Everyone knows that feeling. That feeling of really starting to like someone. The late night booty calls are getting boring and casually dating mindless idiots is beginning to feel like an enormous waste of time. You’ve found someone. You like them. You really like them. Screwing it up? Not something you want to do. One way to do it? Introducing your new love interest to your close, tight-knit group of obnoxious friends who tend to lack tact when it comes to the important skill of conversation.
Currently, a good friend of mine (who will be referred to as ‘Friend’ for the purpose of this story) is stuck in the messy situation described above. He actually likes someone (amen, it’s about time!). Being the nosy person I am, I want all the details. Obviously, this girl has to stand up to all of my requirements and criterion in a mate for Friend. 1. She has to be cool. 2. Insensitive sense of humor is a must. 3. She must roll with the punches. Finally, and most importantly, 4. She must absolutely and unequivocally care for Friend. Everyone is sensitive at the beginning of a what-could-be relationship. And, if there’s one thing I don’t like, it’s a friend with a broken heart. So girlfriend, be good to him or you’ll have to answer to me!
So, the big question. When do you make the introductions? The friend in question above has been on a lot of dates. Some relationships have lasted a couple of months, while others a couple of hours.
There was an incident about 6 months ago where yours truly almost ruined a date night for Friend. It was a warm Saturday night on the Upper West Side when Ryan, my then boyfriend (now fiancée, yay!), and I decided to step out for dinner and drinks… a few too many drinks. On our walk home, we coincidentally bumped into Friend and his plus one. The four of us walked together 3 blocks north – Ryan and I headed home, Friend and his friend making their way to the liquor store. Though I don’t remember much (sorry mom, too many shots), apparently I ruffled some feathers with my sarcastic wit, asking questions about meeting the family, and obnoxiously putting pressure on a new relationship. We parted ways at the liquor store, and as Ryan and I crossed the final cross walk on our journey home, he turned to me and said, “Shelby, what the hell was that?” Confused and befuddled by the severity of his statement, the only thing I could muster up was “huh?” He went on to explain my behavior. The next day, Friend explained it as well. And, Friend was not happy. BUT, Friend is still my close friend, so no worries there.
Let’s get back on target. When do you introduce your new loved one to your current loved ones? Friend is once again not willing to introduce the girl he likes, really likes, to our boisterous group for fear we might scare her away. This weekend, Ryan and I are lending our apartment to our close friend and Southern Peach, Heather, where she will host her Southern Christmas Dinner (don’t worry, we’re lighting the menorah, too!). I asked Friend if he wanted to invite “New Girl” but his response was not overly positive. He enthusiastically stated, “You guys are like a too hot jacuzzi,” meaning, diving in to our group head first will only leave you burning. “One step at a time,” he said. Continuing with his diatribe he remarked, “I mean, Jesus, look what happened when I coincidentally ran into you and Ryan with [redacted] for the first time.” Ok, I already apologized for that. And to top it all off Friend says, “The last thing I need is to have [redacted] sitting there when an anal bead convo starts up.” Will it? Probably not. But when you gather this group of uninhibited, out of control, insane platoon of people around a dining table, I suppose you never really know.
I don’t presume there is one particular time to introduce your new love interest to your friends and family. My advice is to wait until you feel confident in your relationship. If you’re confident in what you have with your partner, one night of debauchery won’t change anything. And if this person is really meant for you, the night of debauchery will be right up her alley!
Good luck to all the lovers out there! Tis the season for…. I don’t know, but for something! Happy Holidays, everyone!