If you’re dating and things are getting serious with your new boyfriend, the holidays is a great time to meet each other’s family. But how do you keep that first “hello” from going horribly wrong? Here are a few things to keep in mind.
For starters, you should only ask someone home for the holidays if you have serious intentions. Always make sure you know that person well and that you feel certain how they’ll handle social situations (and their liquor!), so you don’t become the source of the Thanksgiving drama when they run off with your sister. (Remember the movie The Family Stone? Exactly!)
To avoid that (and all other forms of meet-the-family uncomfortableness, follow these tips to make a great first impression:
- Make sure you sleep in separate beds when staying over at his or her parents’ house. Or, be safe and just rent a hotel room (leaving no parental feathers ruffled and you get guaranteed privacy: win-win).
- Do make sure that if you are staying over, you stay put in your own bed! Fight temptation and insist that your boyfriend or girlfriend doesn’t slip into your room late at night. Put it on hold for a night and act respectable. You can restrain yourself for a night, right?
- Be sure to refrain from excessive PDA. No groping or making out in front of anyone. Related: you don’t want them to walk in on you in the broom closet, either. Save it for later!
- Do compliment the host and hostess on their dinner, and make no comparisons between your mom’s apple pie and the hostess’ lemon meringue. You don’t want to sound like you would rather be at your family’s gathering … even if this is the case.
- Ladies: make sure to put the (ahem!) “girls” away, and guys: make sure your pants aren’t falling off you all gangsta-style. Belts, bras, and appropriate clothing are definitely in order. Make sure your skirt is a reasonable length. Oh, and lose the sloppy jeans and sneakers.
- No matter how drunk a few of the relatives may be (and they may indeed be) it is never safe or smart for you to overindulge with holiday spirits. There is nothing worse than you falling off the chair drunk. Be aware that if you two get married, you will never live that incident down. Ever.
- Guys: don’t be checking out her cousins, and ladies: do not flirt with his uncle. This is always unacceptable (not to mention awkward) behavior—no matter what. (To assist you with this tip, please see previous rule regarding responsible alcohol consumption).
- Do not engage in any “conversation” (read: battle) regarding religion or politics. Most of all, out of respect, go along with the before-dinner prayer and giving-of-thanks … even if you are an atheist. This isn’t the time for a religious debate.
- Be gracious and take flowers or a bottle of wine for the hostess. You can never go wrong when you lead with good manners!
Beyond this list, use your best judgment (If you paid attention to these tips, you should be sober enough to). Good luck!
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