Have yourself a dysfunctional little Christmas

Stress and holidays go together like overcooked turkey and dry dressing and what’s more stressful than the thought of a new love interest meeting your entire dysfunctional family?

Seriously, what do you do? Bring your new squeeze home to meet your scrapping siblings or come up with a glib excuse to keep them away? Warn them about Uncle Toby’s drinking problem ahead of time or cross your fingers and hope he doesn’t attack them under the mistletoe?  

I’ve certainly been in the unenviable and (awkward!) position of introducing a new date to the dysfunctional family fold — as have many others – and thought it might be a fun topic to explore for Match.com’s Happen Magazine.

According to psychotherapist Tina Tessina, prepping a new love interest for the family dynamic is crucial (i.e., “By the way, honey, if my brother-in-law offers to show you his stomach surgery scar, tell him no or else you won’t be able to eat dinner”). Secret signals can also come in handy, like a finger across the throat when your new girlfriend keeps encouraging Grandpa to discuss his recent teabagging escapades (political and otherwise).

Wondering how you can reconcile a new boyfriend or girlfriend with an alcoholic dad, a hoarding mom and/or a trio of sniping sisters-in-law? Then click here and read on. And as always, feel free to share your own stories of dysfunctional family gatherings (is there any other kind?).  Merry Christmas, friends and readers, and all the best to you — and your families — in 2010.  

2 Responses to “Have yourself a dysfunctional little Christmas”


  1. 1 Tina B. Tessina, PhD "Dr. Romance" December 25, 2009 at 1:03 pm

    Well put, Diane! When loveable but demented Aunt Sadie keeps asking your boyfriend “Who are you?” it helps if he’s been prepped beforehand. Merry Christmas to you, your readers, and everyone’s cherished, but not always simple, families!

  2. 2 Sammi February 1, 2010 at 5:00 pm

    Great blog! I enjoyed reading some of your clips and will be adding you to my blogroll!
    As for this post, I’ve never had to bring a boyfriend home for the holidays. The one boyfriend I did have, I grew up with, so our families already knew each other. I’ve been single for a little more than three years, so have never had to face this predicament. I guess we’ll just have to see what future holidays hold!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s




What’s my story?

I'm a former freelance writer, now gainfully employed at Fred Hutch (views and f-bombs all my own).

I write about health and health care; cancer research and the cancer experience; dating, lifestyle and singles issues and lots of other stuff including humor and fiction and a few songs here and there.

Book info below.

Looking for my breast cancer blog? Go to doublewhammied

Where are my books?

How to Date in a Post-Dating World A dating manual for the modern, mangled single.

Single State of the Union
Single women speak out on life, love and the pursuit of happiness.

Fifty Shades of Brains
Sex. Zombies. Really annoying present tense narration.

Follow me on Twitter!

December 2009
M T W T F S S
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031  

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: