So you’re significant other invites you over for Thanksgiving.. Now what? Here’s how to handle the first time family meeting

By Christen McGlynn

Thanksgiving is a great holiday that brings family and friends—or a whole lot of awkward–together. You have finally found your perfect person at the University, but now they want you to meet their family. First time encounters can be a little difficult at times. However, no one really prepares you for the first holiday encounter, which usually means more family and more stress. What was originally meant to be a relaxing weekend away from school has now left you with a plethora of questions dancing through your head: What to wear? What to say? What to bring? It can be quite an overwhelming experience. Here a few tips to help your Thanksgiving with your significant other (and their family) go smoothly:

  1. What to Wear


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Meeting parents for the first time can always be concerning, especially since you may not know what type of dress is appropriate for holidays. Personally, I would say it’s always better to go more conservative. For girls, a nice sweater with riding boots is always a casual-cute outfit that’s perfect for fall and meeting your boyfriend’s mom. For guys, I would suggest a nice (ironed) button down, or long sleeve sweater with jeans or khakis. Always ask your significant other if their family dresses up for the holidays to ensure your outfit matches the rest of the family well. Remember: it’s better to be too dressed up than dressed down.

  1. What to Say


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To quote my loveable, kindergarten-teaching, mother: “Manner’s Matter.” Therefore, always be gracious to the host whether it may be your significant other’s mother, aunt, uncle or neighbor. Politely thank them for inviting you, and for preparing the meal. I have had multiple friends that are vegetarians, and have been stuck at an all-meat dinner. If this describes your situation, simply eat what you can (if anything), and try to fill up on meat-free appetizers until later than evening. Some hosts might be offended if you do not eat their food, so make sure to explain the situation kindly if asked. These people might be in your life for a while, so first impressions DO matter. It’s better to be the veggie girl/boy rather than the rude girl/boy.

  1. What to Bring


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Bringing some type of dish or dessert to a family party is always a good idea—especially on Thanksgiving. Ask your significant other what type of food his or her family likes, and try to recreate it. Personally, I am not a chef whatsoever, and I am a big fan of the ‘buy-it-and-make-it-look-like-I-cooked-it’ routine. Simply buy a dozen cookies or muffins at the bakery, put it in Tupperware, and voila! Instant dessert. If the host would prefer no dishes, a bottle of wine (or sparkling cider for those of you that are still under-age) is always a lovely alternative option.

After abiding by these few tips remember to just be yourself, and enjoy your Thanksgiving! There is a reason your significant other likes you; therefore, his or her family will probably share the same feelings.


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