"My boyfriend has constantly talked about how messy his female relatives are when a male relative brings a new woman around. They invite exes (that they didn't even like) to gatherings, are too nosey, bring up old nonsense, etc. The new women are put in an awkward position, feelings get hurt, and the men get angry. After talking about his family for months, he has invited me to Thanksgiving with them. After hearing about their drama filled holidays, and knowing I would be the new woman, I really do not want to go, but realize that at some point I have to meet the family. What should I do?"
"Thanks so much for reaching out. I'm sure you are excited about the holiday season but can understand your hesitation with meeting the beau's fam. My first question would be are you guys serious? I don't want to assume. I personally try to avoid meeting family members unless I am positive our intention is for the long haul. This helps to avoid all those awkward conversations between family members. Bringing a different person around every holiday season can definitely be the reason why family members wouldn't choose to take significant others seriously upon meeting.
If you guys aren't serious then you may be able to get out of joining him for Thanksgiving/Christmas dinner. But if you guys are then it's time to put on those grown up drawers and prepare yourself. Not to mention that you could hurt your boyfriend's feelings if you back out of meeting his family since he did invite you. He wants to include you in his life during a traditional event. That's beautiful and its only one night. (Unless they make a weekend of it full of events) Nonetheless, this is your future we're talking about and it's gonna have to happen at some point in time.
On top of all this, those exes were not you. You could be getting yourself all worked up over nothing. They may see something in you that is nothing like the rest and it could go better than anticipated so go into it with an open mind and an empty tummy! If making a lasting impression is important to you, ask if there is something you can bring or do to contribute. Don't step on anyone's toes like the host by bringing an entree or signature dish, but rather bring something light like some festive decorations or a bottle of wine or sparkling cider. As long as you don't show up empty handed you'll be fine and be willing to help the women of the household by setting the table or clearing the dishes and wrapping up left-overs.
At the end of the day, you care about your boyfriend and his family means a lot to him. So focus on having a good time rather than being worried about what could go wrong and...Have a Happy Thanksgiving!"