Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“My Parents Won’t Allow My Girlfriend to Come to Christmas Dinner”

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My ex dumped me about three months ago. Within a month, I started seeing another girl who understood and respected my situation, and we have taken things slowly. (I’m 29 and she is 27, fyi.) All my friends and family thought it was way too fast to find someone else, but I have a connection with her. We are now officially together and I’m extremely happy.

We both live at our respective parents’ houses, and while her parents have been nothing but welcoming, my parents don’t want to involve themselves — or see anyone else in my family involved — with my current girlfriend. I asked if she could come to our family Christmas celebration, and my mum said it would be weird because she and my dad have only met her once (this being because they didn’t want to meet her earlier because it was “too soon”). I don’t think it’s asking too much that my girlfriend be included in my family’s Christmas, and why should I not be able to see her from morning til night on such a special day? If I don’t go to Christmas lunch, I’m an asshole according my family, but my mum doesn’t understand that I love my girlfriend so much that she feels like family to me now, too.

The fact that no one else close to me wants to share my happiness in finding someone new just makes my heart ache. What should I do? — Must Spend Christmas With My Girlfriend

Quit being such a drama queen. For one thing, your girlfriend of two months isn’t “family,” no matter how much you think you love her. For another thing, good God, it won’t kill you to not spend “morning til night” with your girlfriend, even on a special day like Christmas. If her family has been so welcoming of you, go spend part of the day at their place, if you’ve been invited, and part of the day with your own family. There’s no reason you can’t have Christmas lunch with your parents and then go have dinner with her. Or open presents with her in the morning and then get to your parents’ home in time for lunch. Or spend Christmas Eve with her and reunite again on Boxing Day or whatever. I mean, God, this one day — and your parents’ preferences about whom they invite to their home on this one day — aren’t a reflection of your relationship. Quit taking it so personally. Here’s a thought: Maybe your parents have been less than enthusiastic about your new relationship because they want to make sure this is something more than a rebound before they invest themselves in getting to know your girlfriend.

Honestly, your whole letter sounds like a great big wah-wah-whine fest and you’re too damn old for all that nonsense. At 29, it’s time for you to take some responsibility for your actions and your life and your decisions. Upset that you can’t bring your girlfriend over to your parents’ home for Christmas? Maybe it’s time to get your own home so you can have girlfriends over whenever you want. Afraid your family will think you’re an asshole if you skip Christmas lunch with them in favor of going to your girlfriend’s family’s home? Oh well. Sometimes when adults make decisions, other adults don’t like those decisions. Guess what — life goes on, people get over it, and then they find something else to get their panties in a bunch over. Lather, rinse, repeat for eternity. Happy holidays, everyone.

***************

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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at [email protected].

25 comments… add one
  • Skyblossom

    Skyblossom November 24, 2015, 8:25 am

    When you live in a home that isn’t your own you go by the rules of those who provide the home. Your parents are providing your home so you go by their rules. They get to pick and choose who comes into their home. It doesn’t matter whether you agree or not. It doesn’t matter whether you love your girlfriend and feel like she is family and want to spend the entire day with her. All that counts is that it is their home and they make the rules. If you don’t like their rules you can move out and make your own rules. You are 29 and there is no good reason they should still be supporting you. Get out of their home and live your own life, provide your own home even if that means having roommates and make your own rules. You’ll be much happier telling your parents when you will arrive at their house and how long you will stay than asking them if you can have your girlfriend over.

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    dinoceros November 24, 2015, 9:47 am

    You’re not taking things slow if you’re trying to bring your girlfriend of two months to your family Christmas gathering. I know that it seems rude for your family to say she can’t come, but I think that’s because most people wouldn’t invite their SO this early, and thus, families don’t normally have to make that call. I agree that you’re being dramatic. Your family isn’t refusing to share in your happiness — they just want to have a family event without interlopers that you all (yes, including you) barely know.

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    • avatar

      RedRoverRedRover November 24, 2015, 10:37 am

      Yeah… honestly, three months is nothing. I’ve never in my life brought someone over for the holidays that soon in a relationship. In fact I don’t think I’ve even introduced my parents to someone that early, not even my now-husband.

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  • Diablo

    Diablo November 24, 2015, 9:54 am

    You nailed it, Wendy. The only thing you didn’t mention that struck me funny is how he is “taking it slow” this girl he got with one month after being dumped, two months ago, who is now “family,” who he can’t bear to be apart from for part of one day. Oh, I get it, LW. Love is the hardest drug on the planet, but you might enjoy the high more if you pulled your head outta your ass.

