The Cinco De Mayo Date

Any sort of drinking holiday can be a memorable time that brings people closer. I love great Tex-Mex food on a regular day, but on Cinco de Mayo, it hits different. The weather is warmer, you have an excuse to drink tequila. And, truthfully, it is a license to act boldly. What can you do to minimize the drama and maximize the fun?…..

Go to a restaurant earlier….

Every town has the Mexican restaurant hot spot. You might be waiting an hour to be seated. The better way to do it is start early, get some Michaladas with lunch, and keep the party going. Most bars will have specials and you can hopefully call it earlier than later. 

Do not order a Margarita pitcher….

I will sound like a conspiracy theorist, so forgive me. Personally, I don’t believe there is tequila in the pitchers. In the past I have ordered them and not felt a thing. It is easy to hide from a customer because the mix is so strong it would cut the taste regardless. I also feel they are not that great tasting; most are from a cheap mix and you are just drinking sour sugar water. If you are sitting at a bar and watching the bartender make you a single margarita, that is different. You can see them pouring tequila and mixing your drink. But…not going to stop you from ordering a pitcher if you want; that has just been my experience. 

What drinks should you order?….

Order tequila shots (silver) with salt and a lime slice. You can also order a Corona with lime to sip on in-between. If you are anti-beer, then a lime-flavored hard seltzer should be fine. A can cocktail could be an option since they have gained popularity. 

Who should you bring?….

This date could be with your friends-with-benefits or someone very low stakes. This is not a night you will be impressing anyone. Pick a guy who can hold his liquor and can hang. You want the guy to be fun, but not put you in a dangerous position. Goes without saying to take Uber and be safe. 

Food choices….

I always order a large queso for the table regardless. The chips and salsa are free so you can always munch on something. As far as food, if you are starting early, there is the breakfast Mexican items like Huevos Rancheros. I personally love a Torta, which is a Mexican sandwich. Get your favorites or be adventurous. It’s your choice.

If you choose to take friends instead of a date….

Delete all numbers from your phone who you should not text. (You know who they are). You might feel liberated to do so in the moment, but then you spend the whole evening pouting that he didn’t text you back. Focus on meeting guys in the wild or just having a great time out with friends. 

Bottom Line…..

This holiday is better as a planned thing with room for spontaneity. You don’t want to wait in line for a hour. Start the party earlier if possible. Go for lunch and enjoy a Mexican breakfast with Michaladas (they are awesome). Then take the party train to the bars later on. This will probably not be a great first date or with anyone that is a high stakes crush. Take your casual thing, or your friends. Let the tequila make you bold in a positive way, not destructive. 

The Types Of Dates For New Year’s Eve

We all would like a committed boyfriend on New Year’s Eve, or at least a great kiss. However, being casual and single presents the in-between options that all have different meanings and experiences. The hill I will die on is that New Year’s Eve is a legit way to tell if your new boyfriend is taking the relationship seriously. Anything that isn’t fully committed is probably a mix of loneliness and at best wanting to get something started. I will say this is my biggest advice for singles without a date: don’t be on the prowl for men the whole night. I know you need that validation of getting that kiss, but you are wasting your whole night and your aura will be desperate. When you are leaving your house before you go out tell yourself internally that you are fine without a kiss and just want to enjoy yourself. Now onto the types of dates that can happen…..

The “We just started our relationship” date…

Ok, yea, pretty self-explanatory. It’s a great sign when a new boyfriend wants to be seen with you in public and kiss when the ball drops. Any hesitation is a huge red flag.

The “We are on a first date” date….

This could go ok…. I mean my advice is to vet the guy before to just see if there is any chemistry. With app dating you have no clue what you are getting and dressing up for the night takes time and effort. You don’t want to be stuck with someone. I would do a meet-and-greet before the big night.

The “We are friends who can kiss” date…..

No shame in this, in fact this is probably the least pressure. You can have fun and dance the night away, but there is no possessiveness involved and you are free to mingle and use the friend as a backup

The “We met at the club” date….

