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Is Thanksgiving the Right Time To Introduce Your New Relationship to Your Family?
By: Erika Ettin
We often hear about the “Turkey Drop,” or the season when people go home for the holidays—Thanksgiving in particular—and, rather than peacefully eating their cranberry sauce and homemade (okay… who are we kidding… store bought) pumpkin pie, someone gets the relationship boot. It’s either “it’s just not working” or “the timing isn’t right,” and if not those, it’s some other incarnation of these cliché lines.
On the other hand, sometimes you’re in a new relationship by the time we celebrate the Pilgrims in November, so the question then becomes this: Is Thanksgiving the right time to introduce your new relationship to your family?
If your family is anything like mine, over a big helping of turkey (and tofurkey for Aunt Mildred), someone decides to break out the question, “So, when are you going to bring a significant other home for the holidays? How hasn’t anyone snatched you up yet?” This is when we start turning the same shade as that cranberry sauce we’re about to eat. What gives?
This intense curiosity—or backhanded compliment, if you will—is certainly not restricted to Thanksgiving, but every Thanksgiving, without fail, it comes up. What do you do in this situation? After all of the years of wanting to say, “Leave me alone! I just haven’t met the right person yet! Pick on someone your own age!” but instead saying, “You don’t want me to bring just anyone, do you? When it’s right, I’ll let that special person in,” this time it’s right. This is your time to shine. You have a sig other, and you’re excited… and so is Aunt Mildred. But, is Thanksgiving the right time to being your new belle or beau to the table? Let’s look at some of the pros and cons:
- He or she gets to meet everyone in one fell swoop, like pulling off a Band-Aid.
- Since so many people will be in attendance, the attention won’t be solely on this one new person.
- Your new boyfriend or girlfriend could impress everyone with his or her suave cooking skills… and actually bring a homemade pie.
- No more dodging “still single” questions.
- Too much pressure! Forget impressing one or two people—you have to impress the whole family!
- Sleeping arrangements have to be dealt with. Awkward, anyone?
- All of the family “crazy” (I’m talking about you, Uncle Alfred) is unleashed at once. Is that ever a good thing?
- Bringing someone for the holidays implies a certain level of relationship commitment, whether intended or not.
All in all, while perhaps the pros and cons are numerically the same (four vs. four), the best dating advice I could give is to advise you NOT to bring your new relationship to your family gathering this Thanksgiving. It’s best to ease someone into new situations. Perhaps first is a meeting with your parents, or those who are most important to you. Then, introduce the siblings. Then, maybe the nieces and nephews or the aunts and uncles. Then, you can add the extended family, as you see fit. When you’re in a strong, committed relationship that you know, or at least think, might go the distance, then go crazy… let them meet over the gravy! But, until then, slow and steady wins the race.
Also, seeing as how Thanksgiving is coming right on the heels of the election this year, it’s also worth factoring in how your new partner’s views complement or contrast your family’s. Finally, if you’re still struggling over whether Thanksgiving is the right time to introduce your new relationship to your family, just ask yourself one last question: “Am I ready for them to see my baby pictures?” Enough said.
Whatever you do, whether you introduce someone to the fam on Thanksgiving or any other time of year, do not ghost someone to “end” the relationship.
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