The first time you meet ‘THE FRIENDS’ can be quite nerve-wracking, there is no denying that. I started thinking about writing this and was a little hesitant, I’ve been married a decade – I don’t remember meeting his friends. Well, actually I do because we were friends first so I knew them.
The more I thought about it the more I realised that this isn’t just a situation that arises at the beginning of a relationship. Regardless of where you are at in a relationship there are going to be times when you need to meet his friends. The type of personality you have will go a long way to dictating how nerve-wracking this is going to be.
As time passes your relationship is going to become more solid and the more solid your relationship is the less likely it is that making a bad impression on his friends is going to damage your relationship.
Still, it’s that first meeting at the beginning of a relationship that’s the scariest. That is the meeting which could impact your relationship and so it is important to approach it the right way.
The most important thing to remember is that you are meeting HIS friends, these are men and they are a totally different creature to the women you are familiar with, don’t expect that a social situation with the boys is going to be anything like what you’re used to with the girls.
You may be nervous about whether they will like you, whether you will be able to make conversation with them and how their opinion of you will affect your relationship with your boyfriend. These are all valid concerns but you have to remember that if he is ready for you to meet his friends then things are already going pretty well. For men, introducing a girlfriend to their friends is an important step that says he cares enough about you to introduce you as his girlfriend and is subconsciously seeking their approval of you.
Men may not talk as openly with their friends as women do, and they don’t talk in the same way, but they still value their opinions so getting along with his friends is important. In a lot of cases it’s a package deal, you get him and, to an extent, you take on his friends as well.
Relax and just be yourself is the ultimate way to survive the first meeting.There is no need to pretend to be something you’re not. His friends will appreciate a genuine attitude and they’ll be more willing to accept you for who you are.
If you know you’re meeting over a BBQ and beers to watch the football and you don’t understand the game you would be better served with honesty; admitting your lack of knowledge and asking them to explain what’s going on is much better than Googling it and trying to bluff your way through. They will spot your bluff and think you’re trying too hard.
Asking them to share their knowledge is a good way to spark conversation and let them know you are interested in what information they can share with you.
Don’t go into a first meeting expecting to hit it off instantly. Many men are more laid back in their friendships than women so don’t be offended if his friends aren’t overly talkative or interested in chatting with you. It doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t like you, it could just be that they aren’t used to making small talk.
Understanding that men aren’t as chatty as women can be a big step towards surviving the first meeting and avoiding the conclusion that they don’t like you.
Finding a good balance is always important. Talking too much can make you seem nosy and over the top, like you are trying too hard. Being too quiet and not involving yourself puts you at risk of seeming snobbish. You need to participate in the conversation between your boyfriend and his friends without trying to dominate the conversation.
Standing quietly and remaining glued to his side is not going to do you any favours. If you don’t make an effort to be involved chances are you will end up feeling like an outsider and his friends will think you aren’t interested in getting to know them.
Another important tip to remember is that what’s okay in other situations isn’t necessarily going to be acceptable in front of his friends, especially at the first meeting, so try not to embarrass him with pet names and talk of your future.
Full on displays of affection could lead to excessive taunting by his friends which can hurt a relationship in it’s early stages. Sometimes it’s easier to pull away from the relationship than take the constant goading of your mates, and in most cases the mates have been around for a lot longer so the relationships are much better cemented.
There will be times that your first meeting with his friends isn’t just going to be you and the boys, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, you will find there are times that first meeting is with his friends, and their girlfriends. Remember that these girlfriends may have been around for quite some time and become friends in their own right so it will pay not to over-share personal information about your relationship or your boyfriend, and don’t try to find out all his secrets. Be polite, be friendly and be yourself! But don’t expect to walk in and get them ‘on side’ straight away, they too are your boyfriend’s friends.
Your friends may come straight out with their disapproval but men deal with situations differently. They may not come straight out and say they disapprove but their relentless taunting can be an even more effective way of ensuring a relationship is ended, without seeming like they had anything to do with it.
On the other hand, approval from your boyfriend’s friends can reinforce his belief that you are the right girl for him and help strengthen the bond growing between you.
Meeting his friends can be scary but if you remember that he likes you for who you are, and he cares enough to want his friends to meet you so he must believe that they’re going to like you too.
Relax, be yourself, make an effort but don’t try too hard and you’ll get through it. After the first time it just gets easier!