Anyone is who concerned who they will kiss at midnight is scooping out the hotties to kiss before midnight. He will see who bites and buy people drinks to see who sticks or not. I will say this can feel like a rollercoaster because you might think you have a secure kiss and then he is near the bathroom making out with someone else. 

The “ I am cheating on my wife” date….

Ok, this actually happened to me one year. I showed up solo for New Year’s and then this guy immediately starting chatting. Look out for guys willing to cheat, it can leave you with a yucky feeling at the start of the year.

The “set up” date…..

I love a good set up as long as there is some thought behind it. This is honestly a great opportunity to get introduced. You are looking more dressed up and are in a great mood. So go with it and see if there is a spark.

Bottom Line…

When you are single on New Year’s Eve there are more possibilities than you think. Be open to seeing what works best for you. It’s ok to try to organize a date if you feel weird riding solo for the night. Your safest bet is taking a gray-area friend with you to have fun. There is no pressure to stick with them all night, but they make a great back up. At the very least, try to do that and don’t be laser-focused on snagging that kiss. 

Friendships During The Christmas Season

When you are single during the Christmas season, you lean hard into friendships. Coupled-up friends will more than likely ice you out, but your fellow singles will have time to chill. Work and school will be put on pause and the hometown crew might surface again. What can you do to enrich your connections and get festive?

Say no gifts…..

And mean it! You may think it is doable at the beginning of the season. Then once reality of long lines and how much money you actually can spend hits, it will be a regretful decision. It’s better to make it known to all friends that there will be no gift exchange. No secret Santa, or white elephant. Just stop the madness! Even if you feel you can juggle everything, it is a burden for others to reciprocate. The best gift is giving someone peace.

Cocktail and carol night….

I own a portable karaoke mic that hooks up though bluetooth. Some people have a whole set-up in their basements. It’s fun to do a karaoke Christmas carol party with booze (or a festive non-alcoholic punch). You can dress as festive as you like or show up in a cozy sweater. 

Decoration and cookie party….

You can rotate to each other’s places who have not decorated yet. The cooks who burn things can bring the break and bake cookies, and the pastry chefs can shine. Help the host decorate the tree and get the apartment spruced up. Play a Christmas playlist mixed with regular songs as a palette cleanser. You can also have a classic Christmas movie playing in the background.

Go to the Christmas parade….

Fill your thermos with a peppermint hot chocolate, wear a cozy outfit, and watch the parade. 

Go to your friend’s Christmas party….

If a friend is single and doesn’t have a plus one, then volunteer to go. You never know who you will meet and you get to dress up a bit. Depending on where they work there might be a nice spread. Your friend might feel relieved they have a a friend and you will get to mingle.

Play Christmas Tree Beer Pong….

Buy green solo cups and place it in a Christmas tree shape in the middle of the table. Whoever collects the most cups wins. You can make it fancier by throwing some tinsel or garland down. 

Have a Green and Red party….

The singles wear green and the people in relationships wear red. Keep up with the theme and serve green and red food and beverages. 

Bottom Line….

Christmas season can bring out the joy…or stress. It honestly comes down to your own mindset and attitude. Do not take on more than you can chew and shut down any idea that involves buying gifts. You have enough gifts to worry about and probably work is forcing you to do Secret Santa. Bring up fun things your friends can actually get behind. It can also be an opportunity to meet new people while you are in a jolly mood. 

How To Have A Low Fuss “Friendsgiving”

A “Friendsgiving” is a great way for friends to get together for a potluck and wine. Perfect for those who can’t afford a plane ticket back to their hometown. However, when getting a group together with different personalities and expectations drama can enter the chat. The best thing is getting ahead of it by knowing what is assigned and knowing your strengths. How can you prepare for the potluck without the headache?…..

Understand the assignment…..

Everyone needs to know who is bringing what. There needs to be wine, appetizers, sides, and dessert. The host should be providing the turkey, but should do what makes logical sense to the group. Non-cooks should volunteer to bring wine and cheese and people who are well-versed in cooking should bring a side dish.

Don’t nickel-and-dime your friends…..

