Was I rude on accident for not introducing my boyfriend to my boss?
August 8, 2014 4:04 PM Subscribe
I'm a teacher who didn't introduce my boyfriend to my supervisor at an informal gathering and I'm wondering if I should apologize to to him [the supervisor]? Was this rude or perhaps OK for the circumstance?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (14 answers total)
I just attended a back-to-school picnic for faculty and staff as well as their families and friends. It was good but much more awkward this time as I brought along my boyfriend of a year*, and I'd previously kept my personal life very separate from work these past eight years, save for a few close colleagues. (In fact, I think some coworkers had thought I was in the closet, which is somewhat true as I'm bisexual and the old administration was not gay-friendly but this is an opposite-sex situation.) I've been in this happy and committed relationship for a year and, therefore, was feeling ready to finally mix the two a bit (and so pleased my boyfriend agreed to come along!)
Overall, it was fine determining when to introduce him to others and when to just take it easy: usually people only introduce their family members to their tablemates and the colleagues they know well. The event was somewhat chaotic with not enough seating and lots of moving around. At one point, my boyfriend and I were waiting the buffet line (across from each other); my boyfriend was standing next to my supervisor, who was also in line (but who was looking ahead and didn't turn to chat with us.) I wasn't sure what to do, paused and smiled a hello to the boss but then kept chatting with my closer colleagues and boyfriend.
Looking back, I'm worried I accidentally snubbed my boss of going-on two years, whom I respect and who seems to hold me in high regards, too. My boyfriend mentioned afterwards that he wasn't sure about the whole thing either but was leaving the introductions up to me, which is very understandable. Now I wish I had said something but, then again, my supervisor didn't introduce me to his wife and children at the picnic last year when we sat nearby (but we did finally at the holiday party when we shared a table.) I mean, my boss could have also been like, "Hey, I'm xyz." but I know it was really on me and, honestly, my supervisor might not have even been paying attention to us. Ultimately, I think it was OK either way but I'd like to make sure I'm showing my boss the proper respect, and wondering if a quick apology when I see him next is best, a la "Hey, sorry I didn't get to introduce you to my boyfriend abc last night as things got a bit hectic in line. What a great picnic, hope you had a good time!" or just let it go.
*Not completely related but a reason for some of the general awkwardness: my boyfriend is 25 but graduated from the school six years ago, making introductions for most unnecessary. It's awkward because there were two years of overlap when I was a new teacher and he was an upperclassman. However, we didn't even know each other existed until well after, so there's no conflict of interest; hopefully, it doesn't seem that way either as we're both adults, many staff members are new, and I look a bit younger than my 30. I guess many older teachers recognized him as he's quite memorable but did not come up to say hello, which I mention to describe the awkward atmosphere some more.
Thank you in advance for your feedback! I'm VERY professional as a teacher by myself but now that I'm starting to mix my work and personal life, I'm going to have to become better about this stuff!