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I think congratulations are in order. You’ve successfully courted a gal you’ve had your eye on for the last couple of months and all of those late night drunken hookups inside of bar bathrooms have evolved slowly over time into grabbing dinners (dollar slices and Taco Bell at 3:00 a.m. do not count) and hanging out completely sober with one another.
You’re now in a full-blown relationship. You’ve met her parents a few times, you guys sleep over at one another’s respective pads two or three times a week and just about everything seems to be in order other than her friends. They’re protective as they should be, and you don’t just win their trust over night. That’s not how this works.
I don’t pretend to be some sort of dating guru, and I wouldn’t dare speak on behalf of women on this topic. I’ll only tell you what I know. Some of these points may seem obvious, but men are stupid and it’s good to refresh our memory from time to time.
One of the best ways to learn how to do something is by thinking about what NOT to do. And that’s exactly what I’m trying to get across with this column. It’s the classic Costanza rule. Whatever your gut instinct is when it comes to her friends, do the exact opposite and that is usually the right move. Here are a few do’s and don’ts that I think will help anyone ingratiate themselves with friends of the girl that you are currently dating.
DO: Engage in self-deprecating conversation when your girlfriend has stepped away
Let’s say you’re out at a bar with a bunch of your girlfriend’s friends. There are going to be a few occasions where your girlfriend will have to use the bathroom and leave you alone with her posse. This can be awkward the first few times you really start tying one on with these people.
Chances are, they’ve already heard and dissected every fight the two of you have ever had, and they have every right to be on her side of any and all arguments. They also probably know what you’re like in bed, whether or not you have a servicable penis, and how often you go down on her.
I wouldn’t come right out and directly address any huge fight you and your girlfriend have had, but if one of them brings up an instance where you were being an ass, own it and just tell the friends sitting at the table that you’ve learned (albeit, slowly) that your girlfriend is always 100 percent of the time the correct party. That’s a joke that lands 10 out of 10 times because it’s fucking true.
DON’T: Let your drunkest friend hit on one of your girlfriends biffles
There is a very good chance that many of your friends and many of your girlfriend’s friends are single and ready to mingle. That does not automatically mean that any of them would be compatible, and it is especially true when you’re just trying to get on everyone’s good side.
The best way to start off on the right foot is to keep any of your belligerently drunk friends far, far away from the pretty girls that your girlfriend hangs out with. And I think you know which belligerent friends I mean – they’re the ones who are violently single because when they hit the bar they get cross eyed and can’t form sentences. Again, you know who I’m talking about here. Just use your best judgment, and maybe try a responsible work friend for the girl in the friend group who keeps asking if you have any single friends.
DO: Text them for advice on birthday gifts and fun date nights
Want to show the people in your girlfriends life that you actually care about her? Start a group text message with all of them and let them know that you’re having trouble buying a gift for your girlfriend. It doesn’t have to be her birthday – as a matter of fact it’s better if it’s a spontaneous gift. No one knows your GF better than the friends she gets sloshed with on the weekends. Gauge how they feel about Lulu leggings and sushi dinners even if you already know what your girlfriend likes. It just shows them that you give a shit.
DON’T: Hit on or try to hook up with anyone who is friends with your girlfriend
I know this should be obvious, but I’ve seen this happen too often for me not to include it. Do not, under any circumstances, be dumb enough to think that you can ever get away with this. First of all, if she has friends who are trying to hook up with you that’s a giant red flag (unless it’s some pre-arranged threesome but I highly doubt that). Second of all, if you do by some miracle get away with it, rest assured you’ll get outed by someone in that friend group and then your entire relationship is poof – up in smoke. All the work you put in with her parents, her friends, and her psyche is now down the drain and for what? So you could get your jollies off with some forbidden fruit? Just keep it in your pants, man.
All of these are really quite simple when you think about it. Just be a decent human being and your girlfriend’s friends will, at the very least, tolerate you because they know that you make their friend happy. Just don’t be an idiot. .
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