Your Call:Why Didn’t He Invite Me to Thanksgiving?

roast_turkey_thanksgiving0003photo by tuchodi

Dear Em & Lo,

My boyfriend and I have been seriously dating for a few months now, although over the course of the past eight months we’ve gone from buddies, to friends with benefits, to best friends with benefits, to head-over-heels in love. Since we’re fairly serious about each other, and since I’ve already met his father, I was really hoping that he’d invite me to go with him to visit his family for Thanksgiving. My own family is 800 miles away so I won’t be able to see them this year, and his is only a few hours’ drive.

I don’t want to flat-out ask him to take me along, but I’m not sure what to do, and the closer the holiday gets, the more disappointed I feel.  I’ve dropped a few hints — I’m very sad I’ll be without my family for Thanksgiving, I have extra vacation, I wish I were having turkey this year – but he’s either oblivious and hasn’t thought about inviting me, or he really doesn’t want me to go. He even went as far as complaining about driving there by himself, when a willing travel partner was sitting right beside him. He also offered to “do Thanksgiving” with me the weekend before.

My question is — should I be upset? Should I tell him I’m upset? I wouldn’t be afraid to ask to meet his family if they lived here, but I’m hesitant to demand an invitation to visit them in another state. I don’t think it’s anything he’s embarrassed about or wants to keep from me, and we’ve taken trips together, so I know it’s not that either.  Maybe he just doesn’t like to do the family thing this early in the relationship?  But he talks about the things we’ll be doing a year from now, so it’s not like he’s not committed to me.

Maybe Thanksgiving just isn’t a big deal to him, but I’d really like to spend the holiday with someone I love. THE someone I love, as a matter of fact. I would love your advice.

— Cold Turkey

What should Cold Turkey do? Take the poll after the jump.

Can’t see the poll? Click here to take it.


  1. My boyfriend and I have been dating for two years. We both work on seperate crew ship so we hardly get to see each other. I’ve been on vacation for the past three months and I’ve finally gotten the chance to see where he lives but he never introduced me to his family who lives 30 minutes away. The other day he came home for thanks giving and he didn’t even called or text me. Whenever I talk to him about stuff like that he keep saying am pressuring him. I don’t know what else to do. Please help me.

  2. I think that mostly of us are forgetting a very important detail: We are talking about a person who will spend the Thanksgiving day ALONE.

    Many comments are saying “well, it would be weird to invite someone too soon” or like “his family maybe will take it wrong”. I would be agree with you mostly times because I have a big family that always assume that all boys around me are my boyfriends. The easiest way to describe them is like “My Fat Greek Wedding” family. Yes, that akward!
    But honestly, I wouldn’t let someone I know alone on a special date. I prefer to pass for an akward moment instead to leave that person feeling miserable. In fact, I did it one year with a friend (a boy) on Christmas. It was weird at the moment and it was been weird when my relatives asked for him the next year, but at least he has a good day.

    It seems that this guy didn’t care about that. I will ask him inmediatly for an explanation for that, because honestly, I don’t see any reason for neglecting so badly someone he loves. And also, if I was you, I would ask to someone to spend the Thanksgiving day with them (please, without “hitting things”), because clearly you won’t do it with this guy.

  3. I am 100% against hinting at things. Tell you partner how you feel. Let him/her respond and explain their position.

    If you can’t have honest conversations with each other like this then you shouldn’t have sex because you won’t have hard conversations there either like “Do you have an STD?”.

