Manners Matter: Introductory Issues

Dear Mary Pat,

My girlfriend never introduces me to people she runs into when we are out together. We’ve been dating for four months and it’s awkward when someone is talking to her and I’m just standing there. I’ve tried to bring it up to her, but she just laughs and says that it doesn’t matter since these are just acquaintances of hers. Is it a big deal? Shouldn’t you always introduce people?


Mr. Anonymous

Sister Bay, Wis.


Dear Mr. Anonymous,

Perhaps your girlfriend doesn’t know how to introduce you (i.e., this is my boyfriend, this is “Joe,” etc.) since your relationship is newer. If you haven’t gotten into the habit of saying she’s your girlfriend/you’re her boyfriend, maybe she is a little shy about announcing that to acquaintances. There’s also the possibility that she doesn’t remember the other person’s name.

The solution is very simple. If she isn’t going to introduce you, then you just need to offer your hand and say, “Hi, my name is ____.” You don’t have to offer an explanation of your relationship if you don’t want to. If your girlfriend is reminded that this is the polite way to interact with people, she may start getting into the habit herself.

Good luck,

Mary Pat

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