Bringing a date to your family’s Thanksgiving dinner can make or break a relationship…be prepared!
The last six weeks of every year are always stressful for both singles and married couples alike. The holidays add an extra level of anxiety to already stressful lives, leaving most single men and women wanting it to be OVER already! For singles dating someone new, it’s an especially tough time of year, as you don’t necessarily want to be alone for the holidays or be questioned by relatives yet again about why you are still single. BUT are you really ready to bring someone new to your family dinner? With over 60% of men and women saying they will break of with a significant other if they were rude or disrespectful to family members, there’s definitely pressure to make a good first impression.
If you are dating someone around this time, the subject ultimately comes up with your significant other… “So, what are you doing for Thanksgiving?” Somehow, maybe without intending to, you’ve suddenly invited a date to your family’s annual Thanksgiving dinner. And now you can’t backtrack but you’re having some fears about how it’s all going to go.
Here are some tips for navigating the dinner without destroying your promising relationship:
- Openly communicate with your date about how everyone in the family is likely to react to him/her. If you don’t normally take a date to family holiday dinners, then the family is bound to think your relationship is something of a serious one and likely to be excited to meet your future wife/husband. Make sure to set the right expectations.
- Tell your family in advance if there are any off-topic conversations. There are things you may not want your new date to know or to discuss in front of them. For example, the family asking if you’re planning to get married or telling stories of your childhood you may find embarrassing, or even worst, sharing stories of your ex (definite no no!). Also, it’s probably best to avoid controversial topics such as religion, politics, or abortion. Bring up topics you’re both comfortable talking about which won’t ruffle the feathers of your outspoken family members. Heck, there’s always the weather, or what a great job the evening’s hostess did this year.
- Be on the same page. Plan your answer to the “how we met” conversation as you’ll for sure be asked. If you met online and feel uncomfortable about sharing the details, then best to make sure your story matches. Although nowadays, online dating is wide spread and millions of singles have found love online.
- Bring something to the table, as a couple. Even if you’re not taking care of the Thanksgiving feast preparation, you should bring something delish to the table like a side dish or a dessert. This will give everyone a chance to focus on your food and not your date when your first walk in. It can be a great topic of discussion to break the ice…hopefully with raves on how yummy it is.
- Keep it real. This can be hard since our family self and our romantic self aren’t always the same. Just relax and be who you are and encourage your date to do the same. If you’re nervous, you’re more likely to make your date nervous, which could lead to awkward comments or reactions.
- Don’t be apologetic. If you really like your date, you shouldn’t have to apologize to your family for bringing him/her. And even if your family’s a little nutty or has family rivalry, you don’t have to apologize to your date for who they are. They are apart of you, so your attitude should be “hey, this is a part of my life, please respect it and I’ll deal with yours if you deal with mine” and if it’s the right person, they will appreciate your stance.
It’s Thanksgiving and we should all be grateful to have people we love and to share our lives. We all have problems within our families or some sort of messy history. It’s difficult to bring dates into the mix, but that’s what the holidays are all about. Aside from devouring a fabulous meal, try to enjoy great conversation, some laughs and walk away from it taking your relationships to another level.
Happy Thanksgiving from Link4Love!
Did you take a date to a family holiday dinner? Share your experience – was it a success or a flop?