Gina Vaynshteyn
November 25, 2014 6:00 am

It’s (basically) Thanksgiving and you’ve invited the love of your life to your parents’ house. Or maybe you two have Hanukkah/Christmas/New Years plans with your fam and that person you’ve been seeing. Whatever the occasion is, things are about to get REAL. Even if they’ve already met your mom and dad, meeting your entire family is way more intense, and warrants some planning. You might be anxiously wondering: What they’re going to think of your eccentric cousin? Or your family’s adorably weird traditions? What. Is. Going. To. HAPPEN?

Hey, if you’re a little freaked, don’t be. Holidays are a time for innate joy, endless platters of food, and love! So much love! It’s a little scary to be including your someone-someone in your family festivities for the first time, but we promise that everything will (most likely) be OK! Here are some pro-tips (illustrated by our fave holiday movies) to help guide your way to holiday love success:

First of all, don’t leave them alone for very long

I understand that your partner is probably a very independent human who is fully capable of taking care of themselves, but this is your family we’re talking about. They want to make a good impression, and it’s hard to be effortlessly charming and perfect when you hardly know anyone.

It’s also easy to get lost, so make sure you fill them in on where everything is

Most importantly: the bathroom. One must always know where the bathroom is in any given situation.

Introduce them to everyone, so they don’t have to feel awkward doing it themselves

Like I said, meeting extended family for the first time can be horrifying. Kind of how freshman orientation was horrifying. In fact, you still have dreams about it — dreams where you find yourself repeating, “Hi, my name is ________, what’s yours?” over and over and over again. You don’t want your partner to experience this kind of social trauma, so do the introducing for them. Besides, you actually KNOW everyone, whereas they may not. When you introduce, make sure to say something extra positive and memorable about your them, like, “Aunt Jo, meet Alexa. She loves the Packers, so I know you two would totally get along!” And BOOM. Your love is making friends already.

Let them know in advance about any . . . quirky relatives

I love quirky relatives. You love quirky relatives. We all love quirky relatives. My cousin, for instance, is pretty outspoken. She’ll say what’s on her mind, no matter how gruff, or inelegant it sounds. And I told my fiancé, “If she comes off as rude to you, don’t worry. She’s just being herself, and she’s not trying to be mean or anything.” Prepare them in advance, is all I’m saying.

Make sure you actually tell your parents you’re bringing your honey home

Inviting your partner over for the holidays is a big step in your relationship, and being sneaky about it kind of ruins all the fun and romance. Especially if your parents didn’t plan on having a guest over —then you’re putting your boyfriend or girlfriend in a really awkward spot. I know sometimes our parents can be uncomfortable when it comes to their kids having relationships, but don’t make the situation feel like that really cringe-worthy part in a romcom (you know which one I’m talking about).

Are they spending the night? Don’t make it weird for everyone

It’s not unheard of to have your dude or lady stay for the night. It’s cold out, the weather is terrible, no one wants to be driving late at night. If your parents are cool with it, hooray! But don’t go and ruin that trust by fooling around after lights out when you KNOW your parents wouldn’t be cool with that. Especially if there are others staying over and sleeping in the room next to yours! Be respectful.

So, do you feel more prepared? Are you ready for this? Of course you are. You’ve got this. And you’ve also got turkey and pumpkin pie, so what could REALLY go wrong?

(Images via)

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