When Your Partner Meets Your Friends
Planning the initial introduction.
Posted September 23, 2021 | Reviewed by Lybi Ma
- Having the support of our friends can enhance our relationships.
- Carefully plan the way in which your partner meets your friends.
- Everyone should feel relaxed and enjoy their time together.
Friends play an important role in our lives. They often become part of our extended families, offering us support and love. In fact, our relationships with our friends can also influence our romantic entanglements. Research has shown that support from friends increases the quality of a relationship (Sprecher & Felmlee, 1992). If the approval and support of our friends can lead to happiness within our relationships, how and when should we introduce the people from these two different domains?
While you should do what is most comfortable for you, some simple suggestions are offered below:
1. Get to know one another on a deep level before bringing in your friends
While it’s always great to get your friends’ opinions, everyone has their own unique perspective and view of the world. Just because you click with someone doesn’t necessarily mean that your friends will. A bad review early on (which may not actually be about your partner) may influence your feelings and negatively affect a potentially wonderful relationship. Give yourself time to get to know one another and establish your relationship before bringing your partner to meet your friends.
2. Plan a group event in which your friends also bring their significant others
Introducing your partner to a close, tight-knit group can be daunting, as your partner will inevitably be the “outsider.” Plan an informal group get-together so that it is easy to move from friend to friend and mingle. You don’t want to present your date to a group of individuals firing questions about their intentions and the future of your relationship. If your friends bring their own significant others, not only does your partner have the opportunity to connect with people important in your life, but also to create relationships with others who were introduced to the social circle in the same manner.
3. Carefully consider the location and type of event
It is important to think about the location in which your partner will meet your friends. Sitting down to dinner may be challenging, as now your significant other needs to try to connect with people across the table or across the room. As mentioned above, selecting a venue in which you two are free to roam from one friend to another, while engaging in conversation, is best. It is also helpful to pick an activity that allows everyone to talk (as opposed to silently watching a movie) and an activity that doesn’t require too much concentration (such as a lecture), so you are able to communicate freely and have fun. Some good examples of interactive and fun activities are trivia, karaoke, happy hour, or a street fair. Of course, you want your partner to be comfortable. If they are really uncomfortable singing, karaoke may not be the best choice.
4. Be ready to reverse the roles
While you may take great comfort in finally introducing the person you have been spending so much time with to your friends, remember that it doesn’t stop there. It is important to meet your partner’s friends as well, keeping the relationship fair and balanced. Just as your friends’ input and support matters to you, so does the feedback from your significant other’s friends. Think about the way that you would want to meet your partner’s friends and model this in the initial meeting with your friends.
Good luck and have fun!
Sprecher, S., & Felmlee, D. (1992). The influence of parents and friends on the quality and stability of romantic relationships: A three wave longitudinal investigation. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 54(4), 888-900.