How to Bring a Girlfriend Home For the Holidays If You’ve Never Done It Before

If you're freshly out of the closet to your family or if you've never brought a girlfriend home before, the holidays can be tricky. For some, it may even be dangerous. Wanting to introduce your love interest to your loved ones is easily understandable, and you absolutely deserve that kind of holiday joy when making the yuletide gay. And it’s totally normal to have apprehensions and anxieties about being visibly queer around your family. I’ve been there, I’ve done that, and I want you to don the gayest apparel ever this year. So enough with the tacky puns, let’s get started on these simple conversational tips and strategies that’ll help you ease your partner into the family this holiday season.

Plan beforehand

If there is an allied family member you trust to prioritize your safety and happiness in a family setting, let them know in advance that you’re planning on bringing your girlfriend to whatever holiday event your family is planning. They may be able to let you know if there will be anything or anyone in attendance that may pose a risk to you or your girlfriend’s well-being! If not, they will likely offer you some much-needed support anyway! It’s always comforting to know when you’ll be walking into a situation with a support system already in place. If you’re pretty sure you and your partner will be safe and comfortable around your family, it doesn’t hurt to send a few texts beforehand and let everyone know that you’ll have a plus-one!

Talk to your partner

You may get asked awkward questions by nosy family members. It happens! Take a minute before the big holiday to sit down with your partner and establish some conversational boundaries and ground rules. They may not feel comfortable discussing their own family with yours, or they may not want to use certain words or labels to describe your relationship. Everyone is entitled to their own comfort levels and you two should absolutely discuss such matters before the big event. They’ll feel much more at ease when meeting your family and you’ll feel much more at ease knowing you helped dodge any awkward silences.

Be safe

Being visibly queer is not always easy or safe. Everyone deserves to share their beautiful partner with a supportive family, especially during the holiday season, but sadly that’s not always the safest option. You and your partner’s security are the utmost priority, and, if that means skipping out on dinner with the in-laws, then so be it! There are lots of ways to enjoy the holidays outside of a home. Find a queer holiday potluck online and cook something for the community with your partner! Volunteer at a soup kitchen or a homeless shelter together and bring cheer to people in need! Order some greasy food and have a romantic night in with some cheesy winter movies! There is no need not to have a jolly, warm, and safe holiday with your love.

Don’t sweat it!

Bringing a girlfriend home is virtually no different than bringing home a boyfriend or roommate or best friend, I promise. You’ll have to deal with your relatives asking how you met and bringing up embarrassing childhood memories and it’ll be cringe-worthy for a moment or two, but it’ll pass and your family will love her. Just relax! Holiday parties are about eating, drinking, laughing, and bringing up dumb memories from last year’s holiday parties. You’ll get through it, and you’ll have your awesome partner right by your side the whole time.