When you’re dating someone and meeting their friends, it can be challenging to go from being the “friend’s partner” to the “friend”. However, making this transition is crucial for your relationship and helps you become more involved in their life.
Here are a few tips to help you bond better with your partner’s friends.
Initiate Plans to Hangout
Don’t wait around for your partner’s friends to plan a get together where you can meet them. Take charge and initiate plans yourself.
As nerve wrecking as it may seem, this is actually a pretty effective strategy to bond with your beau’s friends. Even if you’ve met them a few times already and have attended all of their hangout plans, you can still make plans of your own and invite them over. This shows that you’re willing to go the extra mile in fostering new friendships and actually want to befriend them; not just be your partner’s plus one to all the hangouts.
If hosting your partner’s friends sounds a little intimidating, take it slow. You don’t have to throw a huge party inviting everyone. Instead, you can have one or two of their friends over for dinner at your place. You can even initiate plans that don’t involve your partner. For instance, if one of their friends enjoys attending art galleries, you can make plans to go to one together. You may also invite a few of your own friends to these hangouts if that helps you be more comfortable around your partner’s friends.
Accept Them the Way They Are
You won’t instantly click with everyone you meet. You picked your friends, your partner picked theirs. This means that you may not necessarily get all their friends and may struggle to understand their eccentricities. However, don’t write them off after the first few encounters. Instead, try to know more about them and find some common ground that would help you both enjoy each other’s company.
The key is to accept your partner’s friends for who they are, within reason. They may be very different from your own friend group, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get along. Of course, if they’re especially rude to you or are blatantly sexist/racist/xenophobic, then acceptance goes out the window and you might want to have a little chat with your partner about why they’re friends with them in the first place.
Ask Your Partner to Help You
You don’t have to do all of this alone. Have your partner help you connect with their closest friends.
It’s alright to be nervous or shy when trying to socialize with a bunch of strangers who all know each other and love your partner as well. Confide your beau and let them help you out with this. For example, they can find ways to include you in conversations by steering the topic to something you can participate in as well. This will help you be more confident when contributing to conversations and will allow you to open up more.
You’ve got this!