I haven’t been in this position often. But it is one where time and time again I find myself observing others being in. Now the reason for me personally not being in this position is because of the tendency of both myself and my girlfriend at the time of sequestered ourselves from the outside world, hanging out together just the two of us, all the time. This leaves us far away from any outside distractions, able to do as we wish without being thrust into this uncomfortable position. This position I’m referring to is called being a deer caught in headlights, relationship version.
It happens when you’re at a social event, like a house party or a club, and you and your new girlfriend are enjoying a fairly good night. Being the savvy gentleman you are, it’s time to introduce her to your friends for the first time. You decide you will introduce her to your friends who are in relationships first, as you figure, since being locked down as well they get the relationship thing, while as your single friends are most likely looking for something and will be eyeing your new girlfriend.
However you just made a big mistake. Your friends, who are in relationships, see this as an opportunity to make passes on your girlfriend, which you thought would only be done by your single friends. Suddenly, they are talking with your girlfriend with ease, casually flirting, leaving you in the background, with only careful nods and a blank look on your face…the deer caught in headlights face. Your role has shifted now from boyfriend to deer. With little to say because of being in shock, you become insignificant wishing your friend would just shut up so you can spend time with your girlfriend. However, because of the “I have a girlfriend already so it’s not flirting” mentality of your friend (probably a “friend” at this point) he doesn’t get the cue to stop and your left helpless.
So what do you do? As I have said before, I have observed this on many occasions. So I’ve come up with a couple suggestions in hopes that this doesn’t happen to you.
Establish your ground
Did you hit on your friends girlfriends when they first introduced themselves? Probably not. The reason is they established their ground. Be a man. Give her a big hug and say: “Guys, I’d like you to meet my girlfriend _____?”. Seal it with a butt slap. Nothing tells another guy whose boss better than a butt slap.
Give her space
Sometimes the tendency to stop behaviour occurs when you leave the situation. By hanging around perhaps it gives your friend cause to keep talking together because technically you are right beside her (but are not particpating in the conversation). So leave them alone. Go chat with other friends for a bit. Hopefully she gets bored and decides to find you.
Say something to your girlfriend, to take the conversation back into your control, shifting her focus back on you and not your friend. There’s no reason to be uncomfortable with your own girlfriend? She is your girlfriend remember?
No one wants to have the deer in headlights look on their face. It’s an uncomfortable and weird feeling for a guy. I’ve seen too many friends get trapped into this predicament. But there is a way out. Use my tips. If you choose not to, at least you were warned. Because having that deer caught in headlights look could last as your impression on your face for quite some time. Or maybe even forever.