Questions about love and sex in the Iowa City/Cedar Rapids area can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org (queries can also be sent anonymously using this form). Questions may be edited for clarity and length, and may appear either in print or online.
I recently started dating a guy who is, by most measures, the perfect match. He’s intelligent, handsome, considerate, has a great job and is great in bed. The only catch is, he is really, really nerdy. Not in the good way. He’s pretty socially awkward, he doesn’t have many friends and I feel a little uncomfortable introducing him to my friends. We’re compatible in every other way, but I’m just not ready to bring this guy around. Am I being shallow?
Signed, Scared of the Deep End
Dear Deep End,
You may be shallow, but you’re also being perfectly reasonable. Introducing a new beau to your crew is a big step — even bigger if you are a very social person and spend a lot of time in public with friends. You’re perfectly right to wait until this feels comfortable for you: when you’re into this guy enough to let him stand on his own in your social world. Coming out to your crew as “taken” is also another layer of commitment, as introducing your new fella to your friends will definitely send any other potential suitors on to more single potential sweeties.
If this guy is the dreamboat you think he is, he’ll understand that you want to give it some time before you merge every aspect of your lives together. You might try bringing him out with a couple of your closest buddies in a smaller group, just to see how he fares. Then, when you bring him to a larger event or party, he’ll have a few other people to chat with so you both feel more comfortable.
Finally, introducing your guy to your friends should eventually feel natural and make everyone happy. Even if you keep your social lives separate from the relationship, you shouldn’t be losing sleep over this. If it’s stressful and anxiety-causing months in, ask yourself if it’s the relationship or the friends that aren’t right for you.
This article was originally published in Little Village issue 217.