Listen… you will be spending money. Don’t Venmo-request people later and understand that everyone is pulling their weight. Honestly, even if they aren’t, don’t cause a scene. Spend what your budget allows you to spend. For some people, it’s no big deal to drop $50 plus, whereas others may feel that is steep. 

Help with prep if needed…..

Depending how close you are to the host, offer to help prep. This can mean from chopping vegetables to making pies. Make it fun by playing music and having the football game in the background.

Offer entertainment….

Like I said, there will probably be football on. As a backup plan, have a drinking game going or something to entertain people while the pies are baking. I always keep a deck of cards in my purse just in case. 

Be ok with breaking into groups…..

It’s natural for little groups to form. Depending on how many people were invited there might not be space for everyone to sit at one table together. In that case a buffet style where people help themselves makes the most sense. Try to mingle within groups until you find one that clicks best. 

Think twice about bringing your “situationship”….

There are people who don’t deserve to meet your friends. Any guy who doesn’t even know your middle name should not be invited. I know it feels better to bring someone, especially when everyone is coupled up. Resist the urge and be brave representing yourself. These are your friends and you should spend quality time getting closer to 2nd- and 3rd-tier people. 

Don’t get too wasted….

I mean, if you can handle your liquor, then go for it, especially if you don’t plan on driving. This is the time to indulge a little bit more and enjoy yourself. However, be mindful of how the group is acting and what the energy is. You don’t want to come across as sloppy.

Don’t overstay your welcome….

Make sure to help clean up as much as needed. Don’t be the last guest unless there is an understanding you will be spending the night or something. Pick up on the vibe and get ready to leave when people are going back home. 

Bottom Line…..

This is a great opportunity to make distant friends become closer. You never know who you will be hitting it off with. Get all the information from the host and do not make assumptions. It’s best to know what you should be bringing and if you need to show up early to help prep. Understand your strengths even if they are not food related. You could be persuasive in starting a fun drinking game or being the DJ for the evening. Just don’t push fun on people who just want to watch the game and relax. This is your opportunity to bond with friends you haven’t seen in a while and get introduced to new connections.

“The Vampire Method” For Making New Connections

It’s almost Halloween and it inspired me to take lessons from scary movies. Vampires have the best rule which is “to only enter if invited.” This to me always stuck around on the back burner of my brain. I identify as a go-getter in many things. Unfortunately, that can translate to scheming about how to hook men and to get friends to hang out with me. The vampires have all the time in the world and have figured out that maybe taking a step back is the way to go. How can you have eternal coolness like the vampires?…..

Let him make the first move…..

Whether it is in public or on the apps, let him take the plunge. In the book, “The Rules,” there is a huge chunk of the rules mainly stating that he needs to start the courting process. It’s the only way to truly know if he is actually interested or just being polite. It can save you a lot of therapy sessions and late night texts with your girlfriends. 

Dip your toe in slowly for new friends…..

My go-to method for making new friends, for me, did not evolve past kindergarten. I used to very quickly smoother a new friend and proclaim, “we are best friends now.” In adult friendship you want to build up more second-and-third tier friends for socializing.

Ask three separate times then pull way back…..

Most social interaction is reading between the lines and picking up on social cues. When you get hit with excuses rather than scheduling, stop reaching out. No one wants to be rude and say they don’t enjoy your company. You have to take it upon yourself to move on and not bother that person. 

The three signs a first date doesn’t want to see you again….

The telltale signs you will get ghosted are: 1. He doesn’t offer to buy you a drink or coffee, 2. There is no physical contact (touching arm, hug, kiss etc), 3. He leaves saying, “it was great meeting you” with no plan for a second date. Will he still orbit you on social media? Absolutely. However, he will not ask you out again. Save yourself time and forget about him.

Be careful about giving out info or getting contact info….

Some bar friends are simply that. Trying to expand it to the next level will end in confusion. When you go out and bond with people over shots, enjoy the moment. Yes, there will be a mutual feeling that this is bigger than one night. Just don’t shove your phone in their face while they reluctantly type in a number. It’s best to just live your life and more than likely you will bump into each other again. 

