7 reasons why it’s okay if you’re not ready to bring your partner to Thanksgiving

Steeped in tradition, the family gathering around a Thanksgiving table piled high with turkey, potatoes, and butter-filled side dishes marks the start of the holiday season. If you’re in a relationship, you may feel a certain pressure to bring your partner home for Thanksgiving to meet your family.

If that thought is stressing you out, don’t worry. You’re not alone.

But it’s totally okay to hold off on introducing your partner to the family on Thanksgiving.

Here’s why.

1You don’t need to rush things if you feel uncomfortable.

If you’re stressed about the idea of your significant other meeting the family, pay attention to those feelings. It could simply be too early for that big introduction, or maybe you’re stressed about going home for Thanksgiving yourself. You’re not required to rush it just because the calendar marks a major holiday.

2Holidays can be pretty stressful as it is.

Thanksgiving is not an easy holiday to pull off. The sheer amount of organization, preparation, and cooking can make Turkey Day pretty dang stressful for many members of the family. Even just figuring out what to bring to Thanksgiving dinner can be panic-inducing. If you think bringing a partner might add to that stress, it’s cool to do your Thanksgivings separately.

3There will probably be questions.

It’s basically inevitable. If you bring someone home for a major holiday like Thanksgiving, you’re probably going to be asked many a question about your budding love. If your heart rate upticks just thinking about being grilled, feel free to save the intros for another time.

4People may assume you’re more serious than you are.

Holidays like Thanksgiving are no small event, and many of your relatives may assume that you’re more serious than you are about your relationship. This doesn’t mean you have to be serious to bring someone home for the holiday, but make sure you’re cool with those assumptions.

5You don’t need to do everything with a partner.

It’s also totally awesome to do things separately from your S.O. sometimes — so don’t feel guilty if you’d both rather spend Thanksgiving with your respective families. It’ll give you something more to talk about later when you swap holiday stories.

6You’re allowed to just enjoy the holiday with your family.

Like we’ve mentioned earlier — Thanksgiving is stressful. If you would rather just enjoy it with the people you grew up with, without any added newness or potentially awkward situations to navigate, that’s totally okay.

7You just might not feel ready, for any number of reasons.

Maybe you’re not sure how your family will like your partner, or vice versa. Maybe you just think it’s too soon. Maybe you’re honestly not that sure how your relationship is going. Maybe there are a slew of many other perfectly valid reasons for why you don’t feel 100 percent about bringing the S.O. home.

It doesn’t matter what the reason is — if you’re feeling anxious or uncomfortable, those feelings deserve to be respected.

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