By Jared Sais

This week’s episode of The Bachelorette hit close to home…literally. Desiree toured the country, visiting all of the guys’ hometowns and meeting their families. She seemed to take this opportunity to reaffirm how she feels about each contestant, and luckily, each family was welcoming to her.

Her only somewhat-negative experience was with Zak’s family, as they may have come across to her as a bit campy. She made an “aw face” while they were singing to her, which is characterized by:

– Raising the inner corner of the eyebrows

– Lowering the outer corners of the mouth

– Swelling of the lips

– Occasionally tilt of the head

It can seem like a look of sadness, but it’s really more akin to the expression someone makes when looking at a cute dog or baby. This non-verbal cue could mean that Des was genuinely touched by the gesture, or she could’ve been trying to be nice. It could also have been a look of pity. It didn’t matter in the long run, though, since she sent Zak packing at the end of the episode.

Related Link: Bachelorette 9, Episode 7: Confession in Madeira

Ultimately, though, I believe that all Desiree wanted was proof that Drew’s family is fun and loving, which she definitely got. She made it clear last week that she’s made up her mind about who she’s going to choose, and to me, the hometown dates only confirmed that fact.

This episode, perhaps more than any other episode of The Bachelorette, is applicable to our own lives. When you meet your significant’s other’s family, how do you think they feel about you? Here are some cues to consider.

Signs That Your Partner’s Family Likes You

– They give you real hugs. Real hugs are tight and last a long time. If it concludes with the rubbing of the back of your neck, you know it’s a real hug.

– Their smiles are genuine. When someone offers you a genuine smile, crow’s feet appear in the corner of the eyes, the cheeks are pushed up and the corner of the lips rise.

– They stay close to you. Family members will sit next to you and position you in the middle of the group. They invite you into their personal space, which is less than four feet from them according to Edward T. Hall.

– They want to get to know you.  They ask you about your interests, your likes and your dislikes.

– They invite you to future events. Such invitations are a clear indication that they like you and want to see you more.

– They’re eager to serve you food and beverages. People who like you want to make sure you’re taken care of and happy.

– The ex isn’t mentioned. They rarely discuss your partner’s ex, and when they do, it’s to comment on your superiority.

– They give thorough answers to your questions. People who like you will take their time in responding to you. They may even seem to ramble when they tell stories because they enjoy your company and want to maximize the amount of time that they spend with you. Tedious as it can be, try to think of it as a type of initiation.

– You’re a part of family stories. They start telling anecdotes about things that occurred while you were in their company, which really indicates that they consider you to be “one of them.”

– They treat you as a member of the family. If your significant other’s mother or father asks you to set the table or perform a different household chore, it’s another indication that they view you as a member of the family.

– They offer compliments. Take it as a good sign that your partner’s family showers you with praise.

– You feel wanted. Trust your gut. Stay attuned to the vibes – good or bad – that you pick up.

– They stretch out their goodbyes. It’s hard to say goodbye to people you like or love. When leaving your partner’s family, look for signs of sadness. For example, their voices might lower. They might also give you multiple hugs and kisses.

Related Link: Bachelorette 9, Episode 6: Drama in Barcelona

Signs That the Family Doesn’t Like You

– They give you fake hugs. When someone gives a fake hug, their butt is pointed out. The hug is quick and may consist of only a single or double tap on the back.

– Their smiles aren’t sincere. Fake smiles only engage the lower half of the face. There is a total lack of eye movement.

– They keep their distance. They maintain space between themselves and you. Perhaps they scoot their seats away from you, lean back in their chair, choose a seat that’s far away from you or find tasks to perform to avoid speaking to you.

– They’re uninterested. They don’t ask you questions about yourself or perhaps they simply exclude you from the conversation.

– They exclude you from family events. You notice that they never include you in their plans for family activities.

– They glorify your partner’s ex. They speak very highly about your partner’s previous relationships yet never compliment you.

– They’re not conversational. They offer short responses to your questions.

– They’re reluctant to compliment you. They rarely say nice things about you.

– They have private conversations. They often take your partner aside to have private conversations that are most likely about you.

– It’s impacting your partner negatively. Notice your partner’s mood. If they seem upset or angry, it may be because they are frustrated by having to defend you to their family.

– Your partner emphasizes your strengths. If your significant other starts describing you as the funniest, most brilliant person in the world, it’s probably his attempt to ingratiate you to his family.

– They say an unemotional goodbye. When you leave them, they use casual phrases like “take care” or “see ya.” They may also say goodbye in a silly or high-pitched tone.

Meeting the family can be a daunting next step in your relationship. With these non-verbal and verbal signs in mind, however, you can determine how they feel about you and respond accordingly. Good luck!

After watching this week’s episode of The Bachelorette, how do you think meeting the families will impact Desiree’s final decision?