3 Things You'll Notice About Yourself If You're Ready For Your SO & Friends To Meet

Dating can come with a myriad of milestones that can mean something different to everyone. One particularly exciting milestone is when you're ready for your friends to meet your new significant other. The Spice Girls did sing, "If you wanna be my lover/ you gotta get with my friends," and while your interpretation of "get with" is totally up to you, how well your SO meshes with your friends can be pretty important. Sometimes, friends can have high expectations for who you date, because they are protective of you and think you deserve the best— which can lead to more than a little pressure. Just remember to take a few deep breaths. If you're ready to take this step with bae, that's pretty dang exciting.

"Introducing a partner to your friends will feel like a big step if you are serious about them," says Trina Leckie, relationship expert and host of the podcast Breakup BOOST. "This is because you will be that much more invested in them and the relationship, so you will want your friends to like them and vice versa, because they will be a big part of your life going forward." Introducing your friend to your partner can be stressful if you're not ready, Leckie explains, so it's worth considering what the best timing is for you. There's not one way to develop a healthy, lasting relationship, so make sure that you're listening to your gut throughout the process of introducing these two separate parts of your life.

A touch of nerves is normal — but not more than that. "It should feel like a big step because that’s when you know that your S.O. is important to you," Leckie says. If you're ready to introduce your girlfriend, boyfriend, or partner to your friends, you may feel some of the following ways.

You're excited and proud to introduce them to your friends.

"You’ll notice that you are serious about the relationship, wanting to take it to the next level and that you are excited for your friends to get to know them," says Leckie. "It will also show that you are proud to have them by your side and that you want the relationship to grow."

If you're ready to introduce your friends to your partner, you'll notice yourself feeling excited about bringing the people you love most, romantically and platonically, together. It will also make you happy when people that are important to you to get together and have fun!

You're ready to bring this person further into your life.

A great sign that you're ready to introduce your S.O. to your friends is that it feels natural to incorporate them into your plans. And that doesn't mean you shouldn't be nervous because this is a vulnerable step to take and one that can be a bit intimidating.

According to Leckie, someone who isn't ready to introduce their friends to their partner will find reasons to not to invite their S.O. along to different gatherings or social outings. If they weren't ready, they'd also hesitate to mesh these two worlds even if they didn't have a reason for being apprehensive. If you are ready, though, you'll want to invite your S.O. along to events, gatherings, and social outings because it just feels right.

You'll have a gut feeling that you're ready.

When you're ready for your significant other to meet your friends and play a larger role in your life, you'll feel it in your gut.. The relationship will feel stable and like you're growing together every day. Meeting each other's friends can be a natural step forward, and will feel right to you.

This stage of a relationship can be really exciting! It's awesome that you're checking in with yourself in in such a vulnerable way. If you're feeling nervous, it's OK to start small and bring your partner to a social event that isn't super high-stakes. Odds are that the both parties are excited to meet each other and bond over how great their common denominator is: you.