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21 tips for surviving the holidays with your girlfriend's family

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Thanksgiving with the family
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Spending the holidays with your girlfriend's family is like a job interview, only worse, because if you fail the interview you still have to show up at the office and endure everybody whispering things like "I thought we didn't hire this guy?". If you want to be welcomed back with open arms instead of gaping mouths, check out these handy tips for getting through those first stress-filled days of turkey, meaningful glasses of whiskey, weird uncles and separate beds.
 

1. Have a job

If you don’t have one before you go, get one. It doesn’t matter if it’s delivering packages, anything is better than unemployed.
 

2. Bring a host gift

Flowers, bottle of wine, a book, possibly about wine but probably not about flowers... It’s easy and they’ll love you for it.

Handshake
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3. Have a firm handshake

If in your first contact with her dad your hand feels like a weird limp fish, he will never talk to you again. And if I were her mom I wouldn’t either.
 

4. Go to the bathroom as soon as her mother brings up marriage and kids

Every time. If you haven’t made plans with your girlfriend on these subjects, then it’s none of her mom’s damn business. So instead of saying exactly that, excuse yourself and go pee.
 

5. Avoid politics

Even if your views basically align, something her parents say will piss you off, and vice versa.
 

6. Avoid making friends with her weird uncle

Even though he REALLY wants to make friends with you. There’s a reason no one talks to him.
 

7. Don't give her cousins their first beer, even though they think you’re super cool

I mean, you ARE super cool, but let them figure out booze on their own.
 

Fixin' the sink
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8. Offer to fix something in the house

Be it rebooting their WiFi or repairing their kitchen faucet, pretend like you want to and they’ll think you’re a benevolent genius. Bonus: if your girlfriend assists it'll help her folks imagine you two doing something together that doesn't involve...
 

9. Don't have too much PDA in front of the parents

Kidding! No PDA at all. None. Perhaps your hands can touch, but not hold.
 

10. Know about either football or grilling

Studies show that 90 percent of girlfriends’ dads love to talk about either or both.
 

11. Be Goldilocks in your drinking

Not too little, not too much, but juuuuuust right.
 

12. But definitely have a secret nightcap with your GF and laugh about her dumb family

It’s important to remind yourselves that after it’s all said and done it’s just the two of you in this relationship and you don’t have to hang out with her family Every. Day. For. The. Rest Of. Your. Lives.

Going for a run
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13. Go on a long walk/run every day

You need alone time. To clear your head, center yourself, scream into the void.
 

14. Watch a funny movie with the fam

That way when you have literally nothing else to say to them, you can be all, “How about that Sex Panther? Hilarious!”
 

15. Learn how to tune out of a conversation

This is essential to maintaining sanity. The trick is to tune out while simultaneously getting the key points so you can nod (or say "How about that Sex Panther?") at the right times.
 

16. Offer to help in the kitchen

But just the easier stuff like washing dishes. You don’t want to f*ck up the mashed potatoes, everyone’s favorite side dish.
 

17. Don't try too hard if you go out and meet her hometown friends

You don’t need to be the life of the party to prove yourself. But also don’t be too shy. Just do you! But a round of drinks will impress.

Models and Bottles
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18. Unless you’re rich!

If you’re rich you should buy her friends bottles of fine champagne or fine vodka. They’ll be mad impressed, and if they’re not, what do you care, you’re really, really rich.
 

19. Be cool if you meet her high school boyfriend

Don’t feel threatened, you’re dating her now. The past is the past…Even if he did take her V card. I’m sorry, but it’s true.
 

20. Have secret sex

A) Duh, and B) This will make you feel better about the last thing.
 

21. Eat whatever you want

You deserve it. And it’s the holidays! And you’re going on that run every day, remember?

Sarah Walker lives in LA. She writes for Awkward on MTV, Sirens on USA and thinks turkey at Thanksgiving is overrated. There, she said it.Follow her here.