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Embraced African American couple drinking while celebrating Thanksgiving at home.

Source: Drazen Zigic / Getty

It’s almost time to gather around the dinner table with family for the holidays. The question is: Will you be introducing your new bae to the family? The world’s largest dating app for Black singles, BLK has you covered with 10 tips to introduce your new boo during the holidays.

It may be slightly terrifying to introduce your newest love interest to your family. Maybe you’ve gone down this road before and things didn’t go as planned with your previous relationship or maybe this is your first time ever bringing a partner home. Several nerve-wrecking and inescapable thoughts may land in your head. What if they don’t like your new lover? What if your partner finds your family extremely cringey?

Well, there’s no need to worry as BLK is making it easier for you. BLK’s Head of Brand and Marketing, Jonathan Kirkland, came up with 10 tips for introducing your new partner to your family during the holidays.

Check out BLK’s 10 Tips To Introduce A New Bae For The Holidays below:

Prepare your parents/family and your partner   

It’s all about the P’s!  Piss-poor preparation promotes piss-poor performance!  The one surefire way to turn this first meeting into a complete disaster is bringing your new partner home unannounced.  You wouldn’t bring a surprise dish to the family holiday dinner so you definitely don’t want to bring a whole person as a surprise!  The last thing you want to hear at the dinner table is, “Harpo!  Who dis woman!?!”

Brief Them on Family Drama

Drama in the Black family during the holidays feels like an unavoidable scenario. Let your new partner know of any potential misunderstandings or triggers ahead of time by breaking down your family’s dynamics. This doesn’t have to be an exhaustive history of your family issues, just a brief overview of sensitive topics that could potentially lead to misunderstandings.  Ya’ll remember that movie, “Who Made the Potatoe Salad?” Don’t be Michael. lol

Warn Them Of Your Petty Aunt 

We all have that one uncle who is notorious for inappropriate jokes, or that nosey auntie who is consistently in everyone’s business. Before the meeting, let your partner know so that he can be prepared for your colorful family members.  Let your partner know that it’s OK to laugh, or to simply ignore. Whatever makes the situation less tense.  What did Mrs. Obama say again???  When they go low we go high.  It may be tough to take the higher route, but if you want to keep your relationship after the holidays… suck it up, and soar high!

Help Your Partner Choose an Outfit

Families come in all forms. Perhaps your parents are formal or traditional, if so have your significant other wear something a bit more conservative or formal. If your folks are more laid back, perhaps you can have your partner dress a bit more casually. Simply put, have them choose an outfit based on what you think your parents will appreciate.  But don’t overdo it.  Help your partner pick one focal point that you think will get complimented by your parents – a necklace, bracelet, shoes, etc.  God forbid that things go left at dinner, at least they’ll have one positive thing to say about your partner when you leave!

Bring a Gift

As a guest at any function, you should never show up to an event without a token of appreciation for the host. This same rule applies to partner/parent introductions. Even if your parents tell you not to bring anything, it is still wise to show up with a small gift. Want to get extra bonus points? Help your partner pick out a gift that’s catered to your parent’s tastesBut most importantly, do NOT bring food.  We repeat, do NOT bring a dish of contribution to the dinner.  See Tip #2 above… “Who Made the Potatoe Salad?”

Leave the PDA at Home

Before you leave, establish some sort of “ground rule” that neither of you will be overly affectionate in front of your parents/family members. However, small acts of PDA, such as hand-holding and hugging are fine. Above all, try to keep things respectful, and don’t do anything you wouldn’t want to see another couple doing in public.  Remember, you are at your parent’s house!  Act like you got some home training!

Don’t Leave Them Alone 

We’re all adults – so I’m sure your partner should be able to hold their own if left around your family for a moment. However, don’t leave them for too long, as they could easily feel ignored or lost in the crowd. Stay close, and do little things to show them you are present and by their side. Try things like touching their thigh while you talk, or squeezing their hand. This body contact will help them feel more relaxed. Remember, you’ll be in the company of your ‘colorful’ family members, and I’m sure they’ll know some things about you that you might not want your new partner to know (yet).  Reference Tip #3 above.

Hype them up, But Not Too Much

It’s highly likely that your partner is going to go above and beyond to make a good first impression on your family, but it’s nearly impossible to showcase all their good qualities in that short amount of time. To set the stage, give your family a quick overview of the qualities that you admire about your partner. This will take some of the stress off the initial first impression. The easiest way to think of this is to think about the “why” of it all.  Your parents will want to know “why” this partner?  What about this person is so special? If you frame the hype around that question, you’ll be good.

Share Your Parents’ Interests 

The conversation will flow more smoothly and be a lot more dynamic if your new bae has a bit of an idea about who your parents are and where their interests lie. Fill them in on your parents’ hobbies, jobs, and social lives to give them an insight into what to talk about. You can even help them come with interesting questions that you know will pique your parent’s interests. Try preparing questions like, “So I heard you went to NC A&T Mrs. Johnson. Were you able to attend GHOE this year?”

At the end of the day, they both love you

While your parents and your new boo might be a lot different, they have one thing in common: They both love you and want you to be happy. If your new bae is acting a bit odd during the first meeting, try to remember that they’re just nervous. Think about how your partner acted during your first interaction.  If your parents are overly excessively critical, remember they want what they think is best for you. Think about how they reacted when your first and most recent relationship ended.  Don’t be too harsh toward anyone as long as you know they’re giving it their best effort.

Happy Thanksgiving & good luck!

BLK’s 10 Tips To Introduce Your New Bae For The Holidays  was originally published on globalgrind.com