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Disclaimer: The below is solely intended for informational purposes and in no way constitutes legal advice or specific recommendations.

So, you got lucky and your online date has blossomed into a romance. Now you’re eager to introduce him or her to your friends.

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A new relationship is an exciting time and naturally, you want to share your enthusiasm with the people who’ve been with you through the journey. But there are a few things you need to think about before making such a major dating move.

Here are our tips on how you can best introduce your new boyfriend or girlfriend to your friends:

Let A Few Dates Pass

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Introducing your new BF or GF to your friends can potentially backfire if it happens too soon. It’s important that you get to know this person first, before the judgment of your friends ensues. Otherwise you’re letting the opinions of your friends affect your own instinct.

Research shows that other people greatly influence our decisions. That can be a good thing or a bad thing, but when it comes to dating, remember that your new boyfriend or girlfriend didn’t sign up for a relationship with your friends. He or she probably wants to get to know you first before jumping into a parade.

Give Your Partner a Full Disclosure

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Did you ever have a relationship with any of your friends? You’re going to want to fill your new love interest in on any details that shouldn’t get pushed under the rug. Your goal is to make the first introduction as smooth as possible. So, if your best guy friend mentions you two hooked up in high school, unknowing that you haven’t told your new boyfriend this, things will probably get real awkward real fast.

Or say your best gal pal is a huge Taylor Swift fan but your new girlfriend hates the pop star’s music. You should mention it to your friends or your new partner about certain aspects of the other’s personality, interests or tastes that might be conflictive, as to avoid uncomfortable conversations or debates on the first meeting.

It’s time for you to spill some secrets, or at least let your new girl or guy know what’s up in your circle of friends. Whatever that is.

Do Something Chill

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Introductions should be low-pressure. Any big gathering like a family reunion, Christmas, or a friend’s wedding is NOT the place or time you want to bring your new bae along. If you do, you can expect it to be awkward. In a setting like this, there’s simply too much going on and too many people to meet to form any real kind of acquaintance.

Do something more low-key; like going out for coffee with your new partner and your best friend or having dinner and a drink at your place. Any kind of fun environment helps to make the vibe friendly and comfortable.

Also, try to keep the conversation about things other than your new relationship. It’s okay to talk about how you met, but keep the details out. The first introduction to your friends should be about everyone getting to know each other as individuals.

Introducing your new boyfriend or girlfriend to your friends is a big step in the relationship. Follow these tips and it should turn out to be a good one.

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