Dating someone new can be exciting, but when it’s time to introduce them to your family, nervousness and anxiety can take over. Am I wearing the right clothes, did I say the right thing, or what to do if I feel uncomfortable? Jonathan Kirkland, head of BLK will offer his tips on how to ease the stress of meeting someone’s family this holiday season whether it’s in person or virtual!
Do’s and Don’ts of Guest Visiting Bae’s Family
Find common interests and associations with members of the family. Whether its favorite vacation spots, members of the same organization or similar hobbies. The more the family feels like they can relate to you, the easier the conversation will be.
Don’t show up with negative expectations. (virtual/in person)
Be sure to offer help. Whether it’s helping set the table to or playing sou chef. (virtual/in person)
Bring a gift! Never show up empty handed and make sure to check in with your partner to make sure it’s something the parents/family will enjoy.
Be respectful of their families’ food – especially when it comes to the mac & cheese and potato salad . If it’s a specialty or you’re unsure if you’ll like it just take a spoonful. Make sure you don’t go with an empty belly so you can respectfully try multiple items and not be starving if the food is not to your liking.
Do’s and Don’ts of Host Bringing Bae to Meet Family
Be sure to prep your partner about your family and things you should know in advance about specific people, especially parents and grandparents. Also be aware of any triggers. IE bringing a bottle of wine or talking about your favorite holiday drinks, but the family member is not a drinker or recovering
If you are bringing someone home and it’s something your family is not accustomed to, be sure to prep them before introducing. The worst is the awk silence. Also use it as an education moment especially if it’s a new same sex or interracial relationship. (virtual/in person)
Make sure you are aware of cultural differences and nuisances. For instance, some cultures expect you to say hello and hug everyone in the room when you enter, while others will give you the quick swerve. (virtual/in person)
Be relaxed and be calm. It can be stressful bringing someone home to meet your family, but being in the right state of mind will help ease the anxiety.
Find some alone time for you and your partner. Whether it’s working out or getting some spa time in, build in time away from the family.