Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Strange Encounters Of The Friend Kind

Last night, I met the friends. Let's be candid here-- in the past, I haven't been so much the "into dating/ bring me home to your parents/ introduce me to your friends" type. In the past, I've been the "don't you dare pay for my meal/ bring me home to spend the night/ run into your roommates in the morning on the way out after trying to avoid seeing them" girl. But since I'm trying to do things right this time, instead of hiding out in sweats at home on the couch with the Law & Order SVU marathon, I put my big girl panties on and went forth to do the meet-and-greet thing. And let me tell you, not only has it been nice to be doing the "normal" seeing-someone thing, it was really nice to formally meet the friends, too. If it went well for me (which I think it did), it can go well for YOU, too. Because you are probably less socially awkward than I am.

I've met guy's friends before, but it always amazes me the amount of stress it puts on you, and the amount of worrying a girl can do about it. Because I prepared and knew what to expect, for the most part, I was able to roll with it when his friend unexpectedly referred to me as "the wifey" instead of bugging the fuck out, screaming "Oh, HELL NO," and running away. It does really pay off. So, here are the top 5 things I've learned from both this experience, as well as others in the past:

First and foremost, recognize that this is important to him. You know what a big deal it is for you when a guy meets your friends-- you want them to be charmed by him just like your ass was, and you want him to get along with them, because if he doesn't, well...we all know, it's hoes before bros and bitches before hitches. Sure, he may be able to give your multiple Os, but your friends are the ones who know where you hid your emergency chocolate stash in your house and what you really did last summer. And they have photographic evidence. Same goes for him-- introducing a new boo to friends is never easy, so if he's asking to make this happen, get over your damn self. He's making a declaration here-- if he wants you to meet the people who are important to him, it means you're not disposable to him, and in fact, that YOU are also important to him. I was so fucking nervous I had nightmares the night before about having to get in girl friends' faces and tell them to talk to him about why I was there. I woke up at 8 AM to plan my outfit for something that was happening at 8 PM-- I just couldn't sleep I was so nervous. I even prayed in the shower. So if I could put aside those worries and get there to be there for him, so can you. Plus, if you asked him to do something, you'd pitch a fit if he wussed out about it. Consider this the same thing, but in reverse.

Know who you're dressing for. Sure, he may be wanting to show you off a little bit, but he doesn't want to be prying his boys off of your goodies. You're going to want to dress a little bit hot so that he feels good and so that his buddies know you're a catch, but you also don't want to be so obvious that his girl friends KNOW that you're trying too hard. Because they will be on to you, sister. Think about what it's like when you meet your friend's new girlfriends-- what outfit choices have you approved of? When in doubt, it's always best to highlight one asset and keep the rest under wraps-- because I wore my certified man-eater pleather leggings that I know both the boy and the rest of huMANity love and leather boots with small heels, I wore a casual sweater-dress that covered up the girls on top. It covered my leather-clad ass, but hugged it just so-- something that wasn't distracting while we were all sitting and drinking, but was enough to make me feel confident and sexy when standing or walking. And keep the make-up and hair fresh, clean, and neutral-- this is not a time for dark bedroom eyes or to make a statement. Play dress up later. With him. Later, when everyone else is gone.

Go alone. Jesus Christ, GO ALONE. You are a big girl. You don't need reinforcements. If you drag a friend along for yourself, not only are you instantly taken to be a huge pussy, but there are huuuge chances that instead of actually talking to his friends and getting to know each other, you're just going to cling to your security blanket when things start to get awkward. Not attractive. If you're supremely nervous, have an out-- a friend who will call you for a 5 minute reprieve if things start to get sketchy and you send them a blank text so you can duck out for a breather to regroup, or plans to "bump into someone" while you're out, or make a deadline of when you have to leave by. Always remember-- if you are, for some reason, bringing your girl or meeting other people while you're out, always make sure it's ok with the party that you're with, first. No one likes random party crashers, and that's what YOUR friends will be to this group of HIS friends.

Make sure this is an alcohol-included event. We all remember our 21st birthdays. Actually, no, if you were doing it right, you shouldn't remember it all. So birthdays are good. But in fact, any celebration where drinking is involved will do. Because I think we all know by now, people who like alcohol are prone to turning into people who need to be picked up after. And if you really care about this dude, like you SHOULD, you'll be picking up after him and taking care of him. And hopefully, his friends, who also care about him, will see this, and they'll get it-- you like him. This is good. They know you're serious about it; you're not the kind of girl to run screaming when a little beer gets spilled on your dress. Instead, you're the kind of girl who's going to get the paper towels. Draw a fine line between "mother/personal assistant" and "lover" and exist there. Don't whip out your Tide To Go pen and wipe up his shirt for him if he spills-- just find him another one as soon as possible. And if worse comes to worse, make sure there's alcohol because you might end up needing it for yourself.

And last but certainly not least, let him set the tone. Some guys aren't all that open to their friends about what exactly your relationship with them is, especially if it's The Time Before Labels. I've definitely met the friends of guys I was sleeping with and been introduced as "my friend" or just by my name. From there, I knew how I was supposed to act, and dropping the bomb about that thing that he did in bed last night with his tongue was probably not going to fly. Conversely, when I showed up last night, the chair next to the birthday boy was relinquished to me, an arm went around me, everyone already knew who I was from word-of-mouth, and then he kissed me. Obviously, the jig was up. They knew; I knew they knew. From there, it was like any regular meet-and-greet: introductions, how everyone knows each other, polite conversation, what you have in common, blah blah blah. Remember what my friends reminded me of before I went: If they know about you, and haven't met you yet, they're eternally curious about you. So talk to them. Be your charming self. Know your strong points-- casual harmless flirting if you're a guy's girl like me, warm smiles if you've got a great grin, the best joke you know if you're funny, etc.-- and USE THEM. DO NOT admit to Facebook creepin' on them. Do shake hands if you want to make a confident first impression, and if it's not awkward. And keep those PDAs to a minimum, even if you are getting those public kisses initiated by him-- you don't want to nauseate your new friends. Even if they're used to him, they're just getting to know you.


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