Should You Bring Your Significant Other Home for the Holidays?

If you’re relatively new in a relationship, odds are that awkward question of whether to introduce him or her to your parents this holiday season has crossed your mind. Let’s be honest, bringing someone home for dinner has a way different meaning than it did in high school. Introducing your significant other to your parents is a tough decision to make and you need to be smart about it.

You should probably bring your SO home if…

It would be odd not to have them there
You should most definitely consider including your SO celebrations if attending solo would feel weird. You will only spend your already limited family time sneaking glances at your phone, texting in the bathroom, and trying to ignore that lingering feeling that something is missing. We’ve all been there.

You are living together
If the two of you are living together, it is only natural to assume that the other would be expected, invited and welcomed at a family function. The decision then should not be if but how you plan to divide your time between the two families, which becomes increasingly difficult when divorced parents are thrown into the mix.

You think in terms of ‘we’
You’ve finally dropped that grass is greener mentality that plagued you since your last broken heart and have found yourself in a committed relationship. Thoughts and expectations of the future involve the other person, you don’t doubt the strength of the relationship, and you naturally want your family to know and love them as much as you do. If you’re noncommittal, on the other hand, don’t even think about it dragging the parents into the mix.

Your SO actually wants to meet your family
First, it’s important to make sure your SO even wants to meet your parents in the first place. Perhaps he or she was looking forward to a private holiday season with their own family, isn’t sure how they feel about you, or may feel that holiday with the parents is premature. And a premature family dinner could go wrong in so many ways…

You know he or she can hold their own
Are your parents already complaining that they don’t get to see you enough? The last thing you want to deal with, then, is an SO who demands all of your attention in social situations. You should feel comfortable with the thought of leaving him or her alone in the kitchen with your mom and aunt (no matter how crazy they may be) and know they’d be just fine.

You’ve discussed your family before
Before you throw your SO into a holiday family dinner, make you’re you provide a little information on your family first. Describe your family; the good, bad, annoying and quirky. Those details will not only help your SO know what to expect, it may provide comfort to know that your family isn’t perfect either.

You run it by your family first
If you plan on introducing your SO to holidays with your family, make sure you tell your family beforehand. Don’t assume they already think you are coming as a duo – he or she may not have a place setting if you do. If your family is told in advance, you won’t have you worry about your kid cousin mixing up your SO with your ex again or surprised looks and raised eyebrows when your grandparents wonder who the heck is standing beside you in the doorway. It’s not a good way to start the evening.

If you still haven’t made up your mind, you have about a week to do so… good luck!

Cover image: Meet The Parents

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