Don’t panic, girl. His weird relatives don’t have to spell the end of your relationship. Follow these five steps on how to deal with his weird family members and you’ll be just fine (and maybe have some funny stories to tell, too):
1. Be Patient
Whether you’re going over to his parents’ house to watch TV after school or for a big Thanksgiving dinner, just try to keep in mind that you’re only dealing with short-term crazytown with his weird family. Your guy has had to deal with it his whole life! Hang in there and don’t complain.
2. Be Polite
That means that if one of his super weird relatives asks how you’re doing or wants to chat for a minute, you really shouldn’t run away. Be nice, be gracious, make sure you’re putting in at least a little face-time. It’s totally okay to signal to your dude to come rescue you from Great Uncle Arthur’s stinky-breath-close-talking or politely excuse yourself (if you say you’ve got to hit the ladies room, nobody’s going to question it!).
3. Be Open With Your Guy
If someone in his family said something flat-out inappropriate, sexually creepy, or insulting–tell your boyfriend calmly but plainly about what happened. You shouldn’t have to deal with that. On the other hand, if you just think his brother is a total freakazoid and don’t understand how the two of them could be related, gently say that you noticed his brother is often going on and on about strange conspiracy theories (or whatever his deal is)–then ask if he’s always been that interested in those things. He’ll catch on and likely be the one to admit that he’s got a weird family. Then? You’ve got something else to bond over!
4. Be Thankful
Even if his mom gives you the strangest gift ever (like, um, a book about how awesome virginity is, or a hideous orange sweater dress that’s three sizes too big), smile and say thank you. No matter how totally bizarre his weird family’s gifts might be, at least they let you know they’re thinking about you. And you’ll always have plenty of crazy stuff to bring to the white elephant gift exchange!
5. Be Honest
Honey? I hate to break it to you, but chances are that you’ve got a weird family, too. Maybe they’re not weird in exactly the same way as his family is, but they’re still a little abnormal when you get right down to it. If you notice that your guy is self-conscious about his weird family members, maybe bring up how crazy your Aunt Helen is or remind him of that time cousin Teddy was on the blooper auditions for American Idol.
Does your boyfriend have a weird family? Who’s his weirdest family member? Is your family even weirder? Tell me about it in the comments!