BY: LBL Team

Should You Bring a Date to Thanksgiving Dinner?

The holidays always seem to involve a balancing act; spending time with extended family can be challenging given all of the dynamics at play. Thanksgiving only marks the beginning of the holiday season. If you’ve started dating someone you really like, it can be tricky deciding whether to invite them to your family holiday gatherings like Thanksgiving dinner.

First things first, define your relationship

Before inviting a romantic partner to a family holiday gathering such as Thanksgiving, the two of you should discuss your status ahead of time. Are you exclusive? Is it a friends with benefits situation? The last thing you want to do is send mixed signals when asked about your relationship.

The pros of bringing a date to Thanksgiving dinner

Inviting a romantic partner to Thanksgiving or another holiday dinner has several advantages. First, it allows you to see whether they sink or swim when the attention is on them. Relationships aren’t just the chemistry between the two of you. How a potential mate interacts with your family is equally important.

Having your date partake in Thanksgiving fun with your family also enables you to see how they get along with individual family members. Is it a harmonious experience or totally dysfunctional? While you can’t choose your relatives, you can decide how to deal with them.

Timing isn’t a determining factor

The length of your relationship shouldn’t be a determining factor in bringing a date along to Thanksgiving dinner. It’s all about the quality of your connection. As long as you feel safe and comfortable around them and want to deepen the relationship, then including your date should feel like a natural progression.

Ultimately, it’s up to you

Deciding to bring a date to Thanksgiving dinner is entirely up to you. If you feel like you and your romantic partner have a solid foundation, and you’re ready to be more vulnerable with them, then inviting them to Thanksgiving might be a good idea. Be sure to prep your family in advance about any sensitive topics to avoid if you do extend an invite to your date.

  1. “Is It Too Soon to Invite My Boyfriend to Spend the Holidays with My Family?,” Glamour, November 18, 2014.
  2. “Should You Bring a Date to Thanksgiving Dinner?,” Huffington Post, January 24, 2015.
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