Just some things to keep in mind when meeting your love’s friends

At some point in every romantic relationship, the inevitable big meet-up happens. Except I’m not talking about meeting the parents, I’m talking about meeting the friends. And with people going to each other’s hometowns for the holidays and New Year’s around the corner, the likelihood of this happening is pretty high.

Dun dun dunnnnn.

But fear not: you’re wonderful and lovely and amazing. And, also, we got you.

We concocted a few things that will help you when you’re about to have that significant hang out with your significant other’s significant friends. Hint: it’s significant.

Ask questions. This may seem obvious, but don’t just be an observer, even if it can feel overwhelming. A great way to jump in and feel a part of things is by asking genuine questions. A good one is “how do you guys know each other?” or even better, if you know the answer, you frame it like, “So you guys used to run the marketing department back in the day?” Points for paying attention and points for giving someone a platform to talk about themselves.

Don’t be clingy. Man is this one hard to follow, but it’s key. I remember meeting a recent boyfriend’s buddies after work one night and being in a sheer panic when he excused himself to go get more drinks. Watching him walk away felt like it was slow motion, but the upside was it was my chance to show I was a cool customer who had plenty to offer and say. So don’t be your significant other’s shadow, even if it feels the most comfortable.

Watch it with the PDA. Your significant other’s friends want to see that you care about him, not that you care about putting your tongue down his mouth at every opportunity. Take it easy on the lovey-dovey talk and stand-spooning, for your friends’ stomach’s sake.

Go with the flow. So the gang suddenly wants to play beer pong? Or go bowling? Or some other scenario that doesn’t make them sound like a frat house? Go with it. There is nothing worse than a friend bringing around their significant other for the first time and this person is the squeaky wheel when it comes to where to go or what to do. You’re the new girl; you earn the right to be that opinionated and annoying. For now, your job is to be lovely. YOU CAN DO IT.

Don’t spill any secrets. Yes, everyone deep down suspects that people who are dating tell each other a lot of their friends’ secrets, but no one wants to know it for sure. So, if your boyfriend told you that Derek told him that he is still hung up on Lisa in confidence, make sure not to air it like public knowledge.

Be nice to or about the ex. Surprise! Your current love’s ex may still kinda roll with his or her homies. And even if that’s not the case, the ex may come up in convo, or in photos. Your job is to bite your tongue, even if the joke or comment you’re gonna make is so good. Take the high road for now and you’ll be thankful later.

Bring something to the table. Especially if you’re meeting at a dinner party or cocktail party at someone’s house, make sure to bring a bottle of wine, or some food or some sort of contribution. Rule of thumb: empty hands, empty hearts. I don’t know, I just made that one up.

Drink with caution. The only thing you want your boyfriend or girlfriend’s crew to be discussing after you leave is how great you two are together, not how many tequila shots you had. It can be really easy to try and “water down” your anxiety with one too many adult beverages

Watch it with the snap judgements. It’s really fun to get in the car after a party and dissect the evening; what happened, who was there, what was so and so thinking. But remember, for this first meeting, you’ve only just scratched the surface on these people. So give them the benefit of the doubt. And let’s face it, we all think our own friends are better than everyone else’s.

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