It's that time of year when everybody's grabbing a holibae* and making their way to family functions and holiday parties. You can't just make moves with any Tom, Dick, or Harry during this time of year. There surely needs to be some sort of vetting process before you take someone as a representative of yourself to these intimate settings. The last thing you need is your date verbally trashing Aunt Paula's potato salad at the family gathering (even if it IS nasty). There are certain things you have to consider before throwing him to the wolves (because that's kind of what you're doing). If you can confirm the majority of the statements on the below list, you may be on to something with your plus one!
1. He would fit in perfectly with your cousins or siblings. Does he have the same inside jokes or the same sense of humor? There's nothing like meeting a person and their sense of humor immediately speaks to the weirdo in you that can't resists laughing at a sneezing Panda. (Don't ask. Just know it's hilarious to me.) It would be super awkward if you brought a person around that didn't get any of your family's jokes. They may even be perceived as uptight.
2. He knows how to respond to prying questions from parents, grandparents, etc. This is very important. Some guys get caught up just saying what he thinks the family wants to hear and eventually you both have to backpedal out of engagement hints and comments about having children. Awkward is an understatement for this. If he typically defaults to people-pleaser mode with unreasonable answers, save the plus one.
3.You wouldn't mind if your family pushed for you guys to be something more. Most family members will push for/ hint at marriage if the guy seems decent. They actually think they're helping you out by bringing it up because if you were to bring it up, it would just seem pushy. This could be advantageous if you are really into the guy and don't think that this "pressure" would scare him away. At the very least, it opens the door for the conversation between the two of you later. We know it's going to happen.
4. He's interested in your family traditions. Even if he doesn't have similar traditions he wants to experience your family's way of celebrating because he's genuinely interested. This is a guy that wants to try your family's food and know more about your culture and/or traditions. He'll be fun to take around family AND he'll give you another perspective on your culture and/or traditions.
5. He wants you to meet his family/ You've met his family. This is a good determining factor because it let's you know if he's in the head space to meet your family. If he doesn't want you to meet his family or seems hesitant, don't take him around your family. It's the worse to have to explain "whatever happened to that nice boy Such-and-Such" after bringing him around your family and it not working out. His lack of interest in bringing you around his family may simply mean he's not as interested in you as you are in him. It happens and it's fine. You know where you stand.
6. He cares about the impression he will make on your family. Well, you don't want a guy that will go into the situation with a nonchalant attitude about meeting your family, friends or coworkers. After all, it's kind of a big deal. If his attitude is flippant, he will most likely rub someone the wrong way AND he's probably not looking for anything serious. Save yourself potential embarrassment and forego the invite.
7. You've mentioned him to family members. Don't make the mistake of taking someone (who you have yet to mention) to your family functions or holiday parties! It's guaranteed to be uncomfortable as your friends and/or family stumble over what to call the person or confuse them with someone else you were entertaining. That could possibly create tension between you and your date if he feels disrespected.
8. You've given him an overview of your family members' personalities. The crash course on everybody of importance is mandatory. He will need to know who not to engage in politics or religion talk and who he should make an effort to engage on anything else. Every group has multiple personalities and having a personalized cheat sheet would help immensely.
If you were able to confirm several of these statements, your guy may be ready to meet the important people in your life. Otherwise, avoid taking new guys to your holiday events just for the sake of having arm candy. He may actually end up being more trouble than just going alone. The last thing you need is a lasting problem created by a temporary relationship.
*holibae- (noun) a person you start dating around the holidays that attends family functions and holiday parties with you