4 Safe Conversation Topics at the Thanksgiving Table

Thanksgiving marks the start of the holiday season; It’s the time for family and food. It’s also the yearly time for your significant other to meet the parents if they haven’t already. This might leave you anticipating awkward conversation topics that you’re bound to have with your S.O.’s parents around a lovely Thanksgiving turkey spread. Prepare beforehand, and arm yourself with conversation topics to help prevent the obvious awkward questions your partner’s parents or family members are bound to ask you, such as “When are you getting married?” or”When are you having babies?”

Besides avoiding the awkward conversations, there’s a good reason to get in good with your significant other’s mother and father even if you’re not thinking about marriage yet — chances are at some point, you will be considering it. According to a study mentioned in the Daily Mail, husbands who are well received by their in-laws have a 20% higher chance of avoiding divorce than the average American couple. There you have it, gentlemen, but rest easy — The Cheat Sheet has you covered. Here are four safe Thanksgiving topics to get you through a meal with your S.O.’s parents, and how to prep for the event like a true pro.

Subject No. 1: Food

Source: iStock

Source: iStock

The most obvious of subjects is food. Talk to your partner’s parents and find out how often they cook or who’s responsible for the amazing feast. Is his or her mom a culinary genius or do your S.O.’s parents prefer to have everything catered in? These are all valid little tidbits to steer your conversations in the right direction to avoid anything that makes you want to hide under the table. Start the conversation by asking some specifics about how the food was prepared and what their secret is to it tasting so good. Or if the dinner was catered, ask how they were able to find the time to plan such an intricate event. There are huge bonus points for you if you can flatter your partner’s mother.

Subject No. 2: Their home

This subject, the home, stays within the realm of the easy compliment. Find out from your S.O. if either parent is big into home décor. Ask your partner’s mom when the last time she redecorated was and whether dad assisted in the renovations. Then, use this talk to lead into how you hope to have this much space someday and that you have hopes of designing and turning your place into one that is as warm and inviting of a place as theirs. Try this easy conversation starter: “(Insert name here) I heard you redecorated recently — how did it go?”

Subject No. 3: Their hobbies

Source: iStock

Source: iStock

Turn the conversation to your partner’s mom and dad (again) by asking them what their hobbies are, or if you’ve met them before, ask what they have been up to lately. Use this questioning and exploration as an opportunity to take the conversation (i.e., divert it) and express interest in something they’re passionate about, even if it’s not wholly genuine. For example, if your significant other’s dad is into baseball, try talking to him about the World Series or about potential player trades. Doing this will probably launch the conversation into an old story about his experience with baseball or other passionate interests of his. Diversion and awkwardness avoidance accomplished.

Subject No. 4: Their relationships

Warning: You may be moving into movie territory here. The plus side to this conversation is that if it goes right, the onus of having to explain your relationship and where it’s going will be deflected onto the relationships of others who are at the Thanksgiving table. This may be tricky, but it’s essential. If there is extended family present, then you need to know who is married to whom and if anyone is separated or divorced so you can address everyone properly and know what the entire story on everyone is. To keep the conversation going, if there are people at the table who are in decades-long marriages, use that opportunity to ask them what their secret is to a healthy, long-lasting relationship. For example, if your partner’s grandparents are present, why not ask them for some advice on how to keep a relationship as strong and as long-lasting as theirs?

Before you know it, not only will you be a hit at the Thanksgiving table, but you’ll probably earn a vote of confidence from your S.O.’s mom that you’re a pretty great guy. Mission accomplished.

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