By Ty Witherspoon

So, you’ve started dating someone new and are starting to take things to the next level. One thing that you have to look forward to is meeting the new woman in your life’s friends, but if you’re not careful, your first meeting could end up being a disaster! Remember, most women put a lot of emphasis on what those they care about think of their new mate, so you’ll want to do your very best to leave a positive and lasting impression. Chances are, if her friends like you, then she’ll like you even more, getting things off to a great start.

Dress the Part

Consider where you will be meeting these friends and then be sure to dress appropriately. If you’re all going out to a nice dinner, for example, you won’t win any points by showing up in ratty jeans and a t-shirt. In fact, this type of outfit isn’t really appropriate for any first-time meeting, no matter how casual. Whether you’re dressing up or dressing down, make sure you look well-groomed and well put together in general. Splash on a little cologne or aftershave (but not too much!) and remember to flash your pearly whites.

Related: Pros & Cons: Bonding with Your Man’s Friends

Be Genuine

When you first meet new people, it’s natural to feel the urge to impress them or to prove yourself. After all, these people don’t know the first thing about you, but you want to make them like you as quickly as possible. Hold back on the bragging, however, as this can make you seem rather full of yourself, which nobody finds attractive. Instead, simply focus on being genuine, polite, and kind. Express interest in the people you are meeting and ask them questions about their own lives. You can certainly answer any questions that come your way, but remember that the night–and the conversation–shouldn’t be all about you.

Don’t Be a Flirt

If you want to end up in the doghouse so fast it’ll make your head spin, then all you have to do is flirt with your new girl’s female friends. While most guys wouldn’t be so brazen as to openly flirt, do watch your interactions with her girlfriends. Don’t spend an inordinate amount of time talking with any one woman in particular, and keep tight reins on your eyeballs. Getting caught ogling cleavage is never a wise move!

Related: What to Wear to Meet His Family

Be One of the Guys

When guy friends are going to be around, your first instinct is likely to try and determine the relationship these guys have with your new girl. In some cases, you may just have to accept that she’s still friends with her ex or that she has guy friends who have taken on protective big brother or fatherly roles. Remember that it’s okay to be a guy and to talk about “guy stuff”, but make sure you’re not running your mouth off about other girls or getting too personal.

This article was composed by Ty Witherspoon, a freelancer based in the greater metropolitan area of San Francisco; this piece is dedicated to the team from Kanetix.