Introducing your S/O to your fam can be nerve-wracking, and even intimidating for you and your S/O. Or maybe you’re really confident and have no worries about the first introduction; lucky you! But for many of us we go through some sort of uncertainty when bringing the S/O home. It could be for various reasons, maybe you live far away from your family, so you can’t ease your S/O into the picture, or maybe you have major cultural difference that you have to overcome between families. There are various other worries, age differences, will they have the same sense of humor, is your S/O in college or not and will that be an issue? The concerns could go on forever.
Now let’s talk about bringing your S/O home for the holidays, this adds a whole new layer of concern. Are you both the same religion or no religion at all? Do you have similar holiday traditions, or eat the same food for the holidays? And will your S/O like your extended family? Better yet, will your extended family like your S/O? (feeling anxious yet?)
I have a big extended family that is your basic melting pot, so luckily I didn’t have to worry too much about bringing my S/O home for the holidays. Because of the huge variety in my extended family, everyone loved my S/O but I know it can still be scary taking that big step in the relationship and introducing your S/O to your whole family.
Don’t be discouraged that my family loved my S/O, there were plenty of prep talks! I had to warn him about the uncle that would harass him, and give him talking points (football, football, and more football, oh and the Cowboys). Thankfully my S/O is a charismatic, relatable, driven person, he is easy to get along with and very easy going. He had no problem winning over my extended family, though there are many more relatives he has yet to meet, each with their own quirks that I will have to prep him about.
There are definitely differences in how we celebrate the holidays too. He is an only child with a single parent and grew up in a modest home. Because it was only him and his mom, they never went all out with the stockings and Christmas tree decorations. Versus my family, where we have a rotating Christmas tree (yes you read that right, it rotates) and all the singing ornaments, stockings for everyone in the family, and a Christmas CD collection that puts holiday stores to shame. I have already told my S/O he is helping my family decorate for Christmas, and he is excited to see how my family does the holidays.
Even with all the positives, I still worry about the “what ifs”. What if he doesn’t like our traditions or endless Christmas songs? What if he doesn’t want to celebrate with my family at all? These are all realistic worries, and then I have to remind myself that he is the best guy in the world, and I have nothing to worry about because I already know my family thinks he is a great person too. Not to mention, he watches the holiday movies on the Hallmark channel with my mom and me and doesn’t complain!
My S/O is also a really great sport and willingly plays whatever family game we want to play. This helps with casual bonding between my S/O and my extended family, it also shows the true colors of which family members are competitive (oh, wait, I’m the competitive one).
When bringing your S/O home for the holidays, don’t let all the doubt, worry, and what-ifs deter you from having a great time! And remind yourself of your S/O’s strengths and why you’re with them, to begin with. Most likely you’re with them because they bring out your best qualities, and they make you happy. If bringing your S/O home for the holidays makes you happy, then your family should be happy for you too, and embrace them in all the traditions, even the crazy ones!
In the end, you have to remind your S/O to be their amazing natural self, and remember that as amazing as the holidays are, it does tend to stress some people out, yourself and extended family included. And remember, we are all human and if the first introduction doesn’t go as planned don’t get discouraged, even in baseball you get three attempts.