Holiday dating advice: How to throw your man into the party mix
DON’T ditch your partner
Spending time alone with your guy is easy, but going public with your plus-one is another thing entirely. Whether it's your crazy relatives at Thanksgiving dinner or awkward convos with your boss at the holiday party, possible pitfalls are everywhere. Keep reading for tips on how to make his grand entrance into your social life a good thing.
This is the DON’T to beat all others—and yet it happens frequently. “Sometimes he’ll just be so excited to see someone, and I’m left standing there,” says Puja, 21. Whether it’s a work party, a family gathering or a bash with friends, if he doesn’t know anyone, it’s your responsibility to make introductions.
DON’T try to change him
He might not share your party personality—and that’s fine. Repeat: That’s fine. “When we were first dating I would say, ‘Why aren’t you mingling?’” says Gwendolyn, 28. “Over time, I have just learned to let him be himself rather than wanting him to be like me.”
DON’T force him to go
“I look for people who share similar interests with my boyfriend and try to hook them up,” says Pamela, 35. “It’s about thinking ahead and being proactive to make sure he’ll be comfortable.” It’s a win-win situation; not only is the pressure off you, but he meets potential new friends.
DON’T force him to go
“My husband had a terrible day at work, and instead of waiting for him to tell me he didn’t feel like going to a dinner party, I said I thought he’d be happier staying home, ” says Pamela, 35. If he isn’t in the mood for a night out, try taking a friend with you instead.
DON’T hog the conversation
How awful does this sound? You’re sitting around the holiday table with his family and the conversation is nonstop—except it’s all centered on things and people you don’t know anything about. Not so fun. “There have been times I didn’t involve my boyfriend,” admits Kristen, 25. “Afterward he brought it up and said, ‘You didn’t even ask my opinion; you just kind of spoke for me.’ He was right.” So if you’re going to take a trip down memory lane with your siblings, clue him in on what happened and follow it with a story to which he can add his own.
DO leave the fights at home
Sort out any arguments before you get to the party to reduce the risk of a public spat. Otherwise, no one will be having much fun—not you, not him and not the poor innocent partygoers who get trapped in the middle.
DO keep the conversation
“I try staying away from negative comments or gossip. That sets a really awkward tone for you and your partner in those kinds of settings,” says Dorina, 27. In other words, think before you talk. It’s better to bring up your favorite TV show than your not-so-favorite coworker.