Somehow, this time of year has been pegged as joyous and wonderful, but honestly, I think the holidays can be stressful AF.
With the holiday season comes the constant struggle of not gorging on fattening food, the pressure of purchasing gifts and repetitive family gatherings that prove you're stronger than you thought you were.
And on top of all that stress, the November/December months force you to approach the awkward question you've been dodging for weeks: Should I bring my main squeeze home for the holidays?
Now, just remember: Only you can answer this.
But before you jump into making plans, here are five things to consider before asking bae the dreaded question:
1. How long you've been dating him/her.
In the earliest stages of a relationship, you don't want to come off as overeager.
Sure, meeting the parents is inevitable, but first, you need to feel out how comfortable your SO seems with you.
If you're only a few weeks in, maybe it's best to hold off on bringing up those holidays plans for a while. The mere mention of sitting them down for a long meal with the entire family may cause some serious freak outs, and you don't want to provide reasons to scare them away (at least this early).
If you're only a few weeks in, maybe it's best to hold off on bringing up those holidays plans.
On the other hand, if you and bae have survived the honeymoon phase and are close enough to pee with the door open, chances are you're on the both on the same page when it comes to situations like this one.
They're probably waiting for you to ask!
2. If it's too early to ask.
My extreme OCD and knack for planning would have me asking this question at least three months in advance, so believe me, I feel your pain.
But sometimes, you need to just take things in stride and not rush it.
Whatever you do, don't question someone's Thanksgiving or Christmas agendas while there's still prime beach weather outside.
I know climate change is a thing, but your best bet is to hold off on mentioning the world "holiday" at least until you need to wear a heavy jacket and wool scarf to be comfortable in the daytime.
Time it right, and the two of you could be pulling into your parents' driveway before you know it. Just don't scare 'em off with too much of a push.
3. How open-minded and understanding they are.
I know batting my eerily long lashes usually helps me get what I want, but it's important not to be stubborn in this situation.
Compromise is key in any relationship, and in this situation, you have to understand that your SO's plans might not match up with yours exactly.
Get yourselves situated in a low-stress environment, maybe crack open a cheap bottle of Pinot, and slowly hint that you're beginning to figure out what you want to do for your time off during the holiday season.
Go ahead and lay out your plans without extending the invite off the bat, and see what they're up to before asking if they'd be down to join in on any of your arrangements.
See what they're up to before asking if they'd be down to join in on any of your arrangements.
Remember to be flexible. If your partner can't make it for Thanksgiving, but is happy to open gifts with your family for Christmas, go for it. Or, if they're set on celebrating Christmas with their own family, but they're able to pop by for New Year's Eve, take it and run with it.
This is a busy time of year, so it's best to make sure your plans work for everyone involved.
4. If they've met your family.
If your SO was lucky enough to survive rounds of intense interrogation from every loud-mouthed family member during a previous gathering, they probably won't sweat the small stuff when it comes to joining in on scheduled holiday plans.
Just bring up what you had planned when it comes to holiday celebrations; mention how important they are, and how meaningful it would be if they were there with you. Odds are, they probably feel the same way (Just make sure to stay open minded about any response they give.)
Mention how important they are, and how meaningful it would be if they were there with you.
Plus, your SO will probably be more inclined to say yes if they've already met your family in less forced setting.
After all, if your partner has already met your parents, or any close relatives in some capacity, you two are probably in it for the long haul.
5. If it's the best time.
The holiday season is naturally a hectic time of year for just about everyone in the United States, so right now might not exactly be the best time to surprise 'em with plans to go see hang out with your family.
If they seem like they're yanking at their hair over the amount of things going on in their life, it's probably best to hold off on bringing them home for holidays until everyone in the situation is genuinely excited to be there.
If they're yanking at their hair over the amount of things going on in their life, it's best to hold off.
Ultimately, if you're at a point in your relationship where you feel committed to your partner, then they'll probably be open to whatever ideas you have for the holidays. Be open, be understanding and see what happens.