Tips for meeting new girlfriend's friends at a big party. Help me not just survive, but make a great first impression (plus a couple other complications).
posted by althanis to human relations (44 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
So it's been 3 months or so now, and her birthday party is soon. There are going to be anything from 25-40 people depending on how many people show up. It'll be at the condo for a few hours, then to a bar for more drinks and dancing. She's been single for about a year I think before we got together. Our relationship is pretty strong, we communicate very well with each other, and apart from one pretty intense, emotional conversation that bothered both of us a bit (but we acknowledged we had to have it), everything's been going really well, just assume that. We hang out about twice a week,; I sleep over once, sometimes twice, a week (she has a roomate who I get along with well).
There are a few challenges about the party. She is a very extroverted, out going person; makes friends in 2 minutes with everyone. I, on the other hand, am mostly average to shy, but do have moments of brilliance when it comes to sociability. I'm not at all inept; I consider myself pretty skilled at conversation, can pass the ball back and forth, ask great questions (or else I would still be single), but I mostly do well with just a 2 person conversation. People almost always like me, but it's more of a he's such a good, polite, smart and quiet guy, as opposed to she's such a buoyant, bubbly person!!!
While I don't have superclose relationships with my friends, she does with her friends. They are really important to her and play a big part of her life. So of course I want to make a really great first impression.
This will also be the first time we're hanging out with other people; every other time we've been on dates alone, so we've had 100% of the other persons attention. She did (unnecessarily) point out to be that she'll be mingling, etc. to which I replied of course. A few introductions, and I should be good to go especially after a beer or 2, just don't abandon me all night.
Some harder stuff. She said she's pretty affectionate with her friends - she usually goes around hugging her guy and girl friends, with her arm around their waist while chatting, and wonders whether that will bother me or not. To be honest even I don't know the answer to this question. I only hug her and my immediate family, I don't like people in my personal space. I don't think she's a huge flirt and will behave inappropriately either. I of course said if it were ever an issue I'd let her know sometime AFTER that night, and wouldn't make a big deal out of it or anything, it's just something that we'd discuss and see if there's something we can work out.
She's also a little nervous about my seeing that side of her. She is a couple years younger than I am, has a pretty good job and is single (well, unmarried) and does get drunk (not irresponsibly - they take cabs, it's always groups of close friends) and enjoy herself with her friends and go dancing etc. I am not worried about her cheating at all, and see nothing wrong with this. She just worries a bit that I'd be put off by that (this sort of night happens probably every few months, so it's not a big deal to me. Even if it were, that'd be my problem, not hers). Since I don't dance, I'd probably join them at the bar for another beer or two and leave them to have their fun. I guess she's worried because we are pretty different in this way.
But it's an opportunity to meet her friends, get along well with them, in the future we all hang out together, and maybe even I hang out with her guy friends alone doing guy stuff, because that's how things generally develop.
We have acknowledged that we are pretty different in lots of ways, but similar in important ways too (wanting a family, financially responsible, believe education is important, sense of humour, sexually compatible, etc.)
What tips can you give me?
Should I just be myself and hope they like me?
Should I try really hard go way out of my comfort zone to try and be much more sociable?
What about the physical affection thing - everyone has different standards about how much they're comfortable with, so I know it's either I'm comfortable, or I deal with it because it's my problem and not hers. I don't want her to change anything about herself.
Any good success stories, anecdotes?
Do you think we are too different to make this a success?