Even before the advent of online dating, it’s always been a conundrum when to introduce your new love interest to friends and family. For starters, you don’t want to scare him or her off because your family is intense or freaky, or chilly and distant, or loud and boisterous. You know all their limitations; they’re YOUR family. And then there’s your friends. And because they are your friends, they’re looking out for you, they’ve got your back. When you put your friends and your new relationship together, there’s no such thing as a “casual” first meet.
My friends who have who met their match online have offered a slew of advice on this trenchant matter. “Introduce them at your wedding day,” one woman bluntly said. “When you’re past the “just started dating” stage,” a male friend opined.
It has been duly noted that female friends love to meet any guy their girlfriend is dating and feel it’s important to give feedback to their friend about her new liaison. How men feel about this is another story. “It’s like standing before a firing squad,” one man said who has gone through it several times. “You just pray you survive.”
The most common rule of thumb when to make introductions is as soon as you know the relationship is “going somewhere.”
“When it’s exclusive,” is what many people believe.
It’s more common to introduce someone you’re dating to friends before family.
“Friends a couple of months into the dating,” one man said. “Family – only when you’re ready to put a ring on it.”
On the other hand, some people start the introduction process even before the first wink or text or date. “I like to show my friends the man’s profile pic and how he described himself on his page,” a single friend said. “My weakness is I tend to fall fast for a handsome face, so I rely on my girlfriends, sometimes even my teenage daughter, to take a look and tell me what they think. Usually they’re much sharper than me on figuring out whether a photo has been photo-shopped, or if the person is just throwing out a load of crap.”
At the end of the day, there is no “right” time frame.
“When the time is right, you’ll know,” a man who dates often said. “And if you never want to introduce the person, that’s a sign you shouldn’t be dating them.”
Eve Marx is the author of eight sex books. Her titles include "Whats Your Sexual IQ?," "Flirtspeak: The Sexy Language of Flirtation," "The Goddess Orgasm," and "101 Things You Didnt Know About Sex."
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