There’s a reason why meeting the parents is so scary. If you love your partner, chances are you want their family to love you too, and that approval can be hard-won. We quizzed several mums and dads about what kind of person they’d like to see their children with, and this is what they had to say…

Stability and family
“The over-riding quality I would hope for in a son-in-law would be commitment to life-long marriage and to my daughter’s happiness, because I think that a firm commitment to a life-long union helps to keep a marriage going in times of difficulty and because marriage is the best environment for raising a family.”
“I would want someone who I can see being a good future parent for my grandchildren. Someone who wants to be part of my family and treat my child with love and respect.”
“I would like a potential son-in-law to see marriage as a permanent life-long commitment which would provide a loving home for any children which the couple might have.”
“Among other qualities, a caring homemaker who looks after themselves as well as the family.”

Fun and laughter
“The most important elements to me are: that they share a common outlook, that the love and respect is shared mutually, that they get along with the siblings, and very importantly, that they bring laughter with them. Being the parent of both gay and straight children, I can say that there is no difference in what I am looking for in my children’s choices.”
“These are the qualities that I would look for in a loving partner for any of my children: loyalty, kindness, steadfastness, empathy, patience, understanding, and the ability to have fun and enjoy life.”
“I would like to feel confident that my daughter was happy in her relationship, was being looked after and being treated with respect. It wouldn’t matter if they didn’t have much just that she was happy!”

There through thick and thin
“Most parents would say that all they want is that their children should be happy and if their partners make them happy then that’s fine with them. It’s not as simple as that. I do not think it is the partner’s responsibility to make my children happy. That comes from within themselves. Rather I would want to see someone who wants to share the walk of life with them, in all its ups and downs.”
“To me, one quality is worth more than any other: loyalty. I don’t just mean the ‘forsaking all others’ fidelity aspect: if you are loyal, you will also be a true supporter of your other half, considering their needs and wants as much as your own, if not more. Their happiness will be your happiness. You’ll willingly do your full share of the marital load. You’ll trust them to do the same things for you. It’s the opposite of the ‘me first!’ attitude that is such a feature of relationship breakdowns today.”

Fitting in
“Someone who takes a genuine interest and someone who is happy to chat to you/have a conversation with you rather than just want to spend time with their partner.”
“I would like them to find someone who would look after your daugher/son and bring out the best in them, and fit in with the family.”