How to Survive Your First Thanksgiving With Your Significant Other’s Family

IJL - Thanksgiving postYou’re excited – it’s your first holiday with your significant other. No more explaining to Aunt Edna why you still haven’t met someone yet.

But just after you celebrate your successful pairing, you realize it also means meeting the family. The only thing worse fielding Aunt Edna’s questions about your nonexistent dating life is watching her grill your new significant other about their job, their family and how they got their teeth so white.

Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. Here are some tips to get you through the holiday with your relationship still intact.

Come bearing gifts

If you’re the one who will be the guest at Thanksgiving dinner, make sure you bring a gift for the hostess. And if you’re not the guest, don’t tell your significant other not to bring a gift. Not even if you think your mother doesn’t need, or won’t expect, anything. It’s a nice gesture, and it makes a nice first impression.

Wine is an obvious choice, but run it by your significant other to ensure you don’t embarrass yourself by bringing wine to a parent who is a recovering alcoholic or perhaps doesn’t drink for religious or other reasons. A great option sure to be a conversation starter? Something from your hometown, like locally-harvested honey or jam from locally-grown raspberries.

Dress to impress

You don’t have to pull out your tuxedo or an evening gown, but leave the graphic tee at home. Everything you’ve heard about first impressions are true, and you really don’t get a second chance at making a good first impression.

Guys, a clean shave or a fresh trim of any facial hair is a must. And nice shoes go a long way, even if your significant other said you should wear jeans.

Ladies, keep your makeup on the lighter, more conservative side and avoid any overpowering jewelry. Short skirts and cleavage-bearing shirts are better saved for date night.

Get the low down

If you’re the one taking your significant other home for the holiday, prep them. Warn them about the possibility of getting trapped with your dad telling long stories if they mention golf. Advise them not to mention your sister’s new baby in front of your sister who just had a miscarriage.  

And don’t be embarrassed. We all have that family member. They’d rather be prepared than caught unaware.

Offer to pitch in

One of the best ways to ingratiate yourself with any host is to offer to help. Whether it’s carrying food out to the table, washing dishes after the meal or offering to take out the trash, simply making the offer will make a positive impression.

Dole out the compliments

You have a lovely home.

The food was amazing.

These are just a couple of suggestions for compliments any host will be happy to receive. Ladies, his mother will love to hear you think her sweater is a great color on her. And guys, her dad will appreciate you noticing his impressive collection of autographed baseballs.

Be judicious with your compliments – no one likes a brown-noser. The most genuine compliments come from observing the environment around you and noting what you appreciate.

But always – always – compliment the chef.

Protect one another

Last, but not least, protect each other. Don’t leave your significant other alone too long in unfamiliar territory. Be aware of when they look uncomfortable and bail them out. Include them in conversations, and give them backstory where necessary to keep them from feeling left out.

If you want this to be the first of many holidays together, it’s imperative you make your date feel comfortable. Rarely is it going to be effortless where they immediately fit in with your family and can carry conversation on their own. There will be some bumps along the way.

It’s how you deal with those bumps that determines whether or not you have a future beyond the holiday season.  

Single for Thanksgiving but want to find a date before Christmas rolls around? Let the matchmakers at It's Just Lunch help you find your match! Get started today by calling us at 1-800-489-7897 or click here to tell us a little about yourself.

The Playing Field May Be Level After All

IJL - couple having coffeeWe’ve all seen the movies where Hollywood gives us hope that we can date someone out of our league – “Hitch,” “Knocked Up,” “Beauty & The Beast,” and the list goes on. But is it possible to “date up” in real life? 

According to science, the answer is yes! 

A recent study published by Psychological Science gives hopeless romantics a glimmer of faith that it can be done – by becoming friends with the desired person first as attraction can grow over time. 

The study surveyed 167 couples – 67 dating and 100 married for various lengths of time – about how long they knew each other before beginning to date and whether or not they had been friends before dating. Researchers also independently rated each individuals’ physical attractiveness. 

Results showed that people who started dating within a month of meeting were more similar on the attractiveness scale, whereas couples who knew each other, or were just friends for more than a month before dating, were less equal on the attractiveness scale. In other words, people do become couples despite not having an instant physical attraction. 

"If you happen to be shooting for someone ‘out of your league’ (in terms of attractiveness, at least), you may be more likely to succeed if you get to know the person for a while rather than going for it immediately," said the study’s lead author Lucy L. Hunt of University of Texas at Austin’s School of Human Ecology.   

The study also detailed more about the influence attractiveness has on relationship satisfaction. Even though couples who started dating soon after meeting were more likely to match based on attractiveness, it didn’t effect long term happiness, and neither did being friends first. 

Let’s say you show up for your first date and the sparks aren’t immediately flying. Your first instinct might be to shut down mentally and emotionally and down your drink as quickly as possible so you can get out of there. 

Slow down and give it a little time. The study noted, “As individuals become acquainted over time, romantic impressions become increasingly unique and less consensual.” 