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    • avatar

      anonymousse November 24, 2015, 10:49 am

      Love this. No one could say it better.

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      • avatar

        suzyinthesky November 25, 2015, 5:47 am

        Double love!

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    jlyfsh November 24, 2015, 10:00 am

    My first thought when reading this was holy drama! I mean really? You must spend morning til night with her? It’s one day. I know plenty of people in committed relationships who spend holidays apart even! It happens. And at 2 months in it does seem like it’s too soon. If you really think you’ve found the one then this one holiday won’t seem like much in a few years. But, maybe come up for air and focus on people other than yourself and your girlfriend. Learn to create your own traditions together,that maybe involve some of the things Wendy mentioned.
    *
    I also agree with Wendy that part of the issue here seems to be that neither of you has your own space. Maybe it is time to move out and then you won’t have to worry about not having space to hang out together.

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  • avatar

    napoleon1066 November 24, 2015, 10:08 am

    I feel smothered just reading this letter. Breathe… just… breathe.

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    • avatar

      tzee November 24, 2015, 10:44 am

      my words exactly. Sheesh… way too codependent.

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  • avatar

    SpaceySteph November 24, 2015, 10:10 am

    But you guys don’t understand. This is TRUE LOVE. How can they be apart for a whole day, that’s so long. /sarcasm
    Ok, seriously, you are 29 years old and this sounds like some high school drama. It’s just one goddamn day. If you can’t last a day without seeing your gf that’s lust, not love. Love spans oceans while military fight overseas for months or years away from their spouses. Love does not fall apart because you spend lunch and dinner (gasp!) away from someone.

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  • Portia

    Portia November 24, 2015, 10:20 am

    I somehow missed the ages in the letter and nearly spit out my coffee when I read you were 29 in Wendy’s awesome response.
    .
    Absence makes the heart grow fonder and, although a few hours is barely an absence, take it as a challenge to not spend literally the whole day with her. I know you can do it, LW, we all believe in you!

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  • Miss MJ

    Miss MJ November 24, 2015, 10:33 am

    Amen, Wendy.

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  • Raccoon eyes

    Raccoon eyes November 24, 2015, 10:38 am

    Wendy, you are awesome. Drama-rama Queen, without a doubt, I totally agree with you.
    *
    LW, I was surprised at your age after reading the letter. It sounded like something I would think when I was about 20 or so. Like, OMG MUST SPEND EVERY WAKING MOMENT WITH MY BOYFRIEND, WHAT WILL I DOOOOOOO IF I DONT SEE HIM FOR ALL OF MY WAKING SECONDS. AAAAAAHhhhhh. You get the picture. Anyway, it is sweet that you want your folks to know her and that you consider her family, but guess what? If she feels like it, then why not see if she sticks around and ACTS like it? Bc if so, then you have So.Many.Future.Christmasses to look forward to. Dont be a baby about this one. And yeah, you wanna dictate how you spend holidays, you need to NOT be living with your parents to really have any say in the matter.

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  • avatar

    Cinnamonwhisk November 24, 2015, 11:02 am

    Maybe his parents’ side: “We have a grown son who will not move out, and thinks he runs our house and decides who will be our guests. He and his girlfriend broke up and it was hard to lose her so suddenly. Now he’s dating someone else, but who knows how serious he is. We always have an intimate family Christmas and he’s whining like a teenager about bringing his new girlfriend. Wendy, how can I squash the drama and enjoy our holiday?”

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  • avatar

    Anonymous November 24, 2015, 11:30 am

    I do find it strange when peopel havn’t left home at 29 – But this is Christmas, I left home for university at 18, and then spent 6 months there after graduating, but I still went home for Christmasand it looks like this LW is expected to spend Christmas dinner with his wider family., Many of the comments here are directed at him needing to grow up – in which case, lets support him in his wish to spend Christmas with who he wants! Thats the grown up solution. I don’t really get what everyone elses objection it. So He’s only been dating her for a few months, thats still different to wanting to bring a guest he met at a party on December 23rd. Some relationships just move faster than others. Were his parents particularly close to ex? maybe, but if she dumped him I don’t see whay that is a factor. He has found new love soon after losing love, I’d have thought his family could use a family occasion the celebrate his new found happiness. And I’m sure he does spend some time away from her, but this is Christmas day…. If I were you, sir, I’d let your famliy know you will be taking Christmas dinner st you GF’s house, if you have an invitation there, and let your family know you will visit later in the day if you are both welcome.

