What To Know Before You Bring Your New Boo Home For The Holidays

Going home for the holidays can be pretty stressful, even if you're just doing it alone. Whether families have differing opinions on things or some family members are just too much, spending time with your family can be draining and a big ordeal. Of course, if you add your partner into the mix for the first time, all of those stressors can be amplified.

Family gatherings, especially holiday ones, are basically events regardless of if there are a lot of relatives in attendance or just a handful. Anyone needs a large amount of social battery to withstand the whole festive affair. We all love our family, but it can be scary and hard to introduce someone we also love into that dynamic. What if your grandparents don't like them? What if an aunt or uncle says something offensive? Are they going to be terribly invasive? Only you know your family the best, but there are still a lot of variables, and it can be hard to predict what will come of it. So preparing beforehand and communicating with your partner are going to be two of the best things you can do when you bring a new partner home for the holidays.

Communicate with everyone beforehand

To make sure introducing your new partner to the fam goes smoothly, knowing where they stand is a must. As Insider writes, communication is key during this whole scenario. Firstly, don't assume that they want to be a part of a family holiday just yet. This is a massive relationship step, and maybe they're not ready for it. On the other hand, don't put a time limit or restriction on bringing a new partner home for the holidays. "If you feel strongly about this partner, even if you just met, why not extend the offer?" relationship expert and author Susan Winter told Insider. "It's a very good way to find out where you stand. I don't think it's too early if you like each other."

Communicate with your family beforehand, too, because it's not a good idea to surprise them with this new partner. Touching base with family members beforehand can also be a great time to answer questions yourself and set boundaries, whether conversational or otherwise. Winter also said you should be considerate and bring up the topic of sleeping arrangements before you even leave. "This depends on how close you are to your parents and how open-minded they are," she said. "You don't have to stay with the family. You can stay in a hotel. You're adults. If you do stay in the home, you know your parents well enough — know the ground rules and don't push it."

Respect your partner and your family during the holiday gathering

Not that you have to put your partner above all else — because, if your partner turns out to be inconsiderate or not-so-great, you don't want to feel like you have to choose them over your family — but your partner's needs and comfort are immensely important through all of this. A great way to ease any anxiety your partner might have about coming into your family's dynamic is to explain it to them in as much detail as you can, Becky Whetstone, Ph.D., a marriage therapist in Little Rock, AR. told SELF.

Your respect for your partner also shouldn't go out the door; they're not a stranger, and bringing them to meet your family for the holidays is, again, a massive step toward your future together. Try not to let your own anxieties get to you. Dr. Gail Gross, Ph.D., a human behavior, parenting, and education expert and author, wrote for HuffPost that it's a good idea to "allow your partner space during the trip." They'll be just as stressed — if not more — because they're the ones walking into unfamiliar territory and meeting your important people for the first time. "If your partner seems overwhelmed, suggest a quiet walk around the neighborhood or a movie date," she writes. Overall, be kind to yourself and your partner and check in with them often, especially if things seem off.