How you introduce your new boyfriend or girlfriend to your friends will inevitably affect your relationship with this person.
After months or weeks of spending alone time with your girlfriend, there comes a time when you have to incorporate them into your circles of life. Many people fear this first time introduction because you cannot be certain of the reactions of people from your inner circles and the impact that these reactions could have on your girlfriend.
Joshua Katerega says he called it quits with his girlfriend after all his friends laughed at her appearance.
“While at campus, my girlfriend paid me a visit at my hostel, she had no hair and she was dressed in a skimpy skirt which made her look so young. Though I had not planned on introducing her to my friends, they came into my room and met her.
After she had left, they laughed at me for dating an underage girl and they mocked me that I was about to get sued for defilement,” he narrates.
Katerega says the fact that his friends were not comfortable with his girlfriend’s appearance was enough for him to end the relationship.
Margaret Tumusiime, a counsellor with Girl talk Uganda, says how and when you introduce your new partner to your friends will, to some extent, determine the future of your relationship. “A man will introduce their partner to a circle that matters to him, usually it is human nature to want every one that matters to you to get along with each other well,” she says.
She advises that men look for appropriate ways of introducing their girlfriends to their inner circles and Tumusiime gives some factors you should consider when introducing your partner to your friends.
Inform your girlfriend
Micheal Kalulye says before he took his girlfriend to meet his friends, he informed her a week before such that she could be well prepared. Kalulye says his girlfriend hates surprises, reason why he wanted her to know earlier and get prepared.
“It is not good to catch someone unawares. Be sure that she has consented to your proposal and will not a shame you by dumping you immediately after showing her to your friends,” he says.
Margaret Tumusiime, a counsellor with Girl talk Uganda , says do not give your friends every detail of your new partner’s life, but fill them in on a little bit of background information, so they are not starting from scratch. This can help prevent dull conversations that wind up feeling more like interviews, and can give your friends a chance to figure out what they have in common.
Make sure to leave plenty of talking points for your partner, because nobody likes meeting new people and feeling like they already know everything there is to know about them.
Advise her on dress code
Nicholas Mulembeka says first impressions matter in determining someone’s character. He says he does not want to introduce a girlfriend that would turn into a laughing stock among his friends. “I would actually advise her on what to wear depending on the occasion such that she appears descent and respectable,” he says.
Mulembeka says no one would criticise a descent woman holding other factors constant. He adds that a lady who shows up shabby gives ground for being rejected by serious friends.
Introduce conversations where she can ably blend
Tumusiime says the reason why you take your girlfriend to your friends is to make them link up well. She says this means they need to connect through chatting with each other. “Make sure that your girlfriend can comfortably fit into the conversations with your friends. Do not start topics that she has no clue about, instead bring about topics that interest her such that she can easily join the conversation,” she advises.
Make her feel comfortable
Tumusiime says if your group of friends contains females, do not show so much affection to those other females. She adds that most women feel uncomfortable when you show more affection and care to other women in their presence.
“Yes, they might be your good friends the reason you are bringing your better half to meet them but there must be a difference between how you treat them in front of your girlfriend. In whatever you do, make sure that your girlfriend gets special treatment as compared to your female friends, this way she will feel special and at ease,” she says.
Do not abandon her
Katerega says when you take your girlfriend to meet your friends, do not leave her alone with strangers. “Keep it in mind that you have brought someone to a place where she knows no one else but you, so endeavour to be around,” he advises.
“Go into it with the same friendly open-mindedness. Do not expect too much, it takes a while for strangers to warm up to one another. If it does not work out well for the first time hopefully, there will be many more happy hours and trivia nights to come,” says Tumusiime. She advises whoever is introducing their girlfriends not to take issues personally.