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girlofscience's avatar

How do you (nonawkwardly) handle bringing a new boyfriend to an event with people who aren't even aware you've broken up with your old boyfriend?

Asked by girlofscience (7449 points ) January 28th, 2010

A nonprofit organization with which I volunteer a good deal of my time holds two big-and-fancy fundraising events each year, one of which is Sunday. I’ve been volunteering with this group for two years and know its members relatively well. I brought my old boyfriend to the past three semi-annual events, and they’re all familiar with him as my boyfriend.

The last event was in July, when I was still with my old boyfriend, and since then, I’ve gotten together with the group for volunteering purposes independent of him, which was never unusual to begin with. Relationships never came up in conversation, so I simply didn’t have the opportunity to mention that I had broken up with him, let alone the fact that I was dating someone new.

On Sunday, I’ll be bringing my new boyfriend to the event. While I’m not shy about the situation at all, I’m afraid that people will feel awkward when saying hello to me and being introduced to him, unsure about whether this is a taboo subject of some sort.

Do I make light of it from the get-go? To each person I introduce him to, do I come right out and say something (in a jokey manner) like, “Oh, I broke up with X; meet my new boyfriend Y!” Do I simply introduce him as “my boyfriend Y” and expect people to awkwardly wonder what happened? I don’t want people to feel like there’s a proverbial elephant lurking in the room…

I’m also bringing him out to a rather large work-related function for the first time tomorrow night. About half of my coworkers know about my break-up and about this new boyfriend, while the other half of my coworkers have no idea Old Boyfriend is out of the picture. How do people deal with this sort of situation in general? I just don’t want people to think this is some awkward thing. I’ve been open about discussing my relationship status with coworkers when it’s come up in conversation, but it’s not like I ever made an announcement to the whole group about the breakup or the new relationship.

What’s the best way to handle introductions/stares/awkwardness at both of these events?

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16 Answers

PandoraBoxx's avatar

If you have e-mail addresses for some of the people that you socialize with at these events, you can send out a blind copy e-mail, saying, “Looking forward to seeing you on Sunday at the soiree; can’t wait for you to meet my new beau, Henry Wonderful.”

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

That’s a bit tough – I’ve been there for sure. The burden of tact is on your friends. If I was in their position I would simply shake his hand and ask someone later if you broke up with that other person. I have to do this with my old friends and new husband all the time…some people will say I thought you were married to so and so…and I’m always like ‘clearly we’re not together anymore, but thanks’

borderline_blonde's avatar

Hm… well because I’m not nosy, I could care less if someone brings a new partner to a group get-together. I can figure out what happened on my own, I know that it happens all the time, and there isn’t any reason for me to feel awkward about it, ask questions, etc.

Honestly, I wouldn’t worry about it. Introduce him as if the ex never happened… and if someone asks, then politely respond that things just didn’t work out, but (especially if your new SO is standing right there) you’re much happier now.

Good luck!

plethora's avatar

Bring both of them and after telling everyone that old bf is going bye bye, send him away. You might do the latter with something of a flourish, perhaps a drum roll. I think your friends will get the picture….)

@borderline_blonde is right on target.

Jeruba's avatar

“Hi, Grace. Hi, Joe. Hi, Melanie. I’d like you to meet Paul. Paul, this is Grace, Joe, and Melanie.”

There’s nothing to explain. They will figure it out.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I don’t think you owe anyone an explanation.If they actually ask you about it,I would say,“I’m seeing someone else,SEEEE?“lol!I I wouldn’t worry about it.Just go and have fun :)

EdMayhew's avatar

Dress him up in a spiderman outfit. Awkwardness over.

Nah but seriously, give people more credit. They’ll catch on, they’re not idiots. Plus you’ve only been with the guy for a short time, Not like you’re married and have kids so it’s hardly taboo. I’d focus on making the night a success and ensuring everyone (including yourself) has fun.

Scooby's avatar

it’s your life !! why worry?? just enjoy yourself! :-0 why give a “RATS ASS” what people think????

cookieman's avatar

Have a recording with you that can play like a voiceover. It could say, “The part of Harry Hasbeen will now be played by Henry Wonderful.”

What? It works in the Soap Operas.

life_after_2012's avatar

@Jeruba, amen to that!! i would be worried if i were the type of person who was always in a new relationship.

lilikoi's avatar

I really don’t see what the big deal is here. No one is gonna care that you have a new boyfriend. That is a normal life happening that everyone probably has experienced. Just introduce him as your boyfriend. They’ll know he’s new since he isn’t your old. If you say “Hi, This is my new bf Y”, you make him look like a dousche.

EdMayhew's avatar

Actually, a good way to phrase it would be “Hi, [friends name] I don’t think you’ve met my boyfriend [name], He’s a [occcupation].” Then change subject.

That way, If anyone has forgotten what your old boyfriend looked like, as people are inclined to do sometimes when they’ve only met someone a once or twice over a long period of time, you’ll avoid the inevitable

[Colleague] “Didn’t I meet you before?”

[Boyfriend] “Um, no.”

[Colleague] “Yeah, I’m sure I did, you know, at that thing, when was it, oh yeah in March!”

[Boyfriend] “Um, nope definately not me”

[You] ”We just started seeing each other

penny drops

[Colleague] “Oh, um, yeah, well… um, hey, er, great! Wow, what do you think of this place huh? Isn’t it great? I think it was built, like, a really long time ago… Like, hundreds of years… Um.. Hey isn’t that the CEO’s wife? Gotta go catch you later!”

tubmbleweed

[You] “Um, shall we go check out the buffet?”

Cupcake's avatar

Just don’t be awkward and confidently introduce him as your boyfriend. Most people will handle things tactfully if you give off a “socially-appropriate” kind of vibe.

@Simone_De_Beauvoir I love your “burden of tact” comment.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

Most people are too worried about their own life to really care whether or not a co-worker is dating someone new.I wouldn’t make any grand announcements at all and introduce him as you would any other date.
If anyone has the nerve to ask you what happened to the other guy,I would just tell them you murdered him in a fit of rage and are now dating a new vicitm.;)

plethora's avatar

Let them figure it out.

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