Navigating a new relationship is difficult. Besides getting to know the person, you have to determine the pace and define your relationship. This time of year, couples struggle with an extra complication—the inevitable introduction to family members.
As you plan for the holidays, you can still keep stress and anxiety at a minimum. Consider the following tips as you prepare to introduce your significant other to your family.
#1: Talk to Your Family in Advance
If you are hoping to make the event successful, you’ll want to start by having a serious conversation with your relatives. You may be planning to bring your significant other to a party, dinner or casual event. Whatever the case, the situation calls for a little preparation.
The first thing you will want to do is ask your family if it’s okay for you to bring your significant other. Once you’re sure that outsiders are welcome, you can start to prepare your family. Update them with information about your loved one and the status of the relationship. This way, you’ll be able to avoid awkward or uncomfortable situations.
#2: Be Considerate of Your Significant Other
Out of everyone involved, your significant other will be the furthest outside of his or her comfort zone. For this reason, it’s important to keep his or her feelings at the top of your priority list. See the situation from his or her perspective, and ask yourself how you would feel if the situation were reversed. Would you appreciate being left alone throughout the night? Probably not.
You can further put your loved at ease by ensuring that he or she has enough to eat and speaking highly of him or her to others. By making your significant other comfortable, you can ensure the success of the event.
#3: Focus On Keeping It Fun
It can be easy to put undue pressure on your loved one, family members and the night as a whole. However, doing so could put the night (and your relationship) at risk. You are in charge of setting the tone for the event—so keep things light and fun.
Opt for a more casual event, rather than a formal one. With the holidays approaching, you may want to bring your significant other to a family dinner. You can make introductions in a casual setting and avoid the pressures of a family party or reunion.
#4: Prepare Your Significant Other
Nobody knows your family the way you do. As you prepare for introductions, pass along necessary information to your significant other. What are the conversation topics to talk about or avoid? Are there any house rules to be aware of? The more information you give your loved one the better prepared he or she will be to meet your family.
#5: Be Yourself
Just as you know your family, your family knows you. So the most important rule to follow is to be yourself. If your family members see you acting uncomfortable, it can taint their opinion of your relationship. Act like yourself and you will send the right impression.
Finally . . . Keep Calm and Don’t Overthink It
We’ve given you some steps on introducing your significant other to the family, but you don’t want to overthink the upcoming introductions. You should enjoy the holidays, not stress over them. Prepare your family and significant other in advance, and then relax and have a good time. Remember that you love your significant other—and your family will too!
Surviving the holidays is easy. Try out the steps above, and spend this time with all the people you love, free from any awkwardness.