with her. Ask him to grade the performance of his favorite team’s coach this season—and what he’d do differently if he ran the squad.

You’ll get a better response than if you were to ask, “How are you, sir?”—and you’ll snag an exclusive spot in his man cave next Sunday.