Get invited rather than suggest….

As a general rule it always feels better to be invited. When it comes to courtship never invite yourself over to his place no matter how casual the dynamic is. He will more than likely say he is busy or, worst case, you go over and he plays video games the whole time. With new friends you will find out how a person cares when you are on the invite list. 

Bottom Line…..

Making new connections doesn’t have to be a horror show. It will be less confusing when you look at this face value rather than making things happen. On your end, be that bubbly person that is a delight to be around. No one wants a sulky Sally who only brings down the vibe. If you are going to invite a friend, pick an event (band playing, karaoke, comedy show) so there is more incentive for them to come out. Allow yourself to be courted. It can be frustrating to wait on the sidelines, but it feels so good to be invited and have dates planned by him. Follow the “Vampire Method” all year round to avoid social faux pas. 

New Year’s Eve Kiss

It’s not real unless he spends New Year’s Eve with you….That has been my rule for many years and I still stand by it! The notion of sharing the first kiss of the year with someone is sacred. Even in a brand-new relationship it is crucial to spend New Year’s Eve together. It is telling the world and time itself that you are moving forward together into the next year. Here are four common excuses he can’t spend New Year’s Eve together……

He chose to be out of town…..

Sure, your boyfriend might have to go down to Florida for the holidays. New Year’s….his family doesn’t expect him to be there. Saying he will be back in town on the fourth indicates something fishy is happening.

He doesn’t want to celebrate at all…..

When everyone is going out or having a small get together and he insists on playing video games by himself… beware. He saying it’s an overrated holiday or anything of that nature should not be taken lightly.

He didn’t request off work…..

I mean… it happens that service industry folks or retail get the short end of the stick. Usually though, if you request off way in advance, they will give you the night off. He might be putting up the work buffer to avoid the whole night.

He is spending it with friends….

The squad has decided to go to Aspen…..without you. He planned this out before he met you, yet doesn’t want you to book your own ticket. You have to wonder who he is planning on kissing because it isn’t you.

Bottom Line….

Excuses come up a lot when holidays, birthdays, and New Year’s roll around. Starting the new year together has a lot of meaning. Going out in public or to a small get together in shiny outfits and a New Year’s tiara shows the world you are a couple. Some men don’t want to make that declaration, even if he asked you to be his girlfriend. He might brush it off saying it isn’t a big deal, “it’s an overrated holiday.” He knows it’s a big deal which is why he is avoiding it. When the excuse train leaves the station, decide if this relationship is even real. Maybe you need to have a clean slate for the New Year and dump him.

Tis’ The Season Of Cancellations

Besides the holidays, winter time is extremely difficult to plan dates. It’s the time of year when you will be cancelled on and stood up. (Who wouldn’t want to be in bed with fuzzy socks and a heater?) Cuffing season is made for times like this. People no longer have the patience to brave the cold to meet a stranger. What about the casual dater who doesn’t want to be cuffed?…..

Don’t accept Netflix and Chill dates?…..

It’s very tempting to head over to his place and then….”cuddle.” On his end, it shows that he is just being lazy and it won’t be a lasting arrangement (he is also a complete stranger). Keep a standard of actually going on dates even if it is cold outside. Men love an easy option; don’t be that. Once you do the home date, I guarantee there will be no special dates to impress you. Even if you want a FWB, there needs to be some courting, meaning public dates.

Dress for the weather…..

Yes, you can go outside if you dress for the weather. I like to keep an extra coat in my car in case the weather shifts. Go with a coat that goes with everything, same thing for hat and scarves. Stay away from the sporty look for dates such as puffy jackets or windbreakers. Elevate your look by wearing long pea coats, a trench, or a chic leather jacket.

Be open to a friends events….

A second- or third-tier friend may invite you to a party. This is the time of year when people are on winter break and have time to hang out. When work or school starts up again there will be fewer opportunities to meet friends in the outer circle.

Plan ahead…..

