Gobble, grovel

Dear Danni,

I’ve been dating this girl for a while now and she keeps dropping subtle hints that we need to take the relationship to “the next level.” We had a big fight yesterday because she wants to come with me to my parents for Thanksgiving. She said, “that’s what couples do.” So my question is this: Do you think I need to bring her to see the fam for turkey day, or do you think that would just be tightening the noose? By the way, she threatened no sex if she wasn’t invited. Danni, I don’t want to go “without,” turkey or otherwise…what’s the verdict?

Dear Dirty Bird,

Boy, the holidays are rough. Obviously, there’s more than one turkey you want to be stuffing this holiday season, but since you can’t necessarily have your bird and eat it too, you’re going to have to make a few sacrifices.

First to go: Holidays, birthdays, anniversaries-basically any event ending in a “y” is paramount to women. How you choose to celebrate the occasion could be a deal breaker in the relationship.

For example, my friend’s boyfriend surprised her with perfume for her birthday. The problem? She hates perfume. Needless to say, he’s not exactly running for the ‘Man of Her Dreams Award’ here, folks.

The point I’m trying to make is that relationships with women can sometimes be like convincing a jury-they need substantial evidence without reasonable doubt that you intend to move the relationship into the “serious” realm. Don’t ask why, it’s just important.

Turkey day is one such opportunity to convince her that you’re serious about the relationship, and by association, her. Better bite the bullet now-Christmas is right around the corner.

My advice is to bring her along if you want the relationship to progress. If you don’t care, or if you’re really worried about “tightening the noose,” maybe there are deeper issues of commitment working against you right now that are worth thinking about. But, if you’re sure this is what you want to be doing, the Thanksgiving step is a necessary one.

If your question is an issue of awkwardness at the dinner table, don’t worry: When you’re in the car, give her the run down on what are not the best topics of conversation around your family, give her fair warning that your mother’s gravy is an unknown substance you’d just as soon sneak down the disposal as risk ingesting, and what time limit you both can stand to spend on this blessed event. By going this route, not only will you show her that you are comfortable with her being around your (likely) quirky family, but you are also indicating that the relationship will be around after the New Year-huge move.

Trust me, when it’s all over, you will have accomplished more than filling your belly and taking an afternoon nap. And yes, expect a lot of picture taking. Remember, women always want evidence.

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