If you’re dating and think your partner has serious long-term potential they will eventually have to meet your friends and family. Assuming your friends and family are open-minded and tolerant people, these tips will help you get through the awkward stages of the initial introduction:
1. Your friends and family should know your partner exists
If you want to go about the business of introducing your partner to your friends or relatives, make sure that they know this person exists. If you’ve never heard the phrase “Well when do we get to meet them“, they’ve probably never heard of your partner. Bring them up in casual conversation, or mention what you did with them during the week or weekend so that at least know your partner exists before they meet them.
2. Pick the location wisely
Location is a huge factor in how well your introduction can go. Depending on the personality type of your partner, your friends, or family, certain locations don’t work. You might take your partner to meet your friends at your favorite bar, but having them meet the family at the same bar is maybe not the best move for you. Figure out what setting works best so that both your partner and the person or people they are meeting are both as much in their element as possible.
3. Set expectations for your partner and your friends/family
For some people, meeting friends and family is no big deal, for others it is. I’ve dated women multiple women’s groups of friends but I can count on my hand how many women I’ve dated have met my friends. Meeting the family is generally a pretty big deal for just about everyone, but how big of a deal can be up for interpretation. Does it mean you’re on the path to marriage, kids, or just that your mom was in town and wants to meet your partner? Whatever the case, be sure that you set expectations of what the meeting means and also, what to expect during the meeting.If your parents or friends are a bit judgmental about your partner’s line of work, give them a heads up. Things like that.
4. Introduce them
Ah, on to the actual introduction. I know it sounds simple but you really need to actually introduce your partner. “Hi, this is Partner, Partner this is Friend/Family member”. If it’s a large group, try to do face to face introductions with a many people as you can. This is important because eventually, you want your partner to be able to talk to your friends or family when you’re not in the room.
5. Facilitate conversation
Meeting strangers can be awkward, but having extended conversations with strangers can be even worse. During your introductions to people, bring up common ground that your partner might share with who you are introducing them to. It can be anything: Where they’re from, what movie or television show they love, or their shared love of a certain cuisine. Whatever their common ground might be, bring it up to facilitate a conversation.
Planned introductions always have a bit of awkwardness to them, but these tips will help you make these introductions as smooth as possible.
Good Luck Out There.