When I am already out and about it’s hard for me to go all the way home, then out again. I see my warm bed and it’s over. Be prepared to go on a date after you do errands and last minute shopping. Dress for the date ahead of time and wear makeup. However, still have a little pre-date with yourself to get out of the busy energy. Keep in mind that most bars close for the week of Christmas or have limited hours. Check websites or Instagram to figure out what places are open.

Pick a cozy date location…..

It’s more enticing if there are hot toddys and a crackling fire. Energy levels this time of year are low. This can be to your advantage because you will be less tempted to hang out for hours on a first date. It’s best to practice a solid 1-1/2 hour date to encourage a second date. Leave your date with a warm and fuzzy feeling. Don’t be a Scrooge.

Dates will be cancelled…..

Be prepared for some cancellations. Some people choose to delete the apps until the new year. Hometown friends take priority over a stranger on an app. See if he confirms at a reasonable time. As a last resort text him before you start getting ready. Worst case, if he cancels while you are driving to the location, then just go anyway. Don’t waste makeup on a cancellation. You can text a friend or see what the vibe is once you get there.

Spend more time with your FWB….

This is what he is here for. Hang out with him more and don’t stress about the perfect outfit and contour. Show up in comfy clothes and enjoy your time together. Give your fingers a break from swiping, especially if you are not getting asked out.

Bottom Line….

Winter is the slow season for dates. Most guys will be out of town or spending time with hometown friends. New dates take a back seat. Embrace the cozy vibes and spend time with your friends and family. Try to not blow up about the cancellations; it’s not worth the fuss. Get your face out there if you can. Once school and work starts for people you won’t be able to spend quality time together. Try to not look sloppy even while doing errands or shopping. You might be able to squeeze in an early evening date that can bring a mysterious and busy vibe.

“Girlfriend Material” Insecurity Over The Holidays

Getting into a casual dating pattern can go on for years. Mainly, it’s a different frame of mind while taking the pressure off of connecting with one guy. However, insecurity trickles in, “why does he insist on keeping it casual?” This type of insecurity can creep up when you try to explain your dating status to friends. It doesn’t feel good when your friend can’t stop gushing about her husband and you can’t get Tucker to text you back. The holidays can bring out the insecurity more since extended family want to know your relationship status. It’s also engagement season; most friends will show off a shiny rock next to a glowing tree on Instagram. What can we do to feel content single, or what’s the move to shift into being taken seriously?…..

Is becoming the girlfriend a true win?…..

Dating can sometimes feel like a fight to the finish line. The title and label are more important than the actual health of the relationship. It’s rare these days to get a guy to commit. The options of the apps helps people to relax a little about the role of relationships. So, it’s even more of a sense of pride if he wants to become exclusive.

Why not me?….

If you are ALWAYS in casual, it does sting. The fantasy is that you meet a man on a date and he instantly falls in love. Think about what you’re putting out there from your app profile to how you come across in person. Guys pick up on casual vibes from women, especially those who don’t know what they want with dating. Not saying you have to say you want to meet your husband. Just be clear you aren’t looking to hook up; the f*ckboys will retreat.

What if we meet the guy we want as a boyfriend…..

At the beginning, major decisions need to be made. Do you want to go down casual road or commitment highway? You can’t start out casual and expect things to change. Pump the brakes at the very beginning. It is not a fun or enjoyable process, more like wearing a ballgown. You can’t expect it to feel like fuzzy pajamas. This is not just withholding sex, it’s training him to treat you well. When I met my soon-to-be college boyfriend, it took soooo much training for me to not become the late night hook-up girl. He would text me every night to come to his dorm to ” hang out” at midnight. It was a challenge because I was very attracted to him. Sure, you can totally be the “exception.” For the rest of us, you have to plan your strategy.

Men throw dates into buckets….According to YouTuber, Shallon Lester, men have buckets they place you in (casual, girlfriend, friends). It’s rare that he is “unsure of his feelings.” He knows how he feels. Men who tell you this are keeping you around as an option. Listen to what he is telling you!

It’s better to show up empty-handed then with the wrong guy…..