  4. Sorry, my response was to the first poster. For the second one…Hurt and Confused….after three years you are still accepting this behavior and “hinting” around? Why do women (I used to do this too) accept so little from a man? His behavior is inconsiderate but you’ve allowed him to get away with it. Imagine the next 50 years of your life…always hurt, guessing what he is thinking…wondering how he feels. Listen to your gut…that is the best advice I can offer. If you gut is telling you that this isn’t right (admit it, you have that little voice inside telling you something is amiss) believe it. Trust YOU. Trust what you know to be good and honest and acceptable. Don’t let someone else determine how you live your life. It is perfectly okay to expect someone to treat you well…if you don’t, honestly you have only you to blame. History repeats itself, trust me…if you don’t get this right now, it will continue. And if you don’t figure it out the next time, you’ll continue to find the same type of person giving you the same awful lack of respect. Holidays are meant to be shared with those closest to you. If that isn’t you, dump him and find someone who will feel the same way. The saying goes something like this….”if you think that this guy is so worth keeping and you’re dealing with all this baggage, imagine how great you’ll feel when you find the one who will really treat you well.
    Don’t settle. I did. It doesn’t get any better until you realize you can change it.
    Good luck.

  5. Don’t say she’s making too much of it…the point is clearly he does not want her there – whatever the reason. I’m horrified by how many of these responders don’t realize what a good relationship means… The thing that popped into my mind when I read the post and the responses was this…do you really want to be in a relationship with someone who is insensitive to your comments and feelings and believe me, he completely realizes how you feel. Even if some of the “excuses” posted here were true (no place to sleep, embarrassed by family, house, etc. can’t handle the questions ) what does it say that he is not showing better character in putting your feelings first? After eight months, I’m sorry, you should be seeing some consideration. I don’t buy the “it’s only been a short time”. People know with the get-go whether their partner is a keeper. It seems to me, you’d be better off not wasting your time for him to come around and find someone who will treat you with dignity, respect and who can COMMUNICATE. Enough said. Harsh…I’m sorry but this comes from YEARS of experience.

  6. Ok, I have a question that sort of goes along with this:

    My boyfriend of 3 years still is weird with spending the holidays together! I did spend this last Thanksgiving with him, but only because his MOTHER invited me, not him!

    And now it’s a few days from Christmas and I’m still trying to get the plans together…I invited him here to my parents’ house on Christmas Eve for dinner because we decided to have our dinner Christmas eve instead…and I was HOPING that he’d have the intelligence to invite me to HIS house for Christmas. After 3 years I kind of expect that, you know?

    So I started the hinting thing, I said things like…”Do you want to exchange our gifts on Christmas? Or Christmas Eve?” Kind of hinting to him that I intend on seeing him on Christmas Day as well…his response was “I don’t know, probably Christmas Eve because on Christmas day we’re having Gram, and everyone here at the house, so….” So I guess I’m not invited by the sounds of it?

    I am just so hurt and confused, I mean after 3 years I would like to think that we’re gonna spend the holidays together…but why doesn’t he ask me?? It’s this way every year, unless his mother happens to ask me over!!

    I’m there quite often when it’s NOT the holidays, does he just assume I’d rather be with my family or something? I know he has said before how he thinks holidays should be spent with your family, but after 3 years I consider him my family too! And when we’re married there’s going to have to be some kind of compromise, so should I just put up for it for now? Or should I ask him about it?? Please help!

  7. I’ve been seeing someone for about six months and was with his family with him and my family with him – because he’s into me and into the relationship. Holidays and birthdays are signifigant days. It may even be that he has someone else that will be there at his families home. Pay attention!

  8. Face it, he’s not in love with you. By not inviting you to Thanksgiving with his family he is insulting you. Especially since he knows you will have to spend the holiday all alone. It does not seem like he cares much about you.

    You say in your post that you went from friends to FWB and now to madly in love. I think this is a clue as to what is going on. Just because a man likes spending time with you and likes having sex with you, does not mean he has long-term plans for the two of you. Six months is plenty of time if you are as close as you say you are.

  9. AMEN JENNIFER! For some people, myself included 6 months is simply too soon to meet the entire extended family.End of story.

