When my now-husband brought me home for the holidays for the first time, I was terrified. Not in a funny-but-true, cutesy way, but in a really scary, sweaty palms and pits to match kinda way. I'd spent a decent amount of time with his parents prior to that visit, but had never spoken more than a few words to his extended family. I honestly had no idea what to expect when your partner brings you home for the holidays so, if I'm being totally honest here, I wasn't thrilled. Like, at all.
Perhaps the worst part of the whole "meeting your partner's extended family members for the first time" ordeal is that, for the most part, there's really no way to avoid the whole situation. You feel completely powerless because, sooner or later, you kind of have to go home with your partner for the holidays at some point, right? That is, if you want to feel like you've really "made it" as a couple. Apparently nothing says commitment like asking your partner to come to the bathroom with you, so you don't have to walk through the room full of relatives alone.
Thankfully, there's a good part, too. After this initial visit, things will finally get less scary. You'll have had your "coming out" of sorts, and now these people won't wonder who you are the next time they see you. (Which will now be on every major holiday, so congratulations). Once you've popped your December holiday cherry, there's kind of no going back, so prepare yourself for sweaty palms and stomach butterflies that actually somehow hurt aren't the only things to expect when your partner brings you home for the holidays. Prepare yourself, dear reader.
You'll Automatically Follow Them Around
It sounds pathetic, but it's really all too true. The alternative to following your partner around is sitting awkwardly while you're either ignored by all of his relatives, or questioned non-stop. Yeah, neither of those sound great, so to the bathroom you go.
You'll Hear About Your Partner's Ex
Chances are, you weren't the first person your partner has ever brought home. You may be the best girlfriend or boyfriend they've brought home, but there have been others before you. Chances are, your partner's family may very well slip up and hit you with that unintentional sting.
You'll Explain How You And Your Partner Met A Million Times Over
Hey, at least people are talking to you, right? But with a large family gathering, you'll likely be retelling your story over and over, until it's basically scripted for you.
You'll Pretend Like You Love The Food You're Eating
My husband's family is mostly full of Slovenians and Austrians who always bring dishes native to their countries. These dishes include pastries and schnitzel and sausage, otherwise known as food items I will never, ever, complain about eating.
However, not everyone is as lucky, and make no mistake: you'll be expected to clear your plate of whatever has been served to you. Those are just good manners, my friend. So, even if you aren't sure about that weird gelatinous dish, just eat it and smile.
You'll Be Ignored
Until now, your partner has probably come to these family gatherings alone, free to mill about and flit from cousin to sibling and back again. There's a certain camaraderie that you just aren't in on yet, and unless you expect your partner to just not talk to anyone, you'll spend a few moments by yourself.
You'll Stand Around Awkwardly
Once again, you probably don't know anyone and vice versa. Your partner may be talking to some cousins about who the hell even knows, leaving you to stand with them without having much to contribute to the overall conversation just yet. Or, you know, the assembly line to get food, where everyone is already awkward enough as the people in front scoop food onto their plates, feeling several pairs of eyes on them. Fun, right?
You'll Watch Other People Open Gifts
So awkward. You probably don't even want a gift, but the awkwardness is felt by all when you have to sit and watch your partner and other family members unwrap gifts in front of you, as you watch on.
You Won't Know What To Do During Group Photos
First, you have to figure out if you're even included in these group shots. If you are, consider your inclusion a very good sign. But then, you have to figure out just where you fit in the photo. Are you front and center with your partner? Or placed on the outside, just in case things don't work out and you can be cut from the photo later on? Decisions, decisions.
You'll See All Your Partner's Baby Photos
Finally, something to really look forward to! Get ready for all of those naked baby butts and chubby cheeks. Plus, maybe some insight to what your future kids will look like and if it's time to dip out now.
You'll Probably Have Sex On A Way-Too-Small Twin Bed
When my husband and I first started dating, he was still living at home. You'd better believe that we did it in his twin bed on the regular. Looking back, I don't know how we managed, especially with all of the squeaky springs the thing has and the careful maneuvering we had to perfect. However, let me just say that it is totally possible and maybe it'll bring you even closer? You know, because of the literal closeness happening.