5 Ways To Have An Amazing Time On Your First Trip With Your Partner's Friends

by Annie Foskett

There is a moment in every new courtship when you first spend two nights in a row together for the first time... and there's a moment in every relationship when you go away and spend the whole weekend together for the first time. Sometimes, that happens to be a weekend trip with your partners' friends. 'Tis the season for summer getaways, and if you've ever done a vacation or share house, you know that you have to become quick friends with the friend-of-a-friend you just met but are sharing a bathroom with. The first weekend trip with partner's friends can feel like it has even higher stakes.

When meeting a partner's friends, even just at a bar, my first thought is, "What if they don't like me?!" Because I'm only human and I'm little bit obsessed with what other people think of me! When staying for an entire weekend with a partner's entire group of friends and then some, my first thought is, "What if I need to go to the bathroom, you know, the second iteration?" Going away with anyone is stressful, let alone a group of people you want to impress.

Here's the thing: you're going to feel like an outsider at first, especially if the crew you are traveling with has known each other for a long time. But that will dissipate, and it will dissipate quicker if you're game: Game for meeting new people. Game for having fun. Game for being flexible. Be the person you'd want to meet on vacation by following these five tips.

Don't stress too much.

Anxiety is natural, especially when you care a lot about your relationship and want your partner's friends to love you as much as you partner does. That's OK. Don't push the stress away, but don't let it dominate your mood, either. A stressed-out person on vacation is like when Carrie is in a bad mood at brunch on an episode of Sex And The City — the quieter and sulkier you are, the more likely you are to make it all about you and not everybody else. Instead of retreating to the beach to read a book alone, push through that stress and propose a game. My go to? "Love It Or Hate It," a cardless game that just requires someone throws out a divisive thing — like olives or the Real Housewives — to which everyone else must decide "love it" or "hate it." The losing team drinks.

Bring a party trick.

My summer party trick is a batch of margaritas made with Casamigos and freshly squeezed lime. I know how to make them, it's a fun process people can help out with if they'd like, and the end result delights everyone. (If you make margaritas outside, however, make sure you wash the lime juice off your hands if you're going to be in the sun! I learned this the hard way... you get a mean burn.) Other party tricks vary and include: bringing Cards Against Humanity, Koozies, five-layer dip, or oysters (everyone's gotta work together to shuck them). Instant bonding activity.

Do the dishes.

Or offer to drive to pick up the take-out. Or do a load of laundry for the crew. You're not trying to win anyone over by playing "Mom," you're just being a polite guest. (Though, people liking you for superficial things like chores can't hurt, right?) Plus, your partner will appreciate your willingness to help out even though you're away for the weekend with their friends. Just don't forgo socializing to spray that counter down one more time, you know?

Get involved in group activities.

Do like Jim Carrey in the 2008 rom-com Yes Man, and say yes to everything. Beach volleyball, kayaking, skinny-dipping, whatever! Treat the weekend like you treated Welcome Week freshman year of college — get involved, even if you don't really feel like it. This is a great way to get to know your partner's friends, and they'll appreciate how game you are too.

Ask questions!

In watching this season of The Bachelorette, I've been reminded how many people — even people vying to win Becca Kufrin's heart on national television — forget to ask people questions as they are trying to get to know them. The biggest party trick of them all is to simply get interested in peoples' stories. We all love talking about ourselves, so grab Josh and ask him what he does for work. Ask him his favorite movie. Anything! It's not weird, I promise. My roommate is a professional question-asker (well, she's a producer, but she's also really personable) and she has more friends than anyone I know. Ask away!