The holidays are here, and for those of you who have changed your relationship status since this time last year, then it may just mean you’re taking the boo home for the holidays this year. On the other hand, if your current boo is last week’s Tinder find and you think that the third date is the charm for bringing him home for the holidays, I would guess again doll. Taking the BF home to meet the family for the first time during the holiday season can be nerve wracking! Forget Ebola- your significant other could be exposed to seasonal family arguments. Meeting the family is a relationship milestone for any time of the year and the holidays seem to only double that intensity. No worries, darling, we’re here to make that milestone even easier! Here are 10 tips for bringing your boyfriend home for the holidays.
1. Remember: This is Real Life.
Let’s get real- this is real life and no family is perfect; Leave it to Beaver was left in the 1960s. Arguments happen, the crazy might come out after your aunt has had one too many glasses of wine, and cringe-worthy moments of awkwardness DO exist. The picture perfect scenario is not likely to happen, so be realistic about the whole experience.
2. Find the Common Ground.
From conversations to games to food to decor- find things in common between your boo and your family to help the bonding process. Both parties love a good game of Rummy? Bust out the playing cards while the pie is in the oven! Find the common ground to help everyone get to know each other better.
3. Give Your Man Fair Warning.
Don’t leave your man in the dark about your family. Warn him about any off-the-wall traits that he might be exposed to within your family. Yes, they’re your family and you are used to their ways, but be sure to give your BF a heads up if your dad is prone to jokes at another’s expense, if Aunt Clara rolls her eyes at everyone (don’t take it personally), or if your sister has Tourette’s and isn’t in fact trying to flirtatiously wink at you. The more he is prepared for, the better!
4. Do a Traditions Walk-Through.
Every family has their own traditions, especially during the holidays. Your family has probably been set in their ways for years and while you know the drill like nobody’s business, your man may have no clue what is going on! Light an advent candle at night? Let him know ahead of time so he’s not blowing out your family’s tradition (quite literally).
5. Use Inside Jokes as an Opportunity to Walk Down Memory Lane
No one likes to be odd man out at the dinner table. When an inside joke comes up, include him and give him the backstory if appropriate! What a great way to be able to share family memories than a funny story. After all, someone’s gotta bring up how mom burnt the turkey last year! (it’s okay, we can laugh about it now)
6. Keep the Surprises for Surprise Parties.
Your family doesn’t even know you’re dating someone? This might be the most opportune time to clue them in before bae shows up on their doorstep Thanksgiving day. Give your family a call, send a mass text, create a private Facebook page (okay now I’m being dramatic), however you think is best – give your fam bam a little heads up before the big gathering that you’ll be bringing a plus one.
7. Don’t Empty the Wine Bottle.
Yes, stressful situations may cause you to have a heavy hand when pouring the wine- but take caution to not get carried away! Arguments may begin or escalate quicker with alcohol, beans may be spilled, or PDA may get out of hand. Keep it classy, especially the first introduction of your man to the fam, and keep it in the sober to buzzed zone with the vino.
8. Do You, Boo.
Your man may want to impress your family, or maybe you want to prove something about your relationship to your parents. Whatever the case, be sure to stay true to who you are and don’t put on a facade in front of the family, or down the line (if you and boo are still together) you’ll have quite a charade to keep up which will get exhausting. Of course you want to be on your best behavior and manners, but be yourselves!
9. Stay Away From Politics
Politics, or really any controversial topics that provoke strong opinion, should be kept off of the table for at least the first family event. Bringing up topics that lead to arguing, debating, or feeling the need to defend one’s views should be avoided in this already fragile atmosphere. After all, there are more important things for everyone to talk about- like if go back for a second helping of the mashed potatoes will I still have enough room for pumpkin pie!?
10. Don’t Bash Your Family for BF’s Sake.
At this point, your boyfriend is seasonal but your family is forever. Don’t put down your family or argue against them at your boyfriend’s expense. Of course you want to stick up for your significant other should a conflict arise, but steer clear of finding yourself in the middle of a family to boyfriend argument. Peace, love, and cranberry sauce.
All turkey and pie aside- it’s just dinner, darling. Don’t freak out, dont stress. You’re not signing a marriage license after dessert- you’re going to dinner with your family. Enjoy the time spent with all of those you love spending the holidays under one roof! Oh, and for all of the single ladies: avoid dating until January.
For those of you who HAVE brought a boyfriend home for the holidays, how long did you wait before bringing the boo ‘round? Take our poll below!
How long were you and your boyfriend dating before bringing him home for the holidays?
9 Months to a Year
Less than a Month!