Meet the Parents

HoliDating: Meeting The Family


It’s the most wonderful time of the year!!  So while my post may be a little late since Christmas passed,  there are other holiday celebrations occurring, and of course New Year’s is right around the corner; therefore some of you may still find this post useful. I decided to compile a list of dating do’s and don’ts for men and women for meeting the family for the first time during the holidays. My do’s and don’ts may also be useful for anytime of the year. So here are a few tips I created to prepare you for….MEETING THE FAMILY (in my superhero voice).

Do’s and Dont’s

Research! Find out what you are walking into: I assume one should know this before meeting the family anyway, but just in case, be sure to know the dynamics of the relationship between your mate and family.  Is there tension with the entire family or maybe a specific relative?  It is good to know what to expect so there are not any surprises.  You never know, the cousin your mate is beefing with may show you shade.  Be prepared, but never get involved.  You can be vocal to your mate about the family squabble in a private setting, but don’t involve yourself if anything goes down at the dinner table.  It is not your place!  Now, you can help diffuse a situation or show support to your mate by a simple rub on their leg or hand, or by holding their hand .  These are little things you can do to show support without saying a word.

Be yourself!  Family members can point out bullshit in a heartbeat! The more you are yourself, the more receptive they may be to you.  With that said, you know you best, so be mindful if there are things you say or do that you may want to reserve for the first family meeting. For example, if you normally curse during conversations, don’t curse at all while talking to your mate’s family. Another example, if you are typically candid about your opinions, maybe now is not the time or place to dig in too deep, especially with topics of politics or social issues. Be yourself, but a little goes a long way in the first meeting of the family.

Don’t overdo it!  For example, it’s awesome that you’re a cook, but don’t overdo it by bringing the big pan of potato salad or macaroni and cheese.  Women are funny about their dishes, especially around the holidays.  My recommendation is if you absolutely feel you must contribute a dish, definitely do not let it be a staple dish.  Maybe bring a pound cake or carrot cake instead.  You can make a statement that you can cook, but don’t upstage the host or hostess.

Be independent!  There is nothing worse than being too clingy to your mate when meeting the family.  The family notices whether you will sit tight when your mate goes into another room or if you will follow the leader, so to speak.  It’s about being independent, but it is also about allowing the family to get to know you and vice versa.  Try to be comfortable, engage in conversation, and just be in the moment.  It goes back to being yourself.

If they ask, don’t tell!! This is for the family members who ask too many damn questions about your relationship. There is nothing wrong with sharing some fond memories of you and your mate, but don’t share too much about your relationship nuances and such. I’ve never had this happen to me too much personally, but I’ve stories about family members who ask questions to get a rise out of you. They want a reaction. Think carefully of the question being asked before answering. It’s almost like being in a celebrity interview where you have to decipher if you want to give details or be as vague as possible.

Who knew meeting the family for the first time would be so strategic, but it all depends on the family you’re dealing with. Some first meetings are easy going, while others are a process. Either way use your best judgement and you’ll be fine. Of course you’ll be nervous because that is to be expected, but don’t let the nerves control you. So for those meeting the family this holiday season, good luck, you’re gonna need it! Lol j/k ♥