So, you've decided it's time to introduce your new man to the family. What better time than over the warm smell of pie, turkey and stuffing? Here's some tips on how to sidestep family quirks and prepare in advance for a successful Thanksgiving family introduction:
Take Time to Educate Him. This may seem a little overkill to you, because you know your family already, but it's a kind thing to do for him. He will appreciate your efforts once he's really in the thick of dinner and milling relatives. Draw out a family tree for him, and fill it with photos and brief descriptions of your family members. If they have strong quirks or issues to avoid discussing, make a note of it so he doesn't have to deal with awkward topics. Remember that he's meeting a large number of people at one time that all know each other. Having a little background information can go a long way in making the experience more enjoyable for everyone.
Do Some Advanced PR. If your family can be tough to impress, do a little legwork in advance to pave the way for your love. Take the time to call them and explain how happy you are and why. Tell your family how he enriches your life. That's the part that they care about. Giving them reasons to be positive and supportive when you both arrive will help everyone feel better.
Get Him Involved in the Meal. Give him a job to do while he's there. It can be comforting to have a role during a big family event. Something easy, that ties into something he enjoys or is really good at, like filling wine glasses, drying plates, or playing a game with the kids perhaps. Feeling helpless while others scramble around you can make things uncomfortable. Obviously, this doesn't mean he shouldn't be relaxing and enjoying, but if he seems like he's in the corner staring at the ceiling or he's been monopolized by a conversation that is tiresome, rescue him!
Bring an Activity. Try bringing a fun game or activity that the two of you enjoy together or that he's especially good at to break up the conversation. Talking to 20 people you don't know can be completely exhausting. Breaking it up with something laughter inducing and light (especially after everyone's had a few drinks) can keep drunk and strange conversations with Wacky Uncle Ned at bay. Bring a game like "Apples to Apples" that is fun and easy for large groups to participate in.
Read his Signals. It's better to end the evening a little early than too late. Take it upon yourself to end things on a high note instead of waiting until things get exhausting and boring. If the turkey is making him yawn, then gracefully begin saying your goodbyes. This can help to smooth the way to a comfortable relationship for both your boyfriend and your family.
Last of all, remember to be GRATEFUL that you have someone you love to share the holidays with, and tell him so! Meeting your family can be a big step, so keep the energy light, fun and positive the whole way!
If you're still waiting to meet Mr. Right, download my free Dating Guide on my Website!