The older you get, the more stressful the holiday season becomes. That's not to say that you no longer enjoy the celebrations or look forward to Thanksgiving dinner, but with each year, more responsibilities, obligations and decisions surrounding the festivities fall to you. And perhaps one of the most complicated choices you'll be faced to make is whether or not you should spend Thanksgiving with your significant other.
Spending the holiday together is a big step in any relationship. While it can — and should — be a decision that leaves you feeling joyful, there can also be some less than great ramifications of opting to spend Thanksgiving with your SO. Families might have differing opinions, they might not get along with your relatives, or traditions may be so opposite it causes stress between you and your partner.
Yes, there are potential negatives to the situation, but there are also plenty of positives to consider. You and your sweetheart can watch the parade together, compete in a game of touch football, and snuggle up for a tryptophan-induced nap at the end of the party. Plus, spending the holiday together shows a level of commitment that, when you feel ready for it, is pretty special.
There are various ways to know if you're ready to spend Thanksgiving with your significant other, and, of course, every couple is different. But as you mull it over, consider these 9 signs that show you probably are ready to spend your Turkey Day with your other half.
1. Your Family Loves Him
When stressing over bringing your SO to your holiday dinner, chances are what's giving you the most anxiety is thinking about your boyfriend or girlfriend interacting with your crazy family for a whole day. (Yes, I say crazy — everyone's family is a little bit nuts in their own way.) But if your partner and your parents are already pals, you've got one less thing to worry about. If your family loves your SO, chances are they want them to celebrate the holiday with all of you. He is basically part of the family already, so it might even feel empty if he isn't there to pass the stuffing or help carve the bird.
2. Cooking Together Is Your Thing
If you're one of those couples who finds chopping celery as much of a turn on as a back massage, or if you just genuinely love spending time together in the kitchen, Thanksgiving is the perfect holiday for you two. Cooking a whole turkey dinner will only bring you closer together, as you baste, boil, brine and bond with each other.
3. You Live Together
If you live together, chances are you and your girlfriend see a future together, and the future inevitably involves holiday celebrations. Standard operating procedure (although, who cares what's standard) is that once a couple is engaged, they're usually meant to spend their holidays together. But if you aren't quite engaged yet, but see yourself headed in that direction, why should you have to wait and spend another Thanksgiving apart? Living together is a serious enough place in a relationship that family members will understand and encourage you two to spend the holiday together.
4. Traveling Is Complicated For One Of You
If you and your significant other live New York and your family lives in Connecticut, but her family lives in Oregon, chances are it'd be a lot more convenient and pleasant for her to join your family festivities. And vice versa. Thanksgiving travel is expensive and often you can only escape for a short stint, so taking a trip that doesn't involve layovers and carryons is usually a more pleasant way to spend the break.
5. This Break Is The Only Time Together You Can Get
If you or your beloved is waist deep in work, Thanksgiving might be a good chance to have some downtime together. When you're spending every night together watching movies or sipping cocktails, being apart for one weekend — even if it's a holiday weekend — isn't too big of a deal. But that isn't the case when your time is already limited due to someone's work, graduate school or other life commitments. If you're really looking forward to Thanksgiving as an opportunity to reconnect with your SO, don't hesitate to spend the holiday together.
6. You Can't Imagine A Day Being Festive Without Him
Holidays are the days you want to spend with the people in your life you love the most. And, if at this point in your relationship, that's your SO, then it's time to invite them to Thanksgiving. If the thought of a holiday without them feels empty, sad or just not quite special enough, chances are it's time to celebrate together.
7. You're Close Enough To Visit Both Families
The tough thing about spending a holiday with your SO is that, usually, this means someone's family gets the short end of the stick. And it's not just parents — whichever one of you doesn't end up seeing your own family may feel upset or like you got shafted. If your family celebrations are within a reasonable driving distance from one another, however, you can get the best of both worlds. Visit one family for appetizers and the meal, then head to the other's party for dessert and to spend the night.
8. You Want To Host
On the other hand, maybe you don't want to travel at all. If you and your SO feel ready to host the holiday yourselves, go for it. That way, you can invite both families, have full control over the menu, and get closer through the process of planning a holiday and entertaining your guests. Nothing brings you together quite like having Dad compliment your cooking and listening to Mom tell you how to rearrange your kitchen.