DEAR HARRIETTE: My girlfriend and I have been dating for a while now. Even though we have been together for years, I do not have a great relationship with her parents -- we don't have issues with one another, but we've never had a connection that flowed.
My girlfriend's college graduation is approaching, and I am nervous to attend due to the amount of time I would have to spend with her family. Do you have any advice on how I can survive the weekend with her not-so-welcoming parents? -- Surviving the Parents, New Haven, Connecticut
DEAR SURVIVING THE PARENTS: Keep your eyes on the prize: your girlfriend’s graduation. Remember that everyone is there to celebrate her. Get her parents talking when you are around them by asking them questions about what your girlfriend was like growing up or what they remember about her as a student and as a child. Whenever you are together, ask them to travel down memory lane. This will keep them in a positive state of mind and may distract them from whatever negative feelings they have about you. Stay positive, and remember that they are responsible for your girlfriend’s life. Be grateful for that, even if they are difficult.