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You Asked: My Boyfriend Won't Spend Thanksgiving With My Family

You Asked: My Boyfriend Won't Spend Thanksgiving With My Family

Dear Sugar,

I've been dating my boyfriend for almost a year and this Thanksgiving will be our first one together. We've already decided that I'm going to go home with him in December to spend the holidays with his family and I just assumed that we'd spend Thanksgiving with mine, but he made up all these excuses as to why he can't. He said that he doesn't want to hurt his mother's feelings, that he's never missed a Thanksgiving in all his 27 years, and that his grandmother is not going to live forever. Also, his guy friends from high school will be home and they always play football the day after Thanksgiving.

I was so excited to have him spend this holiday at home with my family, but he's being so stubborn about it. I haven't missed a Thanksgiving yet either, and I always help my mom cook dinner and bake her famous pumpkin pie. My friends from high school will be home too and I was so looking forward to having them meet my new man.

This is really bugging me. I don't want to spend Thanksgiving apart, but I don't think it's fair that we go to his family's house for both holidays. What should I do?

—Torn About Thanksgiving Tiffany

To see Dear Sugar's answer

Dear Torn About Thanksgiving Tiffany,

I agree that since you've been a couple for so long, it wouldn't feel right to spend the holidays apart. It sounds like your man made a decision on his own, and didn't take into consideration your feelings or wishes, and that's pretty selfish if you ask me. I don't think he meant to hurt your feelings per se, I think he's just stuck in his ways and possibly having cold feet. To a guy, spending Thanksgiving with his girlfriend's family is a huge deal. It means that you two are getting really close, and when you get close to a girl and to her family, people start asking questions like, "When are you going to get engaged, or move in together?" I'm sure he does want to be with his family, for all the millions of reasons he's mentioned, but mostly, I think he's probably really nervous to be with yours.

With that said, I still don't think that nervousness is a good enough reason. It's time to have a big talk with him about this. Be honest about how you're feeling, and how much this is upsetting you. Tell him that you don't want to spend the holidays apart, and now that you're a couple, you make decisions as a couple.

Is it possible that you guys can set up a compromise? Maybe you can spend Thanksgiving Day with your family, and the next day you can drive to see his family (so he won't miss his football game). If that's not possible because your families are too far away, and he won't budge about this, then you've got to think about whether this guy is a keeper or not. I mean if he's not listening to you, then he's not taking your relationship as seriously as you are. I hope you guys can work this out. Good luck Tiffany.


