Dating After 50: Introduce Your Date to Friends
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The reaction of your friends tells you a lot about your date and a lot about your friends. You want to introduce your date to someone who has your back and will represent you well — someone who will be friendly and helpful to your date but who will also give you honest feedback.
Your date is well aware that this is a mutual interview, and it’s important to note whether your date puts in real effort to try and be friendly.
If you have snarky friends who are likely to regale your date with stories of your craziest behavior or of you and your ex-spouse, cut your date some slack and warn him ahead of time. Also, give strict instructions to your friends ahead of time to avoid this kind of behavior.
Give your date as much history and description of people as you can so he’s prepared to have something to talk about. Do the same for your friends. Meeting someone new can be awkward, and it’s doubly awkward when the relationship is even moderately on the line.
Sometimes, even when everyone is trying her best to impress others, things just go awry. A firsthand account:
“As I sat down to dinner to meet the people who would eventually become my in-laws, I was on my best behavior. Elsa, John’s mother, was a lovely woman, brimming with goodwill and handsome, with snow-white hair and the bearing of an ex-schoolteacher (which she was). Louie was a kind man, retired from the university, easy to talk to, interested in what I was saying, and quite a storyteller.
“Charmed, and listening, I proceeded to eat the small piece of fish put in front of me and a small bowl of vegetables. When I looked up, I saw all three of them staring at me. Confused, I looked at John and said, ‘Why are you staring at me?’ Laughing, he said, ‘Because you ate the bowl of vegetables that was meant for the whole table!’
“I was embarrassed, to say the least. Luckily, these were very kind, easygoing people.”
Still, whether or not the introduction is a love fest, the important thing is that your date tries hard to please your friends. If he fits your group like a glove, all the better. But don’t worry if they don’t develop an immediate connection; you have plenty of time for people to get a deeper, better sense of each other if the relationship lasts.
Try and introduce your date slowly to friends, one by one. Meeting a room full of friends all at once is both daunting and confusing.