Is it a good Idea to introduce a new partner to the family at Thanksgiving dinner?

Let’s imagine for a moment that you are dating someone new, and you have gotten serious enough in your relationship where you think it might be a good idea if they met your family. If you have been in that situation before, you probably already know that there never really feels like a right time to do it. Some folks prefer a quiet night out with just the parents along for the meeting, while others want to get it over with by introducing everyone at the same time. The family Thanksgiving dinner falls into that latter category, but is it really the best time to introduce your new partner?
There really isn’t an easy answer to that question, as it really does all depend on your partner, as well as the overall behavior of your family. If Thanksgiving dinners tend to be laid back affairs where there is never any real drama, then it might not be the worst idea in the world. However, if you have a loud, boisterous family who frequently have it out at the dinner table, you might not want to throw your partner in at the deep end.
If you do decide to go, there are a couple of things that you need to prepare for. Telling your partner all about the behavior of your family as a whole is great, but what they really need to know is where you guys are at in the relationship together. If you believe this person the be “the one,” then you may want to make sure that they are on the same page, otherwise you run the risk of hearing them say that you are really just good friends at the dinner table while you have a different objective.
You also need to be aware of how you behave in a family gathering. There have been countless people who have believed that their family were dysfunctional, failing to realize that they were right at the heart of all the madness. Whether you want to believe it or not, your partner is going to be paying very close attention to how you interact with your own family, and if they sense something a little off, it could very well set off alarm bells for them. There is often a compulsion to put on a bit of a show at these gatherings, or perhaps a need to paint a better picture of your life than what is real. Be yourself throughout and you will have nothing to worry about.
Finally, you really need to know the strength of character of the person you are dating. Even if you warn your family that they should go easy on your partner, they still might eventually bombard them with all sorts of questions and unwanted attention. Is this something that your partner can handle, or are they the shy, retiring type who will never forgive you for putting them though the Thanksgiving dinner ordeal?
The point of this whole blog post really is: Get on the same page as your partner and prepare them for the real deal, whatever that might be.

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