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Meeting the Parents: Thanksgiving Edition

Happy almost Thanksgiving everyone!

I am thrilled to go home to see my family, visit with friends, and enjoy delicious home-cooked meals. Thanksgiving is a lovely time for people to gather, to remember the good times, to celebrate getting through the bad times, and to enjoy each other’s company.

Sometimes, these festivities can include a significant other and their parents. Meeting the parents or any member of their family can be stressful because naturally, you want them to like you since they are a huge part of your significant other’s life.

So if you find yourself eating Thanksgiving dinner with a significant other’s family this year, here are some tips to keep in mind!

Dress Nicely and Appropriately

Now is the time to find presentable clothes that you are comfortable in. You don’t need to pull out all the stops, but you should be mindful of your appearance. You want them to remember you, and not that you looked uncomfortable in the clothes you were wearing! In addition, choose the clothes that you feel good in- it can help you feel a lot more confident.

Be Polite, But Be Yourself

Making conversation can be one of the hardest parts when meeting a significant other’s family. I, personally, get quieter and more hesitant, but remember: you are your best advocate! You have interests, experiences, and opinions that could start a great conversation. Additionally, ask their family members about themselves as well. Besides taking some of the pressure off of you, asking them questions shows that you’re interested in getting to know them as well. Even if you do feel uncomfortable- you can fake it till you make it.

Understand That It Takes Time

When I first met my girlfriend’s family, I was so nervous that I immediately thought they didn’t like me. But that’s just it- you have just met them and vice versa. So don’t be hard on yourself! Every person has a unique personality with different quirks, sense of humors, and interests. So of course, one family dinner is not going to be enough time to fully understand or get to know another person. Even if the first meeting goes less smoothly than you’d like, being around and getting to know them more can significantly improve your relationship with them.

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Catherine Fahl is a student at the College of William and Mary navigating long distance love, school, and friends with the help of lots of coffee, tea, and waffles.  
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