Meet the Russians

How to Win over Your Russian Parents-In-Law

What is it like to meet your Russian parents-in-law

Have you ever watched the famous American comedy called ‘Meet the Parents’? The dad and the boyfriend didn’t hit it off well and it was all very awkward and embarrassing. The meet and greet with your future Russian-in-laws shouldn’t be as bad as long as they like you. Now a good question would be – How on earth would they get to like me if they’ve never met me?

Your other half should’ve prepared the ground by telling them how much you earn and how successful you are in your career. To be fair you don’t have to earn too much to impress them. Your salary is likely to be high compared with the average salary in Russia.

If her/his family have a very traditional outlook on life then I’d cover all your tattoos and pretend to be a non-smoker (if you are). If you really want to make them like you don’t just go about saying that the only thing you enjoy most is watching telly. Say that you love musical instruments and enjoy going to the orchestra. Besides, you were very good at maths and graduated uni with the first class degree. However, If none of this was the case then don’t tell lies, just think of an interesting and intellectual fact that would win them over.

Generally speaking, it’s easier for a man to charm his parents-in-law. It’s not as easy for girls. Mothers can get jealous and greedy not wanting to share their precious son with anyone else. Though regardless, the below hints will help you to survive a few hours of grilling from your Russian-in-laws.

Talk about Babies

It’s all about getting married and having children as soon as you’ve exchanged your vows. Never do it the away way around. You have to get married first and then have a child. Bringing up a child out of wedlock is considered weird especially when both parents live together. That’s what a Russian person’s mindset sounds like – why would you live together and not be married? Do you not love one another enough to commit?

Basically, if you are meeting them to announce your plans to get married that’s great. In this case just talk about how much you want to have children. Tell them you will start making babies as soon as you are out of the door. They will be pleased and will patiently wait for the grandchildren.

On the other hand, if you are meeting them without the plan to get married make sure they are not aware of this. Russian parents are fixed on marriage and having grandchildren. If you are going to deprive them of such happiness, you are not a great match for their daughter/son.

Help around the house

You won’t be a great husband if you can’t fix stuff around the house. You won’t be a great wife if you can’t do household chores to your mother-in-law’s standard. Besides, if you can’t cook she will kick you out straight away. Every proper woman must cook well while every real man must excel at handiwork – that’s a Russian mother-in-law’s mindset. If you know that you won’t pull it off then keep talking about your successful career and big paychecks.

Don’t smile too much

Smiling too much anywhere in Russian is a sign of stupidity. Sorry. This is the ugly truth. You have to always have a serious face as if a deep thought is continuously going through your head. Only smile or laugh when someone makes a funny joke. If the joke isn’t funny keep that poker face on to make them feel awkward.

The only case when you must laugh at a boring joke it’s at your other half’s parents’. If her/his dad is the ‘boring uncle’ type who keeps making the same unfunny joke, give it a good and genuine laugh. You will win him over in no time. He knows his jokes are as boring as hell. While Russian dads break the ice, Russian mothers take over the questioning part.

Eat everything they offer

Russian people absolutely love to stuff their guests with food. Prior to your arrival, your Russian mother-in-law will clean the whole flat/house and cook loads of traditional Russian meals. Once you are sat at the table, your parents-in-law will keep offering different foods to you. They will try to push you to eat more. You will hear a lot of don’t-be-shy-have-some-more kind of thing. At the end say that everything was superb and you loved all of her cooking. To be fair, Russian women cook very well so your compliments will follow naturally.

Make sure to compliment

Compliment their flat or the new furniture. If their place has been done up recently, draw your attention to the new wallpaper. All Russians are proud of their flowery, stripey or check-ish wallpaper. Compliment your mother-in-law’s cooking. It’s her that you have to please most. Your father-in-law is already in love with you since you find his uncle jokes funny.

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