I have been to countless events single: my sister’s wedding, my art shows, every holiday for the past decade. Honestly, it feels better to represent myself instead of bringing a guy who wants to leave the second he gets there.

Comparing can help you figure out your desires…..

Comparison is the “thief of joy,” as most people say. However, gut reactions can steer you to what you truly want. Watching your best friend getting engaged can trigger you to have an inner panic. Jealously can be very telling to your true inner feelings. You might have been hiding and convincing others you are just the fun girl, but deep down you want a committed partner. However, separate the spectacle of receiving attention and praise. Go deeper and figure out where the jealously is coming from.

Bottom Line…..

Everyone wants to feel special. Being the only single girl in the group can be difficult. The priority is how men are treating you no matter the situation. It’s not worth having the boyfriend if it’s abusive and always on the rocks. If you are ALWAYS in casual land, you need to tighten your boundaries. Be ok with saying no and believe that you are worth the wait to get to know. Remember the holidays will pass and the new year is a great time to wipe the slate clean.

Valentine’s Day For Couples

“Roses are red, violets are blue; if he’s busy on Valentine’s Day, the side-chick is you”

In “The Rules” book, it is discussed how an exclusive boyfriend treats you on this holiday. Valentine’s Day is a huge test of how he sees you. What type of gift, if any, does he give you? Receiving a non-romantic gift (car wax, a gift certificate to Walmart, free soap from a La Quinta Inn), warrants a dumping….

Are gifts really a requirement?…..

Impressing you should be the goal, even when its early on. Obviously, he doesn’t need to spend money on a new designer bag, although something thoughtful should be required. A romantic gift that doesn’t break the bank is a romantic poem, writing a song about you, or a handwritten letter. However, understand that guys don’t want to go big early on because a woman will resent the lackluster effort later. All women care about is effort and quality time. The classic gifts are roses, jewelry, chocolates, a bottle of Champagne, or a nice bottle of perfume.

Is he spending time with you?…..

Some men will fix problems with money. He might mail you an expensive gift and say he is busy on the day. He needs to take you out to dinner or make a meal at home. It needs to be thought out. Quality time needs to be spent; he can’t ignore you or be scrolling on his phone the whole night. I worked at a hotel a few years back and was shocked at the effort that was made. Rose petals on the bed, champagne, candles. Yes, men are capable of this.

What if the holiday isn’t a part of his religion or culture?….

You might be dating a man from another country or religion who has never celebrated Valentine’s Day. Still, it means something to YOU. He needs to adapt and make you feel special; he should not make you feel left out. My ex-, as a Jehovah’s Witness, loved using this excuse. My birthday, Christmas to meet my family, Valentine’s Day….”sorry, Babe, it’s against my religion,” when he wasn’t involved in the church anymore.

What if he tells you to do a “Galentines or Palentine’s Day”?….

There is nothing wrong with spending time with your girlfriends or friends on the holiday. If he suggests it….yea, not great. He should be planning something, no matter how small, and frankly be excited. Shuffling you off to other people screams he doesn’t want the responsibility of being a boyfriend.

What if he is actually busy on Valentine’s Day?….

He can still send you flowers at your work, or your home, then celebrate when he is available. He needs to figure out the schedule and still make it special

What if you literally started dating?….

If you are exclusive, even if you became that a week ago, there still needs to be a plan. Exclusive / official means he is your boyfriend, and boyfriends make Valentine’s Day special….period.

What if you are sexually exclusive, but not official?….

Stop being sexually exclusive without him being your boyfriend! There is literally no point to that. Otherwise, he will not act like a boyfriend and bring you roses or make an effort to make you feel special. Do not expect anything except a late-night booty call.

Bottom Line…..

So yes, you can’t expect to be swept off your feet by the guy you are casually seeing on Valentine’s Day. In fact you probably won’t receive a text. However, your exclusive boyfriend needs to step it up! Why be with him if he isn’t acting like a boyfriend? Holidays bring out the true feelings of men. It’s not that he is forgetful–it’s very intentional that he does nothing for you on Valentine’s. You should not remind him of the day or be the planner. Quality time needs to happen because that is more important than fancy gifts. Dump him if you receive no gift or effort.

