Bad Romance Advice, Good Times: Meeting Your Partner’s Family During the Holidays

michael from the office, "we are going to designate one of our closets as a hook up zone" gif

Your Tango’s 9 Essential ‘Meet The Family’ Tips For This Thanksgiving

The holidays can be a stressful time – especially when you’re meeting your significant other’s family for the first time! Luckily, Your Tango‘s got you covered with “9 Essential ‘Meet The Family’ Tips For This Thanksgiving.” And Bad Books, Good Times has you covered tearing it to shreds. 

Before we even get to the essential tips, we get a couple freebies thrown in that I would be remiss to skip.

For starters, you should only ask someone home for the holidays if you have serious intentions. Always make sure you know the person you are taking home well enough to know how they handle social situations and their liquor, so you don’t become the source of the Thanksgiving drama when they run off with your sister.

I’m in full agreement that it wouldn’t be a wise decision to invite someone you’re casually dating home for the holidays unless there was a really good, charitable reason for doing so. However, how do you go about screening your partner for that very specific kind of behaviour?

“Do you handle challenging social situations by running off with your partner’s sister during the holidays? Oh, you do? Sorry, I’m going to have to rescind my invitation to my Thanksgiving gathering.”

Remember the movie The Family Stone?

I think I speak for the world when I say, ‘No, and everything Google is showing me makes me deeply question your judgement both as a giver of advice and a watcher of films.’

Screen Shot 2015-11-24 at 15.06.55
Scared to meet your boyfriend’s family? BRING YOUR SISTER. Hilarity ensues! Oh my god, I want to punch this movie in the face.

Now that we’ve been reminded of an unforgettable classic, it’s time for the real advice to begin (note: the section titles are my own):

1) Sleep in Separate Beds

I think this is a pretty outdated bit of advice. Whoever is doing the inviting probably has a pretty good grasp on his or her family’s comfort level. I don’t have a joke to share here, just common sense.

2) “Stay put” in Your Separate Beds

As tempting as it may be, insist that your boyfriend or girlfriend doesn’t slip into your room late at night. Put it on hold for a night and act respectable. You can restrain yourself for a night, right?

You thought you had it all figured out, didn’t you? Sleep in separate beds…but who says anything about when you’re not sleeping. Right? WRONG. Barricade your fucking door if you have to. Whatever it takes to make sure you don’t scandalise your hosts with your depravity.

3) No PDA

Be sure to refrain from PDA. There should be no groping or making out in front of anyone. Related: you don’t want them to walk in on you in the broom closet, either. Save it for later!


I don’t think the person who is seeking out this kind of article is the same person who would behave so rudely in the first place. Do you think someone out there read this and genuinely had their eyes opened for the first time? Like they emerged from reading this with her whole worldview changed?

4) Compliment the Host

Do compliment the host and hostess on their dinner, and make no comparisons between your mom’s apple pie and the hostess’ lemon meringue.

I’m starting to suspect that this post was originally called, “9 Ways to Show You Have Basic Manners” but then was hastily rejigged in time for the holidays.

5) Dress to Impress

Ladies: make sure to put the — ahem — girls away, and guys: make sure your pants aren’t falling off you all gangsta-style. Belts, bras, and appropriate clothing are definitely in order. Make sure your skirt is a reasonable length. Oh, and lose the jeans and sneakers.


Just to be on the safe side, you should probably dress to minimise skin exposure. DON’T FORGET JEANS ARE AN INSULT TO HOLIDAYS.

6) Don’t get Wasted

No matter how drunk a few of the relatives may be (and they may indeed be) it is never safe for you to overindulge in the holiday spirits.

Don’t let his family lull you into a false sense of security. They are probably just acting drunk in order to test you.

7) Don’t Flirt With the Relatives

Guys: don’t be checking out her cousins, and ladies: do not flirt with his uncle. This is always unacceptable behavior — no matter what.

…But why specifically his uncle? And I’m curious what that ‘no matter what’ refers to. What protests does the author expect? “BUT his uncle was hella tight.” “Nope, reader. Not cool.”

8) Eat, Pray, Don’t Argue

Do not engage in any conversation regarding religion or politics. Most of all, out of respect, go along with the before-dinner prayer and thanks… even if you are an atheist. It isn’t the time for a religious debate.

I have to say I agree with this one. If this sort of thing would really offend you and you know it’s coming beforehand, discuss with your partner about how you want to handle the situation. Clearly not the time or place for an awkward fight especially since you’re a guest. If they were about to murder a small child as part of the family tradition, I might change my tune, but this seems relatively harmless.

9) Bring a Gift

Be sure to be gracious and take flowers or a bottle of wine for the hostess. You can never go wrong when using good manners!

Again, fine advice, but how is this specific to meeting your partner’s family? It really does seem like aside from the “sleep in separate beds” and “don’t flirt” bits of advice there wasn’t really a whole lot more this article had to offer that was specific to couples.

Most importantly, this article was allegedly written by a woman named Susan Trombetti, but I am convinced it’s actually the Casts in disguise. The evidence:

  • A weird and dumb pop culture reference.
  • “If you want to avoid all that drama (and —hello! Who wouldn’t?)”
  • “Guys: make sure your pants aren’t falling off you all gangsta-style.


  1. Kate Reply

    I thought the exact same thing, re: the Casts writing this when I saw the part about dudes not having their pants “falling off all gangsta-style.” Which is… good for them, I guess, that they have such a recognizable writing style???

  2. Manny Reply

    Unless you date someone whose spaceship crashed on Earth from an alien planet where bad manners are the rule… these are unnecessary advices. I mean if I go out with a person, and I’ve been doing so for a while, including being out and about with friends, I should know if a person can behave or not. If they can’t… why should I keep going out with a person who embarasses me, in the first place?!

    • 22aer22 Reply

      Hahaha your comments are always beautiful.

      But what if you haven’t checked if your partner is likely to run off with one of your siblings? I mean, this advice is so invaluable.

  3. Dejah Reply

    I met my mother-in-law and my second brother-in-law for the first time EVER while I was in the hospital in the middle of labor. I’d love to see the etiquette tips the author has for that scenario.

    There needs to be advice for a female friend invited home for Thanksgiving by her male friend who is also her roommate. That was awkward for me, by the end of the holiday I was convinced I was missing signals or something.

  4. Utsutsu Reply

    This is clearly a thinly veiled guide to all of the life lessons Zoey needs to learn.

    I mean, replace “your partner’s sister” with “your vampire poetry teacher” and “religious debate” with “assertions that you’re totally cool with homosexuals and minorities” and it’s basically a cheat sheet for her character.

  5. Bellomy Reply

    Actually, this advice generally isn’t terrible. It’s just weirdly specific and kind of obvious, but it could be worse!

  6. callmeIndigo Reply

    I keep running into this “sleep in separate beds when bringing a partner to a holiday” advice and I…don’t get it? Is the assumption that if you’re in the same bed you won’t be able to stop yourselves from vigorously fucking even while at your/your partner’s parents’ house? Because that’s…that’s not a normal thing to assume.

    • 22aer22 Reply

      Hahahaha RIGHT?? I don’t understand the logic. If you know your partner’s family is super religious or conservative you’d probably expect it, but otherwise I feel like a lot of families are over this?

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  8. Quinn Reply

    Why is wine considered an appropriate hostess gift for someone you don’t know well? There’s a lot of people who have issues with alcohol for one reason or another.

    (Or do the writers of this automatically assume everybody defaults to flowers in that situation and save wine for their friends that they know well enough to pick a vintage for?)


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