Cute alert! You've found a guy to spend the holidays with!
As we say in Guyana, every moldy bread has its cheese and you've found yours. But beware, the road to relationship hell is paved with unspoken expectations. After all, no matter how much you have in common with your partner, you're two different people. You grew up in different homes with different values and ideals. You won't always see eye to eye, and this is normal. You should, however, develop a healthy respect for what the love of your life values. So what if you differ on just what the holidays mean? How can you reconcile differences around the holidays and insure that your first, big holiday together is not your last?
Before the big day.
For some people, their birthday is the most important day of the year. I consider my birthday in July to be the start of my new year. There is no way for a prospective mate to know that unless I tell him.
Set expectations and be clear with your loved one before the big day comes about what it means to you. If it's important that they spend time with your family, say that. If church is an essential part of your celebrations, say so. There is nothing cute about pretending that something doesn't matter, and then having a passive-aggressive freak out because it doesn't go your way.
Never assume that you and your guy share the same ideas about the holidays. You may gather with family on every holiday from Arbor Day to All Saint's Day. If your guy has never celebrated anything in his life, he won't understand this until you explain it to him. There is no right or wrong in this area.
You may see Thanksgiving as Turkey Day. Your partner may see it as a day of protesting genocide. If this is the case, you need to come to a mutual agreement. Perhaps you are not celebrating the slaughter of innocents, but just gathering with loved ones to celebrate your gratitude for being a family. Be clear and make your case.
Sure, it's nerve-wracking to think of your new boyfriend meeting your scary dad or judgmental Grandma Bertha, but take a deep breath. At the end of the day, the opinion that matters most is yours. Prep your guy about any family weirdness and go for it.
Don't expect the day to go according to a plan. Whatever happens, you're celebrating something that matters to you with someone you love, and at the end of the day, that's all that really matters.
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