I'm notorious for not feeling ready to introduce the guy I'm dating to my friends. "Not yet" is my fave phrase. "Soon" is also a word that comes out of my mouth often. When you introduce a new boo to your crew, the stakes rise, the friends judge, oh, and my therapist says I have an enormous fear of intimacy, so that might be it, too.
All things considered, if you haven't met his family or friends yet, rest assured that everybody has a different timeline for introducing the people they date to the people in their lives. I could be "check his Instagram hourly"-into someone, and he's probably not going to meet my roommate until they run into each other during a 2 a.m. "I'm parched, must have Brita" moment. (Disclaimer: I do not recommend my way of doing things. Let people in. Vulnerability is chill, guys.)
Because I cannot seem to grow up, I spoke to dating expert and founder of SpoonmeetSpoon Meredith Golden about the four people your partner should probably introduce you to within the first six months of dating. (Key word here is "probably.") Overall, it really depends on how serious things are getting, and it's not necessarily a red flag if you haven't been introduced to all of their Instagram followers six months in.
1. Their Doorman
This is pretty standard. No matter how quickly your relationship is progressing or not progressing, ideally by the six month marker, you've met your person's doorman... multiple times. Golden explains that "if it's just casually bopping along," it's OK if you've only met their doorman so far.
If they don't have a doorman? Ideally you've met a neighbor, a local barista, or someone else who knows them at least casually. This is a good way to make sure your boo isn't a socio — if acquaintances are smiling and chatting with them, you're good.
2. Their Dog (If Applicable) Or Roommate
Hopefully by now, you've met your partner's dog — or their human roommate. Nowadays, it's not uncommon to date someone casually for a full six months. At this point, you should at least know your partner's roommate, and maybe Rufus doesn't bark anymore when you come to the door.
It's OK that if at six months you haven't met anyone other than your partner's roomies, canine or otherwise. But if it's stressing you out that you haven't been introduced to their full crew or their family, maybe you're not happy with the speed at which your relationship is progressing. Ask yourself if you are looking for more.
3. Their Friends
Your partner may not be inviting you on weekend trips with college pals, but "if things are really moving forward, you should definitely have met their closest friend or two, and perhaps a sibling if they live close by," says Golden.
Again, I admit that I delay the friend-boo introduction for, like, ever, so if you haven't met your partner's friends, it doesn't mean they are embarrassed of you. Still, it might be a sign that they aren't taking things super seriously.
It's important to continue evaluating what you want in a partner. If you're wondering why you haven't been introduced to the BFF your partner always mentions, your partner might just not be looking to settle down.
4. The People You've Introduced Them To
Meeting your partner's parents can take some time, especially if they don't live nearby. That said, if you've introduced your SO to everyone from your mom to your landlord, and they've still only thrown you the "meet my dog" bone, it's important to consider why that might be.
It's a red flag "if you are introducing them to your friends, parents, siblings and colleagues, and they haven't reciprocated," says Golden. "This would tell me that they aren't as serious about you as you'd probably like."
Before you get bummed out, talk to them about it. Be sure that you are clear as to where your relationship stands. Are you exclusive? Does your partner refer to you as their "girlfriend"? Maybe they're just like me and need to take some time. Give them that space — don't request a caucus with all of their friends just because you read this listicle and are freaking out. Every relationship is different.
"If you live in NYC, and your boyfriend's parents are visiting from Michigan, one would hope that you'd be included in a family meal," says Golden. "If you're not, this might not be your relationship."
You know your relationship and partner best. Stay patient and trust your gut. If they're dodging invites to meet the people in your life, and you're only meting their friends when you run into them accidentally, think about whether this is the kind of relationship you want.
As with most things when it comes to relationships, trust your intuition. If you're unhappy with the amount to which they are willing to incorporate you into their life, maybe you want someone who's a little more open to welcoming you in.