Wise Counsel from Susan Quilliam: Should I go to hers for Christmas?

Dear Susan,
This isn’t a sex question, or even a relationship question really. My girlfriend has just invited me to come and stay at her parents’ for Christmas, but I’m a bit wary that this means she’s getting too serious. We’ve only been going out for a few months – we have fun but no way will we ever be anything more, so Christmas together seems a bit over-the-top to me. Shall I say no, or turn up but make it clear to everyone that this isn’t a serious relationship?
Hi Daniel.
I wouldn’t say ‘yes’ to this invitation. Because spending Christmas with a partner’s relatives is usually a sign that your intentions are serious – you actively want to be seen as part of their family because you want to stay with them. If you don’t, then accepting festive hospitality iwould be giving totally the wrong impression.
At the same time, I don’t think it’s a good idea to turn up and “make it clear” that you’re not serious about your girlfriend – particularly because her invitation suggests that she is serious about you. Saying openly that you’re not so keen wouldn’t just hurt her, it would also humiliate her in front of her family.
The way forward is certainly to say a gentle ‘no’ to the invite. But I’d also have a private conversation with your girl to iron out expectations. If you’re thinking ‘short-term’ and she’s thinking marriage, then there’s a mismatch, and you need to take responsibility and iron things out between you.
Yes, it could be hard to break the news that you’re not serious – but it will save her ending up with a broken heart. Be kind and get things clear sooner rather than later.


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