Meeting the family of your significant other for the first time is a pretty huge deal, especially if you have to fly out and stay in their home over holiday break. Of course, it can get even more nervewracking when you think of having to tell everyone that the two of you connected through an online dating site. Scary stuff, right? We know. Don’t worry—we’ve got some tips to help see you through the holiday season.
If you’re shy, we hate to break it to you, but you’re going to need to step out of that little bubble you call home and socialize with your boyfriend’s family. The last thing you want is to be sitting in a corner all night cradling your drink and feeling too awkward to partake in any of the conversations going on around you. Big families can be a little intimidating sometimes, especially if this is your first time meeting everyone, so as awkward as it might feel, just politely ease your way into a conversation and let his family get to know you! If you don’t feel comfortable talking about yourself, then start asking questions. People love to talk about themselves (surprise, surprise). Just be present, show them that you are interested and everything will be fine.
Holidays are filled with friends, family, delicious home-cooked meals, and unfortunately, everyone’s political and religious beliefs that they seemed to have saved for this exact moment. We know that it can get tense, but our best advice is to just stay out of it. It would be one thing if this were your family, but it’s not. You’re meeting your significant other’s family for the first time and getting into a heated argument with your boyfriend’s mother about the current political climate is not how you want to be remembered.
This is mainly for those of you who are faced with traveling across the country for a week-long holiday trip. First of all, you need to know what the weather will be like so you can pack accordingly. If his parents live on the east coast and you live in Arizona, and therefore own nothing thicker than a cable-knit sweater, then you need to go out and buy clothes that were made for colder weather. If you show up to celebrate Thanksgiving dinner in New York and all you packed was a few t-shirts, some skirts and a pair of flats, you’re either going to freeze to death if you ever leave the house, or you will have to stop at the nearest Target and buy whatever you can find. Either way, it will only make you look unprepared.
Put The Cellphone Away
Please, please, please do not be that person. Be present. Be in the moment. You can’t do that if you’re glued to your cell phone the entire trip. Your significant other asking you to meet their parents for the first time is a big deal, and because it’s all happening over the holidays there’s a good chance you’ll probably meet other members of the family as well. If you want to make a good impression, stop scrolling through Instagram.
Go With The Flow
Maybe your boyfriend’s family likes to wake up at the crack of dawn on Thanksgiving and head out to their favorite restaurant for a special breakfast. Or maybe they like to go to church as a family first thing in the morning. Whatever it is, just go with the flow (within reason, of course). You are the guest in this situation, you accepted the invitation. Don’t openly complain to your significant other about how tired and miserable you are, just keep it to yourself. If you find that you really don’t like whatever weird holiday tradition they might have, that’s OK. Just talk to your partner about it later on in private, and come up with a plan about how to do things differently next year.
While there are many more tips we have for you, these are the best we can give you: be present, be kind, be yourself. You might hit a few road bumps and have a few awkward conversations, but with things like this, it’s natural. Good luck and happy holidays!