• If you’re considering inviting a new partner home for the holidays, talk to your partner and your family about it.
  • Give your partner the rundown on your family’s celebrations and a cast of characters and choose which events you want to attend.
  • Make sure your family knows about any dietary restrictions your partner has.
  • Don’t talk politics and find opportunities to spend time alone.

Bringing a new romantic partner home with you for the holidays is an exciting relationship milestone. However, it can also be daunting for you, your significant other, and your family.

INSIDER spoke to relationship expert and bestselling authorSusan Winter about the dos and don’ts of bringing someone special home for the holidays. Here are eight ways to make that initial visit as comfortable and enjoyable as possible for everyone involved.

See what your partner thinks first.

Is there a “right” time in your relationship to invite your partner home for the holidays? Winter said that the amount of time you’ve been together isn’t as important as how you feel about them.

“If you feel strongly about this partner, even if you just met, why not extend the offer?” she said. “It’s a very good way to find out where you stand. I don’t think it’s too early if you like each other.”

Feel out your family.

If you’re bringing a significant other home, you’ll need to run it by your family and make sure they’re on board.

“You need to have a preparatory conversation with your family,” said Winter. “Tell them that you’re seeing someone special and you’d like to integrate them into the holiday plans.”

Give your partner the rundown on family members and activities.

Every family has its quirks and kooky relatives that join in on holiday celebrations. Give your partner an idea of who will be there and the protocol for their behaviour, and highlight relatives that you think they’d get along with.

“Give them a ‘what’s up’ as to each person and tell them the conversations to avoid and the conversations they might want to enter,” said Winter.