And what are some of the best ways to get acquainted? Things such as making someone laugh, the ability to have a great conversation and having common interests can help perceptions of people change over time. 

Are you ready to get out there and meet your match? Let the matchmakers at It's Just Lunch help you find your match! Get started today by calling us at 1-800-489-7897 or click here to tell us a little about yourself.

Survey: Dating and Politics

Untitled design (6)

As we march toward the November elections, and next year's Presidential election, we want to check in with you and find out how politics has impacted dating and relationships for you.

Please take our survey below (or access the survey here on a mobile device):


Create your own user feedback survey

The 3 Biggest Dating Mistakes Women Make (with tips for how to avoid them!)


Bigstock-Urban-Girl-Feeling-Upset-and-A-86020649Here's the deal, ladies—when on the dating scene, we can be our own worst enemy.  We complicate relationships and sabotage them before they even get off the ground!  Read on to learn the mistakes women frequently encounter on their quest to meet The One.

Moving Too Quickly.  After a promising first date, it's natural to feel excited about the possibilities.  But don't start flipping through bridal magazines just yet.  In fact, your enthusiasm for your burgeoning relationship could inadvertently scare him off!  Early on it's best to show restraint and keep your feelings in check.  Women often get frustrated at this stage—we're falling in love and want to express it!  But although you're getting to know him, there's still a lot you don't know.  Look at it this way—if you unleash too much emotion too soon, he'll wonder, "Does she really like me?  Or is she just glad to have a guy—any guy—around?   And frankly, that's a reasonable question on his part.
Dating Tip:  Think of your new relationship as a movie.  Sit back and watch it play out—let things evolve naturally.  Don't project!  When we project what we hope will happen, we can't see what actually is happening.

Overanalyzing.  Women love nothing more than some good girl talk!  And what do we typically talk about?  Guys, of course!  We dish, dissect, and analyze our relationships ad nauseum.  Most of it's harmless, of course.  But we can get into trouble when nit-picking situations and making something out of nothing.  Furthermore, for some reason, we tend to ask our girlfriends to help us figure out our boyfriends.  Does that really make sense?  
Dating Tip:  Cut out the middle-man (or in this case, middle-woman) when trying to discern what your new guy is thinking.  Instead of asking your girlfriends to decipher his last text, see what your brother, cousin, or dad has to say.  Let the men in your life provide insight into the male psyche. 

Being Too Available.  Men like a challenge.  Don't deny them the fun of pursuing you!  We all value things we have to work for, so it behooves women not to appear overly available early in the relationship.  Yes, you want to be authentic.  No, you don't want to play games.  But smart women live busy, full, fantastic lives.  So honestly, we can't be very available to a guy we've just met!
Dating Tip:  Live your life to the fullest!  Consume yourself with your passions, goals, and dreams.  Carving out space in your schedule for your new guy will communicate two things—1) you've got a super busy fabulous life and 2) you like him enough to make time for him!

Listen, ladies!  You have so much to offer!  Put your best foot forward and give your new relationship a strong chance of success by following the tips listed above.  Let the connection develop slowly, don't over-think it, and no matter how much you're into him, stay fully "into" your own life! 

Confidence is Key, Too Much is a Dealbreaker

6a0120a55a0518970c01b8d10e27f6970c-320wiConfidence is sexy! A dash of self-confidence creates the perfect recipe for a positive first impression, whether it is a first date or networking community event. People who glow with a bright, friendly attitude tend to attract an abundance of people who want to meet them. 

The key to gaining self-confidence is to recognize and appreciate what's great about you and accept what's not so great. We all have strengths and weaknesses. If you love and accept who you are, others will too.

Try these three things to boost your confidence in time for your next date:

1) Don't Compare Yourself to Others
Stop putting yourself up against others as a way of measuring your desirability. Know that you are a hot ticket in your own right, with your own unique abilities and qualities. Something that turns off one person will spark romance in another. Don't waste your time with people who don't see what it is you have to offer.  When you like who you are, people will be naturally drawn to you.

2) Turn to Your Network for Your Net Worth
Surround yourself with people who treat you with love and respect. Weed out the ones who are overly negative or critical. Create a positive environment.

3) Date More! 
The more exposure you have to the dating experience, the easier it gets. As you handle all the different situations and come in contact with different people, it will reinforce your positive qualities. You will also gain confidence in your ability to meet, mingle and engage with new people.

But Avoid Crossing the Fine Line into Cockiness

There's a fine line between "Oh, he's interesting . . ." and "What an arrogant, self-absorbed jerk!"  How does this happen? A few symptoms of crossing into cocky country include one-upping conversation habits, interrupting your date to get your words in and treating others with disrespect.  Identifying when you veer off the confidence course will give you the chance to present yourself as charming and confident, not annoying and arrogant.

This post originally appeared on the Vancouver It's Just Lunch blog

Are you feeling confident and ready to get out there and meet your match? Let the matchmakers at It's Just Lunch help you find your match! Get started today by calling us at 1-800-489-7897 or click here to tell us a little about yourself.