Do I have to spend Christmas with my boyfriend's family?

Boyfriend and I have been together just over two years. We live together. We have met each others' families and spent extended visits with them. He is from another state and spent Christmas with my family (in-state) last year because he could not go to his home state to be with his, due to work schedule. We are going to spend a week on a vacation with my family next month.

Last night he very sweetly asked me to spend this Christmas with his family- out of state. I don't want to. I adore his family and would be delighted to visit them any other time, but holidays with my family are very special to me. I feel that, since I am not married or engaged, I'm entitled to be selfish about spending holidays with my own family. I am totally cool with us spending holidays apart, with our respective clans.

Is there a non-douchey way to decline his invitation? I know the holiday-sharing starts for sure after marriage, but I kind of thought that was one of the perks of being single.


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Most Helpful Guy

  • You aren't selfish, and if you were, I wouldn't point it out like some of the other people did. I understand that you want to spend time with your family, but your boyfriend has asked you to spend some time with his family. If he spent Christmas with your family, then it is only right that you spend time with his family too. Even though he couldn't go to his home state to be with his family because of his work schedule, he was willing to spend some time with your family, and it is only right to reciprocate.

    Although I don't say that you are selfish for wanting to be with your family, you must realize that you have to take his wishes into consideration. Just because you are not married or engaged doesn't mean that you should treat this relationship differently than a marriage. Afford him the same respect that he gave you and your family.

    Maybe this Christmas you could go with him to visit his family, and next Christmas, both families could get together. Would that solve anything?

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    • Thanks for your thoughtfulness. It is a rare trait indeed among strangers on the Internet. You are right about communication; I was looking for a sounding board before I stuck my foot in my mouth and inadvertently caused offense to the dude I love, and I'm glad I did. I have learned as well that it sometimes pays off to think things through before letting them out of my mouth.

    • Wow. Thanks for the compliment. My rule is that I won't usually say anything online that I wouldn't say in real life, whether or not I am anonymous. I was raised religious and my sense of right and wrong will not make me go wrong. I wouldn't be so insensitive when giving advice.

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What Guys Said 3

  • No. You're being douchey. Be honest with him now that you aren't into that (and probably won't be even when you're married... cause do you really think marriage is going to change that?) and if he is fine with it, you're done. If not, well then you just avoided years and years of fighting over where to spend the holidays because now he can decide if he is willing to stay in a relationship with someone who isn't willing do this.

    We all have things we are selfish about... just own yours. (and skip all the rationalizations about being single)

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  • O.K. You are a selfish individual and the best thing that he can do is to leave you as soon as you decline the invitation. Unfortunately he is probably in love, thinking inside a box and cannot see the situation from outside the box from a neutral point of you. Neutral like me. You know that it isn't nice, you don't need to ask. It's just that you will not give a damn because in the end of the day, deep down when you are with your thoughts in that selfish head of yours what is really important for you is that you feel good. I only wish that he could be the same and any other boyfriend that you might have will be as hard and selfish as you are so that you would know how it feels to be on the other side of the line. O.K.

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    • Jeez. My parents are in their 60s and my mom has cancer. I don't know how many Christmases I would have left with them. If things go south in my relationship, my family will be there for me as long as they are alive. Can you tell me why there is an expectation that people in relationships will behave as if married before there is a commitment to spend their lives together? I am genuinely confused as to why my position is taken so negatively. Is it a big deal to ask a girl to spend Xmas w/family?

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    • ... a family of your own, a family by choice rather than blood. Dating someone does not make them family. Boyfriends have come and gone and my family has always been there to help me pick up the pieces. Just because I love my boyfriend is no reason to elevate his importance in my life above my own or my family's.

    • To the person who commented below I disagree I am 22 and when I date someone I take it very seriously. I have been with my boyfriend for 2 1/2 years and I see myself marrying him. Part of being in a committed relationship is compromising for them. The boyfriend spent time with her family last Christmas it's not like she hasn't spent Christmas with her family so to me it is only fair that she reciprocates. Once you get older priorities naturally shift as you start settling down with a partner.

  • There is no non-douchey way to decline his invitation. Your Christmas with your family is important, but having Christmas with your boyfriend is so unimportant, you don't mind spending holidays apart? Why are you even with your boyfriend if he means so little to you?

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    • We are both introverts who need a fair amount of time to ourselves. I love him dearly, but I think it is healthy not to spend every waking moment together. Don't confuse love with codependency. I send gifts for every family member when he goes home to visit, and I even bake for the their gatherings. I go to weddings, reunions, etc. and I enjoy them. He is in no way unimportant. My family will always be my family, though, and he may never be.

    • I don't think anyone is saying family is unimportant but part of being in a relationship is prioritizing them too. I don't understand it's not okay to upset or rock the boat with her family by not spending Christmas with them but it's okay to just ditch her boyfriend. It's like she is saying he is second best. I would be pissed if my boyfriend was like my family's feelings are more important than yours.

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