Meeting extended family.
December 2, 2012 8:49 PM Subscribe
Meeting the extended family over Christmas - pointers to help it go well?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I'm being invited to spend Christmas with, and meet, my boyfriend's extended family (I've met the parents.) We're both in our late 20's, and have been dating ~9 months. We don't live together, but things are pretty good.
I'm looking for strategies to politely handle a few points:
Neither of us is certain where the relationship is headed. There's a high chance one of our careers will lead to a move in the next year, which might lead to a split, for example. Right now, that's between me and him - not the extended family. Part of the reason I'm invited is also to reduce the amount of well meaning matchmaking/pressure to find someone that extended family tends towards - I'm fine with this. As well as the fact that he does actually want me around for Christmas, and I don't have other plans.
- How do I avoid giving any real answer to questions along these lines, without making any promises or telling any lies?
I've also been warned that a couple of the aunts have a habit of trying to embarrass girlfriends/boyfriends when they first meet them, along the lines of a lot of questions and maybe minor pranks. I'm pretty difficult to embarrass, generally, and I don't mind answering most questions, nor are there skeletons hiding in my closet. I'd rather avoid getting on someone's bad side with an honest answer, though.
- If they ask something that I really don't want to answer, how can I politely deflect, without it being obvious? Tips on handling this well?
I know the immediate family and from what I've been told, they like me. His family is a lot closer than mine. Nobody's religious, or from a different culture. My background is somewhat different, though, and I tend to hold different political views (for example, it's a given that everyone in my family attends university. It's unusual - my boyfriend is the only one who did - for people in their family to go to university.) My boyfriend is better at answering specific questions - general ones get an 'Uh, I don't know.'
- Nobody is out to get me. What do I need to be careful of, think about, ask my boyfriend about, and anything else, to help things go well?
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