Last weekend, I had the pleasure of meeting what felt like every single one of my girlfriend’s friends at once. A combination of her hometown friends visiting and all of her college friends planning a Saturday Funday culminated in me walking into a trendy brunch spot and meeting literally 24 of her closest friends at once. I’m proud to say I killed it, and was apparently given “hard approval” by the people whose opinion she values, and I’m here to give you advice to do the same.
Don’t be disgustingly hungover. This is a “do as I say, not as I do” piece of advice. I had aggressively blacked out the night before, and by the time I walked into brunch (twenty minutes late), I had a full-blown case of the shakes. This is not a good way to start your first impression. You want to be on your A-game, and having multiple people ask if you’re ok while you perform your fourth double-handed face wipe of the morning is not a great look. Luckily most of the group had also gone hard the night before, so my general disheveled demeanor was not only accepted, but actually welcomed.
Do wear your best outfit. I may have rolled into this brunch late, smelling like well tequila and possessing the conversation ability of a four-year-old on Novocain, but damn, did I look good. Think of meeting the friends as a second first date, but now in speed dating form. Your only job is to make your significant other look good, and the easiest way to do that is by looking good yourself. Everyone wants to be proud of how hot their boyfriend or girlfriend is, and the last thing you want is to hear something along the lines of “he usually looks better than this” muttered as a justification of your shitty outfit choice. If you catch one of them giving your significant other a subtle fist bump under the table within 30 seconds of you meeting the friends, you done won the outfit game.
Do your research. I was first informed about this brunch about five days prior, and I used those five days to get all the information I could about the people I would be meeting. I’m horrible with names, so I had my girlfriend show me pictures of her friends in an attempt to put faces with names beforehand to avoid looking like an asshole at game time. I also tried to lock down basic details of the more important friends like how they knew each other and what they did for a living. During brunch, instead of trying desperately to remember the name of the friend that I had introduced myself to eight minutes prior, I was free to focus on actually making good conversation and enjoying myself. The easiest way to get people to like you is to make it seem like you’re interested in them, and pretending to remember details they had told you an hour before is a great way to do that. I think I studied more for this brunch than I did my first semester in college (during which I racked up a gentleman’s 1.9 GPA).
Don’t latch on to your significant other. I know, meeting new people can be intense, especially when everyone knows each other and you’re the odd one out. However, if you’re just a shadow of your boyfriend or girlfriend, everyone will assume you have no personality and can’t handle yourself in social situations. It’s much better to have the same “fraternity rush”-style conversation with a bunch of people than it is to only be in conversations with whoever your boyfriend or girlfriend is talking to. No one wants to have to babysit their partner in social settings, and nothing gets a girl more turned on than knowing her boyfriend is the life of the party.
Do keep to the drinking pace of the group. Assuming you’re meeting the friends in a scenario where drinks are being consumed, don’t lead the race or fall behind. You don’t want to be the star of “the time our friend’s boyfriend blacked out and was puking in the bar” story, but you also don’t want to be “that guy who had two beers and just sat there quietly all night.” Alcohol is a social lubricant. Use it to your advantage. Luckily, my girlfriend’s friends are a rowdy bunch, so I fit in perfectly. Within an hour multiple glasses had been spilled/broken, and I made the executive decision to request several pitchers of mimosa for the table to really get our money’s worth on the bottomless deal we had all gotten. I think that move alone was what got me high praise from the girlfriend’s group of
Don’t tease your significant other too much. As someone who’s game has been described as “being a real douchebag, but in a funny way,” I know that teasing is often a core part of flirting. I make fun of my girlfriend constantly with a (probably incorrect) confidence that she likes me enough to not break up with me. However, when you’re meeting her friends for the first time, this will just come off as you being an asshole. The number one thing girls are looking out for when meeting a friend’s boyfriend is whether he treats her right. While my girlfriend and I both know I’m kidding when I tease her, her friends would assume I’m an emotionally abusive dickhead and immediately start lobbying for her to cut ties with me. You can poke a little fun at her, but tread very carefully. For girls meeting your boyfriend’s friends, however, I would say do the exact opposite. If my buddy’s girlfriend joins in with us shit talking him, she’s automatically seen as one of the guys and will get high praise. I once had a friend’s girlfriend who, within fifteen minutes of meeting her, called him a “big old labia” for not taking a shot, and it was the funniest fucking thing I’ve ever heard. I’m almost positive that comment led to their eventual breakup three weeks later, but our friend group loved her.
Do leave a little early. Let’s be real, you can only be charming for so long before you get too drunk, say something weird, or just get tired of having the same conversations with different people. Everyone has their own limits, but I think after about four hours, most of us are not going to still be on our A-game with meeting new people. When you’re with your friends, it’s totally normal to hang out for 12 straight hours because if/when you say some weird shit or get quiet, your friends laugh it off or don’t care. However, when you’re trying to make a great impression, all it takes are a few weird moments to change people’s perceptions of you. The longer you stay, the greater the odds of you slipping up. I would recommend having a preset excuse that lets you leave after a few hours. You don’t want to be rude, but it’s better to leave a little early than overstay your welcome. Plus, your significant other and their friends secretly want you to leave a little early so they can talk about you. It’s a win-win.
Get out there and charm the (figurative, not literal) pants off your boyfriend or girlfriend’s friends. Or don’t take any of my advice and show up shitfaced, call your girlfriend a bitch, and try and make out with her best friend. Then let me know how it goes, because I love a good story..
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