Meeting His Family

I have had good and bad experiences with meeting boyfriends’ parents. This is the hardest part of being in an exclusive relationship. A first impression will make or break the relationship for the long term. If parents don’t like you, expect a breakup a few months later. Your boyfriend might not give you any hints as to what his parents prefer. He will say, “don’t worry, they will love you.”….not helpful. Here are the dos and don’ts of meeting the fam…..

Don’t overstay your welcome…..

My boyfriend moved back into his mom’s house after college. We lived 2-1/2 hours apart and I stayed at his mom’s house WAY too long. She built up a resentment and I don’t blame her! If you are visiting his family overnight or longer, get a hotel or AirBNB. Obviously, if it’s for the holidays and she insists you stay in the guest room, then do that.

You actually have to talk to them…..

When I am in new social situations it’s really hard for me to open up. It may be exhausting that you have to act like a game show host. Yet, it’s way better than his mom saying, “Oh, I didn’t really get to know her.” Ask questions and stay engaged.

Attitude is everything…..

Positivity is the way to go in every social setting. No resting-bitch face; smile until your face hurts. Make sure to talk up your strengths with a modest edge. Hopefully, your boyfriend will set you up to succeed. DO NOT bring up sad or negative topics. Get off your soap box for one evening. Now is not the time to say, “meat is murder,” to his mom.

Manners matter…..

You have to remember that you are a civilized human. Put your napkin in your lap, say please and thank you.

Bring a gift…..

If you are invited for dinner at their home, bring a gift (drinkers =wine, non-drinkers = homemade cookies ). For the holidays, get every detail about what gifts to buy, what extra food to bring, and what the experience as a whole will be. Every family has different traditions and what they view as important. Do not let your boyfriend set you up to fail. Really press him on what you should do or bring. This includes everything from what time to wake up in the morning to warning you about his sister’s seafood allergy.

Dress like it’s a job interview….

Low cut shirts, open-toed shoes, etc, should stay in the closet.

His family should pay for dinner, but be prepared if they don’t….

You might meet his parents at a restaurant. Don’t assume they will pick up the check. It’s best to order something that is in the middle-price range. Not the side salad, but not the $30 steak.


Ok, so if you need liquid courage, do it. It’s hard to make small talk and it’s a lot of pressure to try to impress someone. This applies to meeting for the first time in a restaurant or their home for dinner. Keep it to two drinks max. If alcohol does not relax you, then do a ten-minute meditation, or take a long walk.

Go easy on the booze….

In that same token, don’t go overboard with alcohol. Some families are more chill about drinking. You might get offered wine or beer. Don’t use this opportunity as an open bar. Take a slower pace than everyone else. If you are at a restaurant and no one orders alcohol, follow the flow of the room and abstain.

Don’t smell like an ashtray…

Be shower fresh. Don’t smell like a campfire or that you hung out in Willie Nelson’s tour bus. Pop a mint in your mouth.

Don’t get political….

DO NOT talk politics. Avoid the topic or change the subject. If they ask you point blank what you think say, “Oh, I am sure you know more than I do.” And leave it at that.

In the future….

If you happen to run into one of his family members at a grocery store, gas station, or event, always say hello. I had poor social skills and as an introvert the last thing I wanted to do was to say hi to someone in public. It is crucial that you say hello! If his mom or relative wants a reason to hate you, don’t let them! Be friendly and bubbly.

Bottom line….

First impressions matter! You only get one shot at this. His family will decide if they like you based on how well the first meeting went. If you drop the ball, there is no coming back from it. The important thing is to be talkative and be genuinely interested. Go with the vibe of the room. If the family is more relaxed, you can ease up a bit, yet you still need to be on the conservative side. Act like it’s a work function. Dress modestly and don’t guzzle down booze. It may not be a fun experience and you may have to grin and bear it, but hopefully, his family will be fun and relaxed people. Once the first meeting goes well, it’s smooth sailing from there.