On Attending Family Events with a Date - Personal Experience, Self-Help Book
When I first started dating in my youth, I always found myself either accepting or declining an invite to attend my dates' family events. I will be the first to admit, I wasn't always eager to meet my companions' kin especially when I knew there was no future with them. Later in life, I would have long term relationships and find that some people were okay about occasional cancellations and others not so much. The negative talk would start about "Why didn't you come?" along with questions to see how close was I to my own family.
It wasn't that I had issues with the individuals at some of these gatherings; I just didn't feel the need to support my partners' every time they chose to connect with their families. I recall witnessing my own family quite happy when in-laws, girlfriends and boyfriends were no shows every now and then. They simply wanted to spend some time with their relatives without their better half always around. If you think about it, we do tend to let our hair down more so when partners aren't around.
Meeting someone's new girlfriend or boyfriend, in-laws, extended relatives, half sisters and brothers, etc. can be particularly burdensome especially around holidays. Do we even bother to remember all those names? We don't always want to be around our own intermediate family much less the aunt of the cousin whose friend is a friend of...you know the feeling.
When you are involved with someone who really enjoys the company of his or her family a little more than you do, the last thing you want to do is hurt him or her, so you go along to get along month after month or year after year until one day a light bulb goes off, "I don't want to keep doing this! I really want to do something different this year." If resentment is mixed with anger once you arrive to this revelation, those emotions are sure to bring confusion for yourself and/or household, because for so long you had chose to do some things to appease someone else.
One should never obligate his or herself to go somewhere he or she rather not just because the individual doesn't want to hurt a partner's feelings. What about yours? Keep this in mind when you read my book, Should I Go to the Party? This isn't just a book that questions whether a party is worth attending or not, but it challenges you to establish a plan before you are faced with the dilemmas and trials that come with attending an event. There are so many stories where people wish they had never gone somewhere and met the people that they did.
Stop the cycle of going along just to get along and look a little closer at those in your social circle who just love inviting folks to all sorts of events even when they know full well trouble-makers will be present--is it worth it? Could accepting the wrong invitation be the end of a good relationship, friendship? Check out
Nicholl McGuire is the author of other books including: Say Goodbye to Dad, Tell Me Mother You're Sorry, and What Else Can I do on the Internet?