Introducing Your Partner To The Family For The First Time? Do This First!

Find out how to prepare your partner before the big relationship milestone.

Couple walking into a room during the holidays

‘Love Notes by Chi’ is BrownStyle Magazine‘s new column—curated by professional matchmaker Chi Love— that brings you insightful tips, trendy discussions, and answers your biggest questions about love, dating, and relationships.

The holiday season can be an exciting time, especially for those who are ready to introduce their family and friends to their romantic partner. For many, the idea of bringing a significant other to a family affair during the holidays can bring up multiple feelings, including excitement, worry, and anxiety.

To help you navigate through it all, I’ve created a list of simple tips to do ahead of time to ensure that the meeting between your family, friends, and your new love interest goes smoothly.

Have a conversation with your partner about how they usually spend their holidays.

Start by finding out how they celebrate the holidays. Do they usually fly out of town to celebrate with family? Do they prefer a cozy break at home? Or maybe they don’t celebrate the holidays at all.

Have an open mind and be receptive to what they’re sharing. Sometimes the holidays can be triggering for those who have lost family members and therefore lost traditions. It can also be a solemn time for those who are estranged from their family. Use this time to gain more insight into who they are as a person and their thoughts surrounding the holidays. Having these kinds of open conversations can prove to be helpful as you move forward in your relationship.

Offer the invite without creating pressure.

No one likes to feel blindsided by an invitation to a family affair, especially during the holidays. Meeting the family is a major step, so help your loved one prepare their mindset for the big relationship milestone.

One way to bring up the conversation is to ask what their plans are for the holidays this year. This is a great icebreaker if you’re not sure how to start the conversation.

When sharing the invitation to meet the family, it’s okay to sound excited, but it is also important to not create pressure for them if they’re not ready. If they don’t typically celebrate the holidays explain to them that although you understand; it would mean a lot to you if they joined you this holiday season.

Make sure to tell them what to expect.

You’re the expert on your own family dynamics. Do you have an overprotective brother? Perhaps you have an overbearing mother or a judgmental father? Or maybe you just have an overly enthusiastic family who loves hugs and cannot wait to meet your new boo. Whatever the case may be, it doesn’t hurt to fill your partner in.

Help them get mentally prepared to meet your family for the first time. They may get nervous, curious, or ask more questions to gain more insight. Be patient. Try to answer all of their questions to the best of your ability. Let them know how much it means to you for them to be there.

Remember, being curious and inquisitive generally means they want to present themselves as best as they can for you. If they genuinely care for you, they’ll want to make a good first impression.

Give them a choice and don’t be offended if they’re simply not ready—yet.

Did they decline the invitation? Try your best not to get emotional. There could be a number of reasons why they decided to pass on this year’s festivities. Perhaps they already made plans for the holidays. Maybe they think it’s too soon and they’re still trying to gauge how they feel about the relationship. Maybe you two have different viewpoints on religion and holidays in general and they aren’t quite ready to step into that world with you just yet. Or they could possibly suffer from social anxiety.

It’s important to note that sometimes the holidays bring up a number of emotions for different people for multiple reasons. Be supportive, listen to understand, and meet them where they’re at. It doesn’t hurt to let them voice their concerns. Try to be understanding and let them know you support their decision.


If you notice a pattern where there’s always an excuse or something comes up when it comes to meeting your friends or family it could be a sign that something isn’t right. Pay attention to what they do, not just what they say. 

Try to enjoy yourself!

Whether you’re spending the holidays with friends, family, solo, or if your partner is meeting your loved ones for the first time try to relax and simply live in the moment. Trust that regardless of the season, LIFE IS SO MUCH BETTER WHEN IT’S LIVED.

Chi Love is the CEO and founder of N.Y.A. Love and Dating Services. Affectionately known as the The Love Genie, the Professional Matchmaker and Dating Specialist enjoys working with singles from all over the US to find their true love.