So how best to introduce a partner you’ve met online to close friends (and be introduced to theirs in return)?
Not only do you get you know a your beloved themselves, but their friends as well.
Of course, if you’ve met via acquaintances, or even through work, you’re likely to have some existing reference point in each other’s lives – a mutual pal who gives you just enough grounding to progress confidently into each other’s social circles.
"My new partner, who had met maybe three or four of them. When his marriage broke down, he lost touch with a lot of the couples that he and his wife socialised with.
"I am a very different prospect; I kept most of the friends from my first marriage and all of them from my second. I have joked about drawing him a family tree of all my friends, but I would probably need a roll of wallpaper. "In the end, he handled it like a champ and was in charge of the bar, which gave him a good excuse to chat to everyone and keep busy. But what a thing to have to do.” Gordon explains that, in hindsight, she’d have preferred to introduce Andy to her friends gradually. Not only will your new partner have to meet an entirely new social circle – so will you.
Jill Gordon knows all-too well just how overwhelming a larger occasion can be.
She tells me about a party, at which Andy met most of her friends for the first time.“It was my 50th and I had invited all my friends, from school, university, work, right through to the school gate, neighbours, my book group and beyond.There were people there who had been to both my weddings.“In the ‘olden days’ it would not have been like this,” she told me.“Anyone you went out with would have some kind of existing connection, whether it was work, the pub, the gym, mutual friends, or family.Absolutely no one will have an existing opinion or expectation.