Penny Lawrence | Correspondent

Now that we’re in college, bringing a significant other home for the holidays is not an unusual idea. Inviting that special someone to share in your family traditions can be a big step in your relationship. For some it can be the first time the family meets your lover. If your family means as much to you as mine does to me, then how they feel about your bae is extremely important. Holidays are generally pleasant and happy experiences. They are times for your family to come together and celebrate love and life. I think that it’s a wonderful time to introduce your significant other, but only if your family is open to the idea. It gives your parents and partner a safe and positive environment to begin their relationship in. Your bae will get the opportunity to experience your family’s traditions, and your family will have just enough time to get to know them. Yet not enough time to point out all of their flaws. Here are my answers to some common questions about it:

1. How long should you be dating your significant other before they meet the family?

My family is a very big part of my life. They meet my significant other very quickly. Usually within a few months of dating if not less. I don’t date lightly, and my family is quick to jump on any smile that escapes while looking at my phone. I use meeting my family to weed out the weak ones. My family is immensely strange. My mother is demanding and assertive. She isn’t afraid of asking the difficult questions or calling out a comment that she doesn’t like. My dad, however, only really grunts and growls at new people. Add in weird scientific theories, terrible music, and my little pony and you have my family. I feel like if a man can handle all of them, he can handle being in a relationship with me. That’s only one of the important reasons why you should introduce your significant other to your family.

 2. Are the holidays really a good time?

The holidays can be as good of a time as any. It depends on the family. The holidays just means that your family is all in once place. However, you should remember that you two might have religious differences or different traditions. You should also tell your family ahead of time if your significant other has any special conditions such as allergies.

3.Where should you and your partner stay? Same room? Same bed?

My family is pretty open to letting my significant other stay at their house. If they know them well, they wouldn’t mind us sleeping in the same bed. If your parents don’t mind, you should definitely stay at their house. Save money on the hotel. As far as sex, go for it if you feel comfortable with it! However, respect your parents and respect the house you’re in. Don’t get “vocal” in the room next door to your parents. That’s just rude.

4. How important is it when they meet on the holidays?

For some families, the holidays are intimate. Personally, my family celebrates holidays for the entire month that they’re in. We get presents randomly through the month of December, and we don’t do much other than that. So for us, meeting on a holiday does not affect the importance of it. For families that cherish the togetherness of the holidays, being invited into that really means a lot. It means that you are being invited into the personal bubble of their family or you’re offering that to someone else, it’s special.

5.How influential is your family in your relationship?

My family cannot tell me who to be with, but their opinion of my significant other affects my opinion. I have learned over the many years of my life that my mother is always right. Always. Whatever she says about the man I’m dating, even if I don’t see it at the time, is true. If the person I’m with cannot interact with my parents in a pleasant way, then they are not someone I can be with. My mother and I are particularly close, and her opinion of me and who I care for means a lot to me. I don’t just mean the empty words. I know that she is a good judge of character, and unlike me, she does not have the love or lust clouding her judgement. If you are not very close to your parents or family, it is good to have the outside view of a close friend. You should always take what your friends say into consideration. That does not mean listening to their advice or not standing up for your relationship.

6.Would you want to be a part of their family’s holiday plans and traditions?

I absolutely love being a part of other families traditions. Because my family has never really celebrated, I enjoy being surrounded by the feeling of faith and celebration. I once helped my significant other’s family celebrate Christmas. They had the tradition to decorate trees with specific colors and put up a Christmas town. His mother bought me a few glass angel ornaments because she had always collected them and she wanted me to continue the tradition. That is the best present I’ve ever gotten, and even though that relationship ended, I will continue that tradition.

7.Do you think it is a good or bad idea to bring your partner home for the holidays?

If both your family and your bae are comfortable with it, I think it can be a wonderful idea. Just follow the general rule of “don’t do anything stupid.” It can be a wonderful opportunity to get closer to your partner and to let your family get to know them too.