It’s happening. You can’t remember if it’s the 11th or 12th date with your new guy because you’re just So. Darn. Happy. You’ve even stopped worrying about what your hair looks like when you guys meet. Everything is off-the-scale fabulous... until, out of the blue, your man drops a bomb: “I’m having beers with my friends on Friday. Would you like to join us?”
You start panicking. What if they don’t like you? Will they turn him against you? After all, these are the people your man turns to for help with tough life decisions, the ones who have seen him at his craziest, the buddies who have been there for him, supporting him through his struggles; their opinions matter to him.
So make the first meeting with his mates count. (Thankfully, my girlfriend of eight months and my mates get along terrifically – to her, winning them over was almost as important as winning me over.)
Know them well and make your mark, and he’ll be wrapped around your fi nger for a long time coming. Here’s how:
1. Let your man take the lead
Don’t be too eager to impress; hang back and observe the interaction between him and his buds. This will reveal who the linchpin of the group is (aka the one he trusts most, and the friend you really need to win over).
However, if he doesn’t introduce you, don’t kick up a fuss in front of his buddies – there’s no faster way to lose a guy. Tell him that that was not cool when the two of you are alone.
2. Don’t flirt
...with his mates, that is. There’s a fine line between being friendly and flirty. What you need is for his friends to be your wingmen, to look out for your interests when you’re not around, not lust after you and cause friction between you and your man.
3. Handle yourself well
Manners maketh man, and in this case, being well-mannered and graceful goes a long way in not just getting accepted into the group but also getting the guys to actually like you. If you’re put in a tight spot, don’t get defensive – for instance, if they ask you to join in the drinking but you don’t drink, be honest and turn them down nicely.
4. Be a little curious
These people know pretty much every dirty little secret about your man, and chances are, they’ll be happy to put him on the spot (what are friends for anyway?). So ask a few questions – just don’t do it in such a way that makes them feel you’re digging for info – and discover more about the skeletons in his closet. Being inquisitive will also show his friends that you care for him on more than a superficial level. Ask about how he was in college, at his first job and, if you can cope with the information, with his ex-girlfriends. You’ll be surprised at how much you can fi nd out (and it could be good!).
AND IF YOU CAN’T STAND HIS GANG...
...give it some time. Get to know them better, or suggest they bring their plus-ones. If it still doesn’t work out, let your man know, tactfully, why you can’t get along with them and limit your interactions – but don’t restrict his meet-ups with them. This will give you some me time anyway.
This story was originally published in the December 2015 issue of Her World magazine.