With the holidays right around the corner, lots of couples are considering taking the opportunity to meet each other’s families for the first time. For members of the LGBT community, this major milestone can sometimes be particularly daunting.
While there are lots of families who are open minded enough to welcome a new partner regardless of gender or sexual orientation, not everyone is so lucky. Families who are unsupportive of gay dating are a harsh reality for many members of the LGBT community. This can complicate things for people who want their partner to be accepted as a part of their family.
Deciding whether or not to bring your significant other to Thanksgiving is as difficult as resisting that extra piece of pumpkin pie – you may really want it, but is it worth it in the long run? There are a few things to consider before you jump the gun and bring your significant other to your family’s Thanksgiving celebrations just so you can avoid the litany of “Are you seeing anyone?” from Aunt Linda.
To help you make the big decision, we’ve come up with some questions you should ask before inviting your significant other over for Thanksgiving dinner.
Is this relationship long-term?
This may seem like an obvious question, but really think about it. If you aren’t planning on seriously considering being with this person long-term, why bother introducing them to the family? You don’t need your family nagging you about what happened when your significant other doesn’t show up at next year’s Thanksgiving dinner. Remember, the key here is to have an honest conversation with your partner to decide if Thanksgiving is right for your relationship.
Is this the first time they are meeting your family?
Thanksgiving can be an overwhelming experience if your entire extended family is gathered around the table. If this is the first time your significant other is meeting your family, be wary. You might want to consider planning a more casual meeting first to take some of the pressure off.
Does your family know that you’ll be bringing home your partner for the holidays?Let them know this is someone that is very important to you and that you can’t wait for them to meet each other. If this is your first time bringing home a partner, giving your family a heads up will give them a chance to get used to the idea and put their best foot forward.
However, if there are members of your family who will be included in your celebration that you haven’t come out to yet, it’s probably a good idea to talk to them ahead of time, as well. Your partner will be dealing with all of the stress and anxiety that goes along with meeting their significant other’s family for the first time. If possible, it’s best to get on the same page with everyone in your family before the big day so that your new partner isn’t walking into any potentially awkward situations.
Is there a better way to include them in the festivities?
Do you go to the movies after the big meal to recover every year? Do you have a family bingo game before the meal? Invite your significant other to share these moments. Appetizers or dessert might be less pressure than sitting through a full Thanksgiving meal.
Gay dating, like straight dating, definitely comes with its own set of complications. For members of the LGBT community, bringing home a new partner for the holidays can sometimes prove to be particularly stressful. So, remember to laugh. Find the humor in your man’s discomfort. Conjure up those lame jokes you and your brother thought were so funny when you were ten. Relax. Enjoy the circus.
Though Thanksgiving can certainly conjure up all things awkward for you, your partner, and everyone involved, it’s also an opportunity to pull the curtain back on what made you, you. Take a step back for a minute, and remember there’s love in there somewhere. And that’s a good thing.