  10. I honestly don’t think he wants to go himself, maybe he just wants to spend thanks giving with you since he has offered to do it with you. I might be right or wrong but the only way you’ll find out is asking him, but make sure you don’t accuse him of anything just ask him as if you’re just curious about it and if he’s quite open to telling you what’s up then fair enough but if not you’ll just have to leave the subject alone because quite clearly he doesn’t want to talk about it and you’ll have to respect that.

  11. I would second Jennifer’s comments and add another thought:

    He wouldn’t be inviting you to his house, but to his parents’ house. Big difference. Maybe his mom is already wondering where all the cousins, aunts, grandparents, etc. are going to sleep, and even he will be camping on the couch. I’m facing this exact possibility over inviting my bf home for the holidays. It’s not a matter of inconveniencing myself, but of asking my mother to accommodate yet another person in an already crowded house.

    Sometimes it’s easier to schedule the visit for a more convenient time than to make yourself a (literally and figuratively) uncomfortable guest. Ask him if there is another weekend you could go home to meet everyone that would be less fraught with hospitality tension (New Year’s?) or invite both parents to come to your town for dinner to meet you.

  12. I think you’re making too big of a deal about it. I would feel weird bringing a girl who I haven’t been dating for a year to thanksgiving dinner with me family. Sure it’s selfish, but if I don’t have the time in to know that we’re gonna be together for a long time, I don’t want to have to deal with questions from my family members the next time a holiday rolls around and she’s not there. It’s not that he’s not into you, don’t read that into it. It’s that you have a budding romance and he doesn’t want to tie it down to the expectations of other people.

  13. News flash: he doesn’t want you there, regardless of hints. But there *is* a reason — and that’s where you need to level with him.

    It’s actually very simple, if he loves you and wants you there, you would have been invited already. Time has nothing to do with it either, in my experience. After barely a month of dating, my boyfriend invited me to Easter with his family (I don’t spend holidays with mine either). And I’ve been maybe the third girl who he has introduced to family members.

    Same story, with the last two men I dated — Easter, Christmas, Thanksgiving, whatever. I have been invited because these men WANTED me around and WANTED to show me off.

    I hear this echoing maybe “he’s just not that into you” in the back of my head. But I’m not all that for cliches either.

  14. I’m anti-hint, as a rule. So I think you can have one utterly clear conversation. But just one, and then it is over.

    Tell him exactly what you want, ONCE, tell him that you respect that it’s his decision, ONCE, and then back the fuck off.

    It is also okay to say, ONCE, something like this: “Please stop complaining about it in front of me. I am okay with not going, but this makes me feel bad.”

  15. Ask him, but let him know that you’d be ok if he says no. You’ll feel much better for being honest, and then at least if he doesn’t want to invite you this year, you’ll know the reason why and it’ll put your mind at rest. Because as others have said, there are a few perfectly understandable reasons why he might not have invited you.

  16. Yeah, although you feel strongly for him, you have only been officially dating for a short time. Let him have his family time, let him miss you, and see what happens next year.

  17. I’m clearly in the minority on this on the poll, but DON’T ask him. He doesn’t want to invite you. Believe me, he KNOWS KNOWS KNOWS you want to go. Your hints are anvils. I’m sure he already feels guilty as all hell for not inviting you, but I also suspect he has reasons not to, which he might be embarrassed about. He might have awful other relatives, he might have relatives who assume immediately that any girl who comes to Thanksgiving is his fiancee and he’s not ready to go there yet, he might have a family where girlfriends are NOT okay to be invited to Thanksgiving (I say this because my family told me early on that I don’t get to bring home a guy unless he’s my husband, period.). It’s probably awkward and embarrassing to explain to “outsiders”, and if he tried to explain it to you you’d just try to talk him into bringing you. He’s got his reasons, he feels badly enough, please take the “no” and stop pushing him.

    Also, dear lord, did I ever hate being nagged for three months straight by my last ex about how very very very much he wanted us to be together for the holidays. It made me resent the hell out of him all fall for not taking “you’re not invited, sorry” for an answer.

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