10 Signs You’re Ready To Bring Your Boyfriend To Thanksgiving Dinner

As the holidays come closer, it’s time to ask: do you plan to bring your boyfriend to Thanksgiving dinner? Have you been dating for a while, but he still hasn’t come over to celebrate turkey day with your extended family? If you still don’t know if you should bring your plus one to the family gathering, don’t worry. Here’s a list of the top 10 ways to tell if it’s time to bring your boyfriend to Thanksgiving dinner.

  1. He’s met your family before. While most of us think that it must be much easier to have a guy meet all our family members at once, that’s probably not a good idea. Think about it — how would you feel if you suddenly had to meet a whole bunch of aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, and your partner’s parents all at the same time? That can feel super overwhelming. Instead, make sure your boyfriend can meet your parents and any other close family members on a different day. If he’s already met your family and it went well, that’s a good sign that he can come to Thanksgiving dinner.
  2. Your family wants to see him. Sometimes, you might be lucky enough to have your family members begging you to invite your boyfriend. Maybe they haven’t met him yet and they want to see what he’s like. Or, if they’ve already met, they got along so well that they can’t wait to see him again. Either way, this is a good indicator that you should invite your partner.
  3. Consider any cultural differences. This may come in handy if you realize that you and your partner have different cultural backgrounds or religious values. Consider how your cultural differences may impact your Thanksgiving meal. Does your boyfriend come from a family that celebrates Thanksgiving? Do they celebrate Thanksgiving but with different foods or traditions? Once in a while, your boyfriend might not even be interested in celebrating Thanksgiving the way your family celebrates it. Make sure you talk about what Thanksgiving looks like to you and what it looks like to him.
  4. You don’t mind if things go differently than you planned. Even if the entire dinner goes wrong, the turkey is burned, and the pumpkin pie falls on the floor, do you still want him to see it? Do you feel comfortable with him seeing the less-than-perfect family members or witnessing the cat choke up a hairball? Anything could happen on Thanksgiving. Hopefully, you and your partner are comfortable enough with each other that you can laugh about it together, instead of getting stressed out. If you’re okay with the idea of your partner seeing the good, the bad, and the ugly in your family home, you can go ahead and invite him.
  5. You’ve been together for over three months. Is your relationship still in the first couple of weeks? Even if you’ve been dating for a month, it might be a bit too early to involve your partner in your Thanksgiving day traditions. Have you had a “define the relationship” (DTR) talk? Or have you been together for a while? Since Thanksgiving can be such a family-centered holiday, you don’t want to rush your partner by inviting them to Thanksgiving dinner. You can tell that you’re ready to invite your plus-one if you are both committed to the relationship, and you’ve been together for at least several months. You don’t want to cut your partner out of your holiday pictures if you break up two weeks later.
  6. Your family will respect your relationship. Of course, we all want our partners to be accepted by our families. However, sometimes this just doesn’t happen. Maybe your boyfriend has some strongly held religious beliefs that could cause your Uncle Steve to butt heads with him. Or, maybe your grandmother thinks you deserve a boyfriend who’s 6’4” and pure muscle and she refuses to acknowledge anything less than that. If you think your extended family might be a little too judgmental of your relationship, ask yourself (and your partner) if this is something you’re willing to deal with. However, if your family is willing to accept your partner with open arms, it’s a good sign that you can invite your boyfriend along.
  7. He hasn’t brought up visiting his family for Thanksgiving. Of course, this depends on the person and the situation. However, make sure he doesn’t already have Thanksgiving plans. Maybe he’s looking forward to his aunt’s turkey stuffing or he just wants to see his grandparents again. Try bringing up his Thanksgiving plans in a conversation: “So what are you thinking to do this Thanksgiving?” It’s always courteous to double-check what your partner’s plans are before inviting them to something different.
  8. Consider the lodging/overnight situation. When you’re traveling to your parents’ place for Thanksgiving, do you usually sleep in the guest room? What other sleeping arrangements exist? This ties back into the part about your family respecting your relationship. If you invite your boyfriend over for dinner, and you end up staying the night, where will your partner sleep? Will that be okay with your family? Or, would it be better if he took the guest bed and you slept on the couch? If you have a more traditional or conservative family, it might bother them if you and your boyfriend decide to share a bed. These are important things to consider when deciding if you should invite him to Thanksgiving.
  9. You’ve already been invited to meet your boyfriend’s family. After he invites you to a couple of family gatherings, maybe a birthday party or a family dinner, consider inviting him to Thanksgiving to reciprocate. When your partner feels comfortable inviting you to smaller, more intimate family activities, it’s a sign that they want you to become a bigger part of their life. This is a good sign that he might be ready to join you and your family for Thanksgiving dinner.
  10. You can’t imagine spending time without him. If you get all the way down this list and you’re still not sure, just follow your gut. Would you miss spending Thanksgiving with your partner? This question is really the most important question of all. You don’t want to spend all of Thanksgiving missing them. So if you want them to come and spend Thanksgiving with you, ask them! And enjoy your time together on Thanksgiving!
Lauryn is a writer and blogger who hails from California. She loves big dogs, fuzzy blankets, and hot cheetos.