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    • avatar

      dinoceros November 25, 2015, 10:40 am

      Saying you’re going to leave and possibly “visit” on Christmas doesn’t really work when you actually live there. I think that maybe since he’s being graciously allowed to live under their roof, starting a conflict over this is not in his best interest.

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  • avatar

    joanna November 24, 2015, 11:46 am

    Dude, it’s been two months! When my boyfriend of 5 years and I had been dating two months, it was Christmas. We spent that Christmas apart. And it didn’t kill us. Promise.

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    • avatar

      snoopy128 November 25, 2015, 5:05 pm

      My bf of 5 years and I are spending Christmas apart this year, as we did 4 of the last 5 years, and we are both still alive!

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  • avatar

    SasLinna November 24, 2015, 11:59 am

    My guy and I will spend Christmas separately even though we’ve been together 3 years (we both live far away from family and it’s more important for us to see our families than to spend these specific days together). It doesn’t have to be a huge issue. I guess what’s most worrying about your letter is that you consider your girlfriend ‘family’ after 2 months. Sorry, but that IS moving way to fast.

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  • avatar

    wobster109 November 24, 2015, 12:48 pm

    How on earth are you spending morning til night with her all the time? Don’t either of you have jobs? And if not, shouldn’t you spend some time looking for jobs? If you have jobs you know that 8 hours apart won’t kill you.

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  • avatar

    csp November 24, 2015, 1:01 pm

    LW, What does spending Christmas lunch prove for you? that this relationship is real? Just as real as the last one? I am going to say that this isn’t about Christmas but more about validating that you are over your ex and that your new girlfriend get the same respect your ex got. Just remember that familiarity and respect take time. You can tell the extended family all about her and confirm the validity of the relationship even if it is early. I might be projecting but I think you are hoping she might be a barrier to break up talk around the Christmas table.

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  • avatar

    S November 24, 2015, 8:18 pm

    Haha, totally agree with Wendy on this one! Seriously, a girlfriend of 2 months is not family, especially if you’re still living with your parents! And demanding that your family invite her to an important family event 2 months in is not taking it slow!

    I’ve been with my partner for almost 13 yrs now, and we didn’t spend holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas) together until we got engaged. By that point we weren’t asking permission from our families, we were just making plans together. And yes, we were both welcome at each other’s parents for the holidays at that point, but when we decided to skip Thanksgiving with either of them and do our own thing, it was just our decision, no asking permission to make plans needed. You’re supposed to be an adult, which means you’re capable of making your own holiday plans to what you think is best, so if you want to go hang out with your girlfriend sometime on Christmas, then do so. If your parents give you a hard time about that, then they are obviously also seeing you as still being a child, so another strike in favor of starting to act like a grown-up instead of a whiney kid.

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  • Monkeysmommy

    Monkeys mommy November 26, 2015, 5:36 pm

    I’m going to guess that your parents see how obsessed you are and how fast you are moving, and they are rebuffing your girl in an attempt to slow you down. Maybe you should listen. Are you acting different with her? Maybe they are concerned. I read one letter, and I am concerned! “From morning til night on this special day”… Wtf? Are you twelve?! Who even talks like that?? And while we are on the subject, why the fuck are you living at your parents at almost age 30?
    *
    LW, grow the fuck up. Your parents told you where they stand, so either man up and respect their wishes, or be an asshole and skip lunch. The end.

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  • avatar

    Teri Anne November 29, 2015, 5:12 pm

    While I agree that the LW is being somewhat over-dramatic, I think that the rigid and passive aggressive behavior of his parents is part of the problem. They have refused to meet his girlfriend, perhaps based upon their idea of how fast a romance is “supposed” to progress or from a desire to punish their son for breaking up with a girlfriend they liked. Some readers have scolded the LW for being upset, saying that he needs to accept that it is his parents’ house and they make the rules. Yes that is true, but I have sympathy for the LW because his parents are being difficult.

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  • avatar

    Essie November 29, 2015, 11:05 pm

    Being about the age of the LW’s parents, I don’t think they’re being difficult at all. I would also feel ‘weird’ about having my son’s girlfriend in my home on Christmas Day, sharing a family celebration, when they’ve only been together for a matter of weeks.

    I guess it depends on the kind of celebration. If it’s a big family blowout, with a couple of dozen family members there, an extra person might not be a big deal. If it’s a quiet lunch with just the LW, parents and a sibling or two, yeah, not feeling good about bringing a really, really short term girlfriend into the mix.

    And looking at it from the girlfriend’s perspective – does she even want to go to this lunch? I’d be feeling very, very awkward about jumping right into the family Christmas celebration when I’ve only known the guy for barely a couple of months.

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