It will take 3 months for your father-in-law to like you!

According to a new survey which has polled father-in-laws to find out how long it takes for them to approve of their son-in-law!

  • The study reveals it takes father-in-laws 3 months to approve their son-in-law
  • Almost one in five said they would tell their child if they didn’t approve of their partner
  • Showing respect for the family is the best way to win over your partner’s dad

We’ve all been there – the sweaty palms and excited butterflies that inevitably come when you meet your partner’s parents for the first time.

A new survey1, conducted by greetings card marketplace,, has looked to reveal the time it takes father-in-laws to approve of their son/daughter’s partner, revealing that the average amount of time is 3 months. The study quizzed 1,000 father-in-laws across the UK on how long it takes for them to approve of their son-in-law, as well as the attributes that are most important to them.

How long does it take father-in-laws to realise you are a good fit for their son/daughter? 

It was found that a quarter of father-in-laws (25%) said they actually approved of their son/daughter partner from the first moment they met them, with just less than one in 10 (9%) taking 7 months or longer to approve.

The survey also went on to reveal that almost two-fifths (37%) said that they are happy with who their son/daughter is in a relationship with. More than one in 10 (11%) went on to say that they don’t believe their son/daughter needs their dad’s approval on their partners, with it completely being their choice.

On the other hand, almost one in five (19%) said they would tell their child if they didn’t like their partner, and 16% said they have actually told their child in the past if they haven’t approved of who they are with.

The top ways to win over your father-in-law:

When asked about the most important things that their child’s partners should do to get their seal of approval, the most popular attributes were:

  • Show respect to my family (24%)
  • To be family orientated (24%)
  • Take the time to build a relationship with me (18%)
  • Be there during tough times (17%)
  • Show desire to learn more about my child (15%)

Looking at some of the other important factors, 8% said that their potential son-in-law should laugh at their jokes, spend lots of money on their child (8%) and go to the pub with them (7%).

What you should avoid doing in front of your father-in-law:

When asked when their childs partner/spouse should avoid doing in order to the get their seal of approval, the top answers from the dads surveyed were:

  • Being disrespectful (26%)
  • Have a bad attitude (22%)
  • Being fake-nice (19%)
  • Forgetting manners (15%)
  • Being a know-it-all (14%)
  • Not speaking to our family (14%)

Some of the other attributes that are best avoided were, getting drunk (13%), swearing in front of them (13%), and having sex in the family home (10%).

More information on the study can be found here: 


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