Naomi Mackenzie –Blackdoctor.org
It’s that time of year again – gift giving, largely prepped meals, family gatherings, and time for you to decide if you are bringing a plus one. Each year if you aren’t married, this can be a point of confliction, and it plays out in so many different ways in everyone’s family. For me personally, I am struggling with the anxiety of my man meeting my entire family.
We all have those family members who are an anomaly. You aren’t exactly sure what you will get from them be it the good or bad, and the fear of being judged becomes all too real. But, we all come to this crossroad in our relationship where it is time to get the approval (or heaven forbid disapproval) about your significant other.
While I was thinking through my return home with the new love of my life, I actually chuckled for a bit on the inside because I am seriously preparing for this! I know the types of questions I’m in for and if your family is anything like mine, this advice should be helpful for you, too.
What happened to…?
One thing is for sure, sometimes family has a real way of rubbing the obvious in your face, and unfortunately for me I have a big overstated one: my ex. He has the same name as my new boyfriend. They also really liked my ex. If you get some shade because you showed up with someone new, don’t sweat it. Keep on doing you! There is nothing wrong with doing what makes you happy. Let those in question know that with each relationship you are growing and finding what you really want in a relationship.
Why aren’t you married yet?
Marriage can often be a question brought up with any couple around the holidays, especially if you’re one of the last in the family to join the ranks of married life. Don’t let the pressure get to you. If you’re getting heat about when and why it hasn’t happened yet, try politely letting them know that you are living your life on your terms and not theirs. I’ve learned that if you are disinterested in discussing this topic, leaving less room for conversation around it is best.
Prepare your significant other for who they’ll meet in advance.
No one should be sent into battle unprepared! If you know your family is a host of characters – like Nosey Aunty, Nitpicking Grandmother, No Chill Cousin – give your date the heads up about everyone. There is nothing like being stuck in an awkward moment. At least if you give them a heads up, they can prepare for how they want to react. It will also make for funny inside jokes between the two of you all night!
At the end of the day, bringing your love home is only one checkpoint in the relationship. You can get through it! Just go with the flow.