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Bringing a Date to Thanksgiving? Here are Some Tips!

The air is delightfully crisp and jack-o-lanterns have made way for festive squash. American Thanksgiving is right around the corner. If you’re currently dating someone, you might be considering bringing them along to your holiday festivities.

I mean, it’s kind of a no-brainer. Whether you’re celebrating with family or attending a “Friends-giving” with all of your best buds, Thanksgiving is the perfect time to introduce your new boo to the entire gang….or is it?

Introducing a new person to your loved ones can be tricky. In order for things to go as smoothly as possible, here are a few key tips.

Brief your date beforehand.

Does your uncle Arnold like to get drunk and sing off-key show tunes? Does your sister have this innate habit of pinching people’s cheeks when she first meets them? Do your family or friends have wildly different political views than your date? These are things you should tell your date about before they get to the celebration, so they’re not caught off guard.

Brief your family and friends.

Same as above, if there’s something your friends or family should know about your date, brief them beforehand. Let them know ahead of time if there are subjects they should avoid — for example, if your date recently lost a loved one or pet, you’ll want to let them know so that they don’t bring it up in conversation. Also, if your date is a different race or religion than your group of loved ones and you think it might be an issue, let them know in advance so they have time to process.

Give them a leg-up.

Your date undoubtedly wants to make a good impression, so give them some pointers! Example: maybe your Dad loves talking about his model ship building hobby or golf. If they should bring something to dinner (ie. flowers because your Mom loves them), let them know. Brief them on the positive things about your loved ones so they can make a good impression.

Discuss your relationship status before you get to dinner.

The people who love us have a knack for ‘getting all up in our business’, so if you haven’t had the DTR (determine the relationship) talk yet, now is the time to do it. You want to make sure you’re both on the same page as far as where you’re at with your relationship. The last thing you want is to be having the DTR conversation over turkey while Uncle Arnold sings his favorites from Rent.

Lean into the awkwardness.

No matter how well you prepare, there’s probably going to be a few awkward moments. Relax, it’s totally normal. Instead of tensing up when your Mom asks you and your date, “so, when are you getting married?”, try to have a sense of humor about it and shrug it off. Remember, it’s only one holiday. Prepare ahead of time and you’ll survive just fine.


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