The friends-meet-man intro can be as daunting as introducing your dude to your family. There’s a ton of build up, lots of judgment (even if it’s coming from a good place, it’s judgment) and nerves. Plus, with friends, you can’t explain away their behavior by saying “Eh, I’m related to them!” You picked your friends. They’re a true reflection of you! So, here are some easy dos and don’ts for making sure the friend meet-n-greet goes well.
DO Keep it short
“Leave ‘em wanting more” is an old expression from showbiz. (I think.) But it can apply to just about anything and I’d definitely say it works for initial meetings with your man and your friend group. An hour or two is plenty for a first meeting. Keep it to a meal or one activity that’s easy to end whenever the momentum slows. No one’s their best when they’re socially exhausted and meeting new people you’re trying to impress is exhausting. Do your man a favor and be sure the first few times he hangs out with your friends are short and sweet. So, no day trips with the gang until he considers himself part of the gang.
DON’T Make it too involved
Introducing a boyfriend to your group of friends is high stakes enough. You don’t need to add to it with complicated logistics. Pick a place or event that’s easy for everyone. Think about traffic and parking. Make sure it’s a restaurant with easy seating where people can grab a table before the whole group is there. Try not to go to a show that sells out quickly. Keep it easy breezy in the beginning. You want people focusing on how much fun they’re having with their man, not the stress of showing up.
DO Have an activity
That being said, sitting around and talking sometimes isn’t enough to make a first hang out session fun. A distraction free hang sesh can be stilted when not everyone is comfortable with the group. So, think of an easy activity you can pull out if things get stuffy. Maybe cards or watching YouTube videos or a game. Have a little something or idea on hand to make it easy to shift the conversation beyond just get to know you banter.
DON’T Meet everyone at once
Slow and steady wins the race. Don’t feel like you need to introduce your new man to everyone important in your life all at once. I get the inclination to want to get the awkwardness of first meetings over as soon as possible, but an avalanche of first encounters will up the awkward factor and make everyone involved less likely to look forward to a second meeting. Do a few people at a time and make each meeting as cozy and personal as possible. It’ll take a bit longer to work through your list of folks to meet, but the process will be sustainable and much less painful.
DO Have booze
Duh. This makes everything easier.
DON’T Babysit him
Your man is a man. He can take care of himself. This isn’t the first time he’s met new people. He definitely knows how to do this. Don’t sweat supervising him or facilitating every conversation. A supportive touch or a quick check in to be sure he’s enjoying himself is great. But, you don’t need to babysit the guy.
Good luck with your meet and greets! Remember, what’s important is that your guy is great and your friends are great and everyone involved thinks you’re great. With all that in common, how could they not wind up getting along?