Do I Have To Bring My Partner To Meet My Family For Thanksgiving?

I've never brought anyone home for Thanksgiving. Does that make me a failure and a societal outcast? Probably! JK. To be honest, I don't think it's completely necessary to bring your partner home for Thanksgiving, especially if you've very recently started dating. It's a lot of pressure. I mean, do I really need to introduce the person I'm still trying to hide my crazy from to my ENTIRE family? Somehow, this doesn't sound like a great idea.

Plus, I don't know about you, but for some reason, my entire family is incredibly stressed out on Thanksgiving. My parents spend the entire day in the kitchen sweating, cooking, and fighting with one another. I feel like my brothers are always watching sports and yelling at the TV. The family dog is going wild, begging for scraps of food and barking at every new person who comes into the house. It's not exactly a *~chill~* environment to bring someone into if they're not prepared.

Of course, I'm not saying you should never bring someone home for the holidays — hey, that's what dating is all about, sharing life experiences with one another — but what I am saying is that it shouldn't be a mandatory event. So here are some times when you don't have to bring your partner home for Thanksgiving. Because it's not significant others-giving, right?

1. If You Know How Crazy Your Family Is

This can probably ring true with just about everyone, right? If I'm trying to impress someone, I don't want to introduce them to my boundary-less, pseudo-insane family too early.

"Does your [partner] have a completely 'normal' family? While every family has their stuff, if your family scares even you, consider spending the holidays with [their] family and wait until there’s a ring on your finger before bringing [them] home," says online dating expert Meredith Golden. Because then they'll never leave you, MUAHUHAHAUHAUHAUA! JK, nothing is for certain. But the right person who loves you will accept your family regardless.

2. If Your Relationship Just Started

Only been dating for a week? Yeah, you don't need to bring your partner home for Thanksgiving then. "Introducing your [partner] to your family is a big step. Bringing [them] home for Thanksgiving is HUGE," Golden says. "Make sure you know each other well enough (and the relationship is stable enough) that family shenanigans don’t cause turbulence."

3. If You Know Your Fam Isn't A Fan Of Your Partner

If your family hates your partner, then that probably won't bring about good holiday vibes. They won't be very thankful that you brought this person home for dinner. I remember I was once dating a very cute, but very Justin Bieber-looking, emo boy during high school, whom both my brothers loathed. I brought him home for Thanksgiving, and he spent the entire night fixing his hair and quoting The Shins lyrics. Needless to say, my family was kind of miserable.

If you're in the same boat, then Golden suggests maybe not bringing your boo home to meet your family just yet. "No one likes having their relationship examined under a microscope, and your partner will know [they're] being watched," she says. "This will most likely spill over into the relationship and cause unnecessary fighting. Skip the drama by not taking [them] home for Thanksgiving." If only I'd known that then.

4. If You're Still On The Rocks About Your Relationship

If you don't know if your partner is right for you, then definitely don't bring them home. What do you need to introduce potential Mr. Wrong to your parents for? "If you’re feeling like it might be past its expiration date, do not bring [them] home," Golden says.

I always say, when in doubt, don't. If you have worries about bringing a significant other home for Thanksgiving, then don't force it. If it feels unnatural, nerves might get the best of you, and it might not go well. There's no rule that says you have to bring your boyfriend or girlfriend home for the holidays. If you're not ready for it, then you're not ready. Knowing exactly where you're at in your relationship is better than forcing yourself to be where you aren't.

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