Thanksgiving is coming up, folks! You probably didn’t need me to tell you that. Grocery stores, drug stores and Hallmark stores have been ready for the holidays since mid-August, I think. Maybe July, depending on where you live! But, now’s the time of year where we really start to think seriously about actual plans for the holidays. So, let’s get to planning. Are you ready to spend it with your new boo’s family? If you’re not sure one way or another, here are some guiding questions to help you figure it out? (“Guiding questions” is what my elementary school reading teacher used to call our language arts homework. And that was always my favorite subject! Anyway…)
Have you met them before?
Contrary to what most sitcoms and movies would have you believe, it’s rare for a first meeting of a significant other to be walking in the door minutes before Thanksgiving dinner. High stakes events with massive amounts of family in a pressure cooker situation is not the optimal time to make your best first impression. So, I think a meeting prior to the holiday is essential if you’re going to be making an appearance at the dinner.
Are you welcomed?
I mean more than just, “Yeah, babe. You’re invited.” If you’re truly welcomed at the holiday, the host of the event will invite you. If it’s at his mother’s house, for example, his mom should reach out and officially tell you how much she wants you included in their family’s celebration. Being your guy’s new significant other at the table is way different than being his college roommate who had nowhere else to go. This is a step toward becoming a part of his family and you want to be wanted in that role.
Have you discussed with your family?
It’s not a real holiday unless family politics are involved! And becoming a couple and doing holidays together means that someone’s family is without you for the holiday. You’re not ready to accept an invitation to be with his family until it’s totally kosher with your family. And if your family’s anything like my family, this could take some doing. So, break the news to them as early as possible and walk through their reaction together. Validate their feelings and explain your decisions. It’s not going to be easy, but if he’s the right guy, it’ll be worth it.
Do you see a future?
Like I just said, holidays with a new family can be stressful for a variety of reasons and it’s only really worth going through if you see a future with this guy. Shared holidays aren’t something to dive into if you’re thinking of this as just a fling. Or even if you’re not entirely sure about your future. Of course, you can never be 100% sure what the future holds. But, you do know what you want it to hold. And if you want this man in your future, feast away with his family. If he’s not something you’re certain about, it’s just not time to share a holiday with his family. That will send the wrong signals and make things messier for everyone in the end.
Are you excited about it?
I get that not everyone’s going to get along with their boyfriend’s family. Sometimes your boyfriend doesn’t even get along with his family. So, I’m not saying you need to be pumped to have an awkward meal with his distant relatives. What I’m referring to is excitement about what this means for your relationship. Are you excited to see where he’s from, learn more about who he is and take this step together? If you are, go for it. But if this doesn’t feel like a big cool thing to you and is more just “eh, happening,” I say avoid sharing holidays. This honey isn’t for you and you shouldn’t lead him on by sharing a holiday with him.
If you answered yes to all five of these questions, happy holidays to you and your boo! You’re going to be feasting together with his family at Thanksgiving, Christmas or whatever winter holiday his family celebrates and I predict it will do really great things for your relationship. But, if any of these questions got a no, then you should probably put down that drumstick and do some serious thinking about your holiday plans.