Being in a relationship with someone during your first holiday together can be both exciting, as well as filled with emotions and anxiety.
While meeting someone’s parents is a big deal, meeting your significant other’s children is a bigger deal. It’s quite possible they might have not met another man or woman besides their father or mother, and may be examining you with a cautious eye.
If your partner’s divorced or a single parent, chances are they’ll have family commitments that may or may not include you.
Before you start stuffing his turkey or filling his or her Christmas stocking with something fancy or coal, take a BIG deep breath and follow these tips to ensure they will love you just as much as your guy does.
1. Communicate. Talk to your significant other about logistics. Decide where you’ll be meeting their family and how long you’ll be staying there. Chances are their kids may want to see their friends as well over the holidays and meeting you won’t be as high on their priority list as it is on yours.
2. Control the PDA. While you’re used to being lovey-dovey together, there’s no getting around the fact that his kids will imagine you having sex with their mom or dad. While they want to see them happy, they’d rather visualize the two of you fully clothed. Stick to hand holding and a hug and avoid sitting on his lap.
3. Include Laughter. Nothing will lighten up a potentially stressful situation (ie: meeting the family) than a joke and the ability to smile and laugh. Keep the jokes G-rated, regardless of the everyone’s age. Remember to stay positive and leave your baggage behind. If his kids see you’re a happy person, they’ll project to you making their mom or dad happy as well.
4. Don’t Talk About Their Other Parent. The kids you’re meeting, even if they’re adult children, will always give their loyalty to their mother or father. Even if they realize the split was for the best, they will have years-and-years of memories of the family celebrating the holidays together. Avoid the urge to say something about his ex, even if it’s sharing his mumbling sentiments, or a recent memory that gets brought to the table. They already have another and you’re not signing up to be an instant step-parent. Show respect for their other parent to avoid any uncomfortable feelings.
5. Bring a Gift. If you’re going to their adult children’s home, bring a thoughtful gift, such as a holiday basket or a candle so you don’t show up empty-handed. Don’t do the complete opposite by smothering them with gifts from a stranger. If the kids are school-age, bring each of them a small gift, so they have something to open.
6. Avoid Taking Photos. Let your boyfriend or girlfriend and their kids be in charge of snapping photos when you meet. Their family won’t be sure if you’ll be sticking around, so posting them on social media is a netiquette no-no.
7. Give a Hug. There’s something warm about hugging someone hello or goodbye. If you greet them with a handshake and your get together goes well, leave with a quick goodbye hug to show affection to your boyfriend’s kids, so they can welcome you warmly to the family and be happy for their dad.
Let your partner know you’re excited you are to meet his children and that you’re proud that he thinks enough about your relationship to show that you’re officially a couple.
Remember, they’re nervous that it will go well too. Be genuine and warm.
Wishing you much love and joy at the holidays.
Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker. She’s the CEO of Cyber-Dating Expert and was an early adopter of the Internet. Julie’s been coaching singles on finding love online for over 20 years with her Irresistible Profiles dating coaching programs.
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