Columns / VIBE

ADVICE: ‘Tis the season to meet the family

Uncle Joe lets out a huge fart while opening presents. Grandma falls asleep at the dinner table.  Your pregnant cousin tells you every little detail about how that thing is going to come out of her soon.

Sound like a familiar holiday party?

You have to be sure that your new significant other can handle all of that before you bring him/her home to meet the fam.

All of the traveling home and celebrating means you need to make a decision: do you bring home your significant other to meet everyone or do you leave them be with their own family and save yourself the possible embarrassment?

I would say it first depends on how long you have been dating. And when I say dating, I mean it’s confirmed you’re boyfriend and girlfriend. Don’t bring home the guy you met at Wayside that one night and woke up to snoring, but you’re madly in love with now.  Also, don’t bring home the girl you’ve been hooking up with for weeks but don’t seem to talk to besides Friday night after 2 a.m.

A good three months may be game for heading home together. You have to be sure your boyfriend/girlfriend won’t dump you after meeting your family. Odds are, they won’t, but depending on how crazy your family is, this may be a legitimate concern.

Take into consideration how much you like him/her. Meeting the family changes everything. Your mom falls in love with him. Your brother and him bond over cars. You get the idea. Be sure you 100 percent like this person and want it to move forward in the future.

Also consider how your family is going to behave. Is this the right time to bring someone home? Are things a little rocky on the home front? Most likely, you’re not there so you don’t entirely know. Call home and ask what things are like and how the family is before you bring another person into the mix.  If it’s not going to be a jolly time during the holiday party, maybe save it for the next big family event.

Make sure your family understands they need to be equally as open. Tell your brothers to lay off the third degree and maybe save the excessive belching for when your guest leaves.  Sounds silly, but sometimes these reminders are more than necessary.

To make your family feel more at ease about meeting someone new, show them a photo to give them an idea on what to expect. C’mon, you know you love Facebook creeping, anyways. Be sure to also let your family know a few things about them so starting conversation isn’t so awkward.

If you decide to bring home the lover, be ready for it. Prep your boyfriend/girlfriend. Let them know family names beforehand. Practice with photos. Tell them all the weird things they might witness. Do jumping jacks. Do anything and everything to prepare for the almighty first impression.

And remember one thing: your mom is going to be waaaaaaay too excited.

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