Photo by Priya Marie
Photo by Priya Marie

No, A Desi New Yorker didn’t suddenly get hijacked by a real estate blog.

Who knows better than New Yorkers how hard it is to buy or even rent property in this city.  The cost of living is almost criminal as are the lengths we have to go to if we want to secure a remotely reasonable home.  My parents have a lovely detached home within the city borders that gives us the best rural-urban combination anyone can hope to find. But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t secretly envy anyone whose commute to work was 30 minutes or less.

When it comes to determining where your guy or gal meets your desi parents, the answer might seem obvious. He or she should come over to mom and dad’s home for dinner, right?

WRONG! When meeting the parents, location requires just as much thought as deciding on a place to live.

Listen, it’s no secret here that your parents still have the upper hand in this situation. How do you level the playing field? Take your desi parents out of their comfort zone and bring them to neutral territory.

For the same reasons I discussed in the first post of this series, you need to give yourself as much of an advantage as possible.  Your parents’ home is their comfort zone.  This is where they can be rude, impolite or make a scene without worrying about publicly embarrassing themselves.  On the other hand, have the meeting at a public place and your desi parents will think twice before speaking or behaving offensively.

I recommend a nice restaurant for lunch or dinner.  If your parents are more particular about cuisine, prioritizing their preferences will make it easier for them to say yes to eating out.

You’ll probably hit a road block with your desi parents on meeting your partner for dinner anywhere other than their home.  Maybe tradition dictates that they must invite your boyfriend or girlfriend over for a home-cooked meal.  They might feel they are being rude and would be uncomfortable meeting at an unfamiliar place.  Acknowledge their concerns but continue to advocate for your preference and offer to have your guy or gal come to the house for dinner the next time.  Remind them what a great night you had when you broke the news to your desi parents in the first place.

If mom and dad are adamant about having the meeting at home, it’s okay to compromise here. Remember, you want to do as much as you can to lower their sense of risk while swinging the odds in your favor.  While scheduling the meeting at a nice restaurant would be ideal, you can still emerge victorious at home on opening night.

Campaign for a meeting outside the home. If you never ask, you’ll never receive. You’ll just have to work a little harder so that mom, dad and your partner can hit it off really well if you keep it local.


This post is part three of my tutorial on meeting the desi parents.

The next post in this series brings us to the big day! You’re not going to want to miss it!

To get the full series, watch for future posts on A Desi New Yorker.

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Missed the start of this meet the desi parents series? You can read the first two below…

Break The News

Crush Their Fear

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