I hate meeting friends of people I’ve barely started dating. Manhattan is a teeny tiny island so this happens more often than you might think. I’m on a first or second date and, oh, my date knows that couple over there. We have to go say hi. Fuck. As we walk over, I take a breath and assume the role of Perfect Girlfriend Material.
The curtain goes up when my date exclaims, “Hey guys!” they turn around and I throw myself into a performance I’ve workshopping for years. Working title: “Nice to Meet You: A Delightful Display of Humor, Cleverness, and Good Looks! This Gal’s the Total Package!” I perform as if all my date’s friends are Ben Brantley, the notorious NY Times theatre critic. I crave 5 star reviews, “Dude, she was so great! We both loved her! You better not fuck this one up, bro, we’re already planning a myriad of adorable double dates for the four of us!”
Even if I’m not that into the guy, I still want his friends to think I’m fucking amazing.
Meeting A Date’s Friends Too Soon: I Got Issues
I’m not proud. I well aware this embodies not only the Actress Cliché but the Only Child Cliché as well. But, but, I can’t help it! The show must go on! I want every one to like meeeeee! Ugh, I hate this about myself. But is it easier to change this intrinsic people-pleasing part of me?
Or simply avoid meeting friends in the early stages of dating.
Then there are the times I’ve met a date’s friends, thought they were awesome, imagined them being my friends….and it’s made it harder to break up with a guy I’m not that into! Worse still, when I think the guy is awesome, think he’s friends are rad and, goddamn it, he isn’t that into ME! Great, I’m not just bummed I’ll never see you again, I’m bummed I’ll never see your friends again too!
Meeting A Date’s Friends Too Soon: I Hate It
Maybe I’m scarred from a second date I went on my first year in New York. The awkwardness was so extreme, I remember the date more vividly then most. My date and I were walking to a restaurant for dinner in his neighborhood in Queens. I was 22 and too naive to say, “Fuck you, I’m not trekking all the way out to Forest Hills for a second date!” He saw people he knew through the window of a restaurant we passed and wanted to go in and say hi. I was too young, naive to say, “Fuck no, let’s go.”
We went inside and my date was clearly showing me off. Instead of “Hey guys, this is Mary Lane,” he might as well have said “LOOK AT THE HOT GIRL I’M ON A DATE WITH, BROS. I MIGHT FUCK HER AFTER DINNER. SCORE, RIGHT?” Maybe this would have made someone else feel good? It made me feel gross. His friends very clearly thought it was weird we’d come in just to say hey. And after that date- surprise- I never saw him or his friends again.
Meeting A Date’s Friends Too Soon: Can We Not?
Can I please just avoid the situation all together and not meet friends until I know I like the guy? AND have a pretty good idea that he’ll be sticking around? Is that too much to ask?
Am I overthinking this? Probably. Make that definitely after the awkwardness that happened on a second date last week….more on that tomorrow.
Am I a weirdo in this? Anyone else have feelings about meeting friends too soon? How soon is to soon? When do you introduce a date to your friends?