But just after you celebrate your successful pairing, you realize it also means meeting the family. The only thing worse fielding Aunt Edna’s questions about your nonexistent dating life is watching her grill your new significant other about their job, their family and how they got their teeth so white.
Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. Here are some tips to get you through the holiday with your relationship still intact.
Come bearing gifts
If you’re the one who will be the guest at Thanksgiving dinner, make sure you bring a gift for the hostess. And if you’re not the guest, don’t tell your significant other not to bring a gift. Not even if you think your mother doesn’t need, or won’t expect, anything. It’s a nice gesture, and it makes a nice first impression.
Wine is an obvious choice, but run it by your significant other to ensure you don’t embarrass yourself by bringing wine to a parent who is a recovering alcoholic or perhaps doesn’t drink for religious or other reasons. A great option sure to be a conversation starter? Something from your hometown, like locally-harvested honey or jam from locally-grown raspberries.
Dress to impress
You don’t have to pull out your tuxedo or an evening gown, but leave the graphic tee at home. Everything you’ve heard about first impressions are true, and you really don’t get a second chance at making a good first impression.
Guys, a clean shave or a fresh trim of any facial hair is a must. And nice shoes go a long way, even if your significant other said you should wear jeans.
Ladies, keep your makeup on the lighter, more conservative side and avoid any overpowering jewelry. Short skirts and cleavage-bearing shirts are better saved for date night.
Get the low down
If you’re the one taking your significant other home for the holiday, prep them. Warn them about the possibility of getting trapped with your dad telling long stories if they mention golf. Advise them not to mention your sister’s new baby in front of your sister who just had a miscarriage.
And don’t be embarrassed. We all have that family member. They’d rather be prepared than caught unaware.
Offer to pitch in
One of the best ways to ingratiate yourself with any host is to offer to help. Whether it’s carrying food out to the table, washing dishes after the meal or offering to take out the trash, simply making the offer will make a positive impression.
Dole out the compliments
You have a lovely home.
The food was amazing.
These are just a couple of suggestions for compliments any host will be happy to receive. Ladies, his mother will love to hear you think her sweater is a great color on her. And guys, her dad will appreciate you noticing his impressive collection of autographed baseballs.
Be judicious with your compliments – no one likes a brown-noser. The most genuine compliments come from observing the environment around you and noting what you appreciate.
But always – always – compliment the chef.
Protect one another
Last, but not least, protect each other. Don’t leave your significant other alone too long in unfamiliar territory. Be aware of when they look uncomfortable and bail them out. Include them in conversations, and give them backstory where necessary to keep them from feeling left out.
If you want this to be the first of many holidays together, it’s imperative you make your date feel comfortable. Rarely is it going to be effortless where they immediately fit in with your family and can carry conversation on their own. There will be some bumps along the way.
It’s how you deal with those bumps that determines whether or not you have a future beyond the holiday season.
Single for Thanksgiving but want to find a date before Christmas rolls around? Let the matchmakers at It's Just Lunch help you find your match! Get started today by calling us at 1-800-489-7897 or click here to tell us a little about yourself.