krEnElk krEnElk 9 years
I've been dating my boyfriend for 5 years and we have only spent one major holiday together, Thanksgiving 2006. We had a good time, but I could tell that he wanted to be with his family and was kind of sad that he couldn't be with them. This year, we're going back to spending Thanksgiving apart! (Although I have told him that, if we get married, Thanksgiving is mine [it's my FAVORITE!] and we can spend every other holiday with his family . . . xmas, easter, fourth of july, arbor day, you name it!)
chicaparati17 chicaparati17 9 years
I agree with RockandRepublic, dont make a big deal out of this. I am married and by no choice of my own my husband is in you just have to pick and choose your battles. Go be with your family and dont worry about him you dont want him to be miserable anyway because then you wont enjoy yourself!
fleurfairy fleurfairy 9 years
Unless you're engaged or married, I wouldn't spend the holidays with his family. Go be with your family, that's what the holidays are all about. I'm sure he just needs a break from you. Everyone needs a break every once in awhile. Let him go to his family's place. But do not spend Christmas with his family! That's just giving him what he wants. Let him miss you.
lintacious lintacious 9 years
Do you guys live near each other? Just spend your holidays separate but see each other that evening. Honestly, even after dating a guy for 4 years, I only spent Christmas with his family once and it was extremely depressing. I really really missed my family, which is saying a lot because I can't stand my family. But it's the holidays and not being around your own family and your own traditions, can make you feel really out of place and alone. Even with your beau's family there.
ninjastarlett ninjastarlett 9 years
Just celebrate Thanksgiving separate! I know you guys love to spend time together but if you are both so close to your families then you won't regret the choice. Just tell him you can't spare Thanksgiving with your family and if he blows up at you, there's a whole 'nother argument to be had about his expectations of you in the relationship.
RockAndRepublic RockAndRepublic 9 years
I don't celebrate any of the aforementioned holidays so i wont be as agreeing or disagreeing as anyone above me. You have no obligation to spend time with his family for Xmas(and you might want to keep that in mind), i don't even know why you're doing that. However, it should be balanced out, have you guys talked about your expectations in your relationship? Do you see each other together long term? I dread the idea of spending exorbitant amounts of time with someone else's family, let alone my own(and yeah, im keeping this mindset from here on out). And i ask, if i haven't already, why are you spending the holidays with his family instead of yours? what gives? I think it's a bit much.
DCRoamer DCRoamer 9 years
I'd move on, and enjoy the holiday at home with your family. I am in a very similar situation (dating 9 months though) and, while I was a bit put off that my boyfriend wanted to spend holidays with his family instead of mine, I fully respect his decision and did not make an issue of it. I was also in a similar situation with a different bf a few years ago... he was reluctant so spent Thanksgiving together (we had been dating a year and a half by then). Turns out, he broke up with me the week before Thanksgiving! My point is that if you think his desire to spend the holiday apart is a sign that he is not happy, then talk to him about that. But if you are confident and happy in your relationship, then let it go and don't give him grief about it. The relationship is really too young to put demands like this on it now.
BellaCalla BellaCalla 9 years
Um yea a year is really not "so long" that you can't spend Thanksgiving apart - I mean its basically only a long weekend! If he's really the one for you you'll have plenty of holidays to spend together and plenty of times for him to meet your friends etc. Actually I really agree with everything OrangeSugar said. :)
OrangeSugar OrangeSugar 9 years
I am in the "you're not married" camp as well. This is an argument to be had when there is a ring on your finger...not before. It will not kill you two to spend the holidays apart. I know you were looking forward to introducing him to all of your friends, but you can honestly make that happen ANYTIME, can't you? The issue for you, I think, is that you "gave up" a holiday with your family and he's not willing to. If you're not going to be happy until he "gives up" a holiday with his, then you are the problem, sweetie. Just say, "That's fine, sweetheart. Spend both holidays with your mother/family, and I'll spend both with mine." And genuinely be OK with it. I have a sneaking suspicion that he won't be upset with that choice! :-)
facin8me facin8me 9 years
I agree with CitizenKane and CaterpillarGirl on this one. Just because relationships are equal doesn't mean that everything is 50/50 100% of the time.
lizrocks lizrocks 9 years
It seems to me if you're willing to compromise and he's not, there's a problem. I'm very close to my family as well but when you're in a serious relationship (one that is obviously serious enough to warrant family introductions) families should be understanding about this. I wouldn't want to be with a man (or family members, for that matter) who weren't understanding about commitments and obligations- no matter the season.
LittleLady12 LittleLady12 9 years
I'm also in the "but you're not even married" school of thought. Just because it's no problem for you to spend the holidays away from your family, it doesn't mean that he has to feel the same way. I think you're in the wrong for assuming he would reciprocate by spending a holiday away from his family. Until you're married, you should each do what you want to do. And if that means you want to spend a holiday away from your family and he doesn't want to do the same, you're just going to have to accept it. Bottom line, I don't think he's in the wrong at all.
herjoiedevivre herjoiedevivre 9 years
