Three Ways to Prepare Your Boyfriend for Your “Boyfriend-Hating” Family

Wednesday, Oct. 2nd 2013 4:37 PM

Check out this week’s guest blogger, as the issue of making “nice” with her family is explored.

Even though your family has frequently frowned upon your choice of guys in the past, you’re sure Mr. New Guy has a good chance of family acceptance. After all, he’s nothing like the others. He has a job and even a savings account. He doesn’t live with his mother or his ex. He bathes on a regular basis. And he’s going to be armed with helpful info and strategies that will increase the chances of your brood actually liking him (or at least not kicking him out before the pumpkin pie). This year, the holidays will be different.

Present a Present

Encouraging your boyfriend to bring a gift to the gathering automatically accomplishes three things:

  • It serves as a “thank you” for the invitation
  • It shows he’s thoughtful and appreciative
  • It helps to erase the memories of last year’s boyfriend who not only didn’t bring a gift but ended up stuffing the dinner rolls in his pockets to take home

Making sure the gift is appropriate is a must, which means steering clear of bringing a store-bought pumpkin pie. Flowers are usually safe and appreciated, especially if you help your new boyfriend select a bouquet that matches mom’s décor. Review the fall flower arrangements from a reputable source, such as FTD, which has a vast selection and reputation for high quality.

Bulk up on Background

Telling your new beau about your families’ background and idiosyncrasies, such as serving Thanksgiving trout instead of turkey, may be a given. But make sure you also fill your family in on what the new guy is like. Also provide a few mutually interesting tidbits, such as your new guy’s upbringing in a Midwestern town similar to yours or his fly fishing passion that matches your dad’s.

Make sure you advise both sides on what to expect as well as topics that would make either side uncomfortable. Yes, that means telling your family in advance about his wrist tattoo and letting your boyfriend know mom spends the first half of Thanksgiving dinner asking everyone if they’re enjoying the trout.

Deflate Potential Explosions

While Norman Rockwell paints Thanksgiving as one of the best times ever, it can easily slither into one of the worst for those who have pent-up or sour emotions surrounding the holiday. There may be painful or distressing emotions you or your guy still harbor surrounding family, the holidays or the two combined. Maybe you recall last Thanksgiving’s fist fight when your then-new boyfriend battled it out with your brother. Or maybe your boyfriend just lost a close friend with whom he used to spend Thanksgiving weekend.

Sit down with your fella and discuss things about the holiday that you recall as sad or awful, then move forward discussing the happy moments and memories.
Tell how you really feel. This can help you both prepare for whatever scenario this year’s Thanksgiving will bring as well as the wherewithal to handle it. It also gives you both a chance to purge powerful emotions that may otherwise come up and ruin the vibe even before the pumpkin pie.

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