yeah, I kind of had an automatic "they're not married" viewpoint. once you're married, you can worry about switching it up for a year or two. but even though it was said that you've been dating "long enough", I scrolled up and expected to see that you'd been dating for 2 or 3 years. almost a year, like other people have said, isn't long enough to start trading holidays back and forth. my boyfriend and I have been together 2 years and this is the first year that I've even made an effort to go to both of our thanksgivings. some things are worth putting aside for when you're actually married and it's an actual dilemma.
bluebellknoll bluebellknoll 9 years
I don't think that the guy is being selfish. They didn't discuss what they were doing for Thanksgiving and she ASSUMED that he would be going with her. They've only been together a year and are not married. She should go home to her family (as he should go to his) and not make a big deal about it. I'm not getting why this is a dilemma.
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
cravinsugar I'm with you on this. Same goes for my boyfriend and I and we're going on 4 yrs. We'll fight about this when we're married. Ha.
bfly1133 bfly1133 9 years
Um, why did you assume he would spend Thanksgiving with you? Why didn't you ask him when you spoke about Christmas? You can't blame him for not knowing or understanding. He may have thought you would rotate years, not holidays. Or it may not have crossed his mind at all. I think you should let this one go, and talk about it again next year. It would be great if you could compromise on this, but you are just dating so holidays can still be seperate. However, if this is a deal breaker for you, then it's a deal breaker. It's your decision to make. But know this, no matter what compromises any couple makes concerning holidays, it will never be truly equal. One family might get more hours. Or one family might have multiple get togethers, while another only has one. And don't forget time spent together seperate from holidays can way into the holiday decisions as well. Good luck!
Marci Marci 9 years
I'm with nicachica here, too. Spending the holidays with our families is important to all of us. It IS early in your relationship, so why make the holidays an issue just yet? As licketysplit said, if your future works out, you'll have a lifetime of holidays together. If I were you, for this year, I'd let him go to his family, you go to yours - for BOTH holidays - and leave it at that. No making an issue of it, either. It's too soon for that.
onesong onesong 9 years
i agree with aimeeb...this is an issue to be dealt with if/when you get married. until then, families come first.
nikkeeb nikkeeb 9 years
i agree completely with citizenkane and caterpillargirl. first, it's not a huge terrible ordeal if you guys do your separate things. my fiance and i are getting married in january, and we still aren't sure how to divide the holidays. also, it may seem unfair, but you shouldn't expect tit-for-tat responses every time you promise to do something. that's like bartering for him to spend time with your family which will very much prevent it from being a special time. you can tell him that it bothers you and how you feel, but ultimatel y what he's doing at this stage in your relationship is not intolerable and i think is actually pretty common.
omgmonster omgmonster 9 years
Hm... a year is not long enough to make holiday plans with your bf's family. I've been with my bf for almost 2 years and I still don't come over to his house for any major holidays. He split his time between his family and mine for the day. We live pretty close to each other so that wasn't a big deal. I would split my holiday time if I'm comfortable enough around his family. You guys can split your day, but that's just me assuming that you guys live close by. =/
lickety-split lickety-split 9 years
it's just 1 holiday and he's not your family; you 2 are just dating. i wouldn't make a big deal of it. if your future works out you'll have a life time of holiday's together and if not you didn't introduce your friends and family to someone who won't be around anyway.
Random2 Random2 9 years
You're spending Christmas with his family and he won't spend Thanksgiving with yours? To me, Christmas is a bigger deal than Thanksgiving. He's being unfair, and you shouldn't have to bend to his wishes (sorry, Dear, I don't think she should have to drive to see him when he's being difficult. It's not fair to her, especially since she's spending December holidays with his family, he should come to see hers.) But, you two have only been going out for a year. I've been with my guy for just over 3 years, and we still haven't spent the holidays 'together'. If he's being so stubborn about this, maybe you should rethink the December plan, and spend it with your family. I agree with Cravinsugar, you're not married yet, so do what you want! Don't feel obligated that because you've been dating for a year you need to spend the holidays together.
Greggie Greggie 9 years
I don't think it's at all weird to not spend Thanksgiving together. Even married, there were years when I would visit my parents over the Thanksgiving holiday while my husband stayed with his family.
tiffanymarie tiffanymarie 9 years
This is a question that is a little off topic but not so much- is it weird if you don't spend Thanksgiving together? My man and I have been together for almost two years and we are going to be with our families separately this year. We've never spent Thanksgiving together.
cravinsugar cravinsugar 9 years
I have an opinoin here that I think is unpopular. you should each do what you want. I have been dating my man for 6 years almost, and we have only had 1 Thanksgiving together, and that was only because last thanksgiving his nephew was in hospital getting chemo, so his family did it another day. I figure, we both love our families and don't want to miss that time. we both love each other and don't want to be apart, but IMO--until we are married, niether one of us should assume we have to spend hlidays together. Once married, we will spend all of hour holidays together, so we each spend as much time together on those days as possible, albeit we dine separately. We can let our families fight over who spends what holidays where AFTER we are married. that is the other factor here. Neither one of us wants to deal with the negative ramifications of choosing to go elsewhere.
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