“I’m meeting my best friend’s new love interest (they’re not boyfriend/girlfriend yet) for the first time this weekend, and I’m nervous — almost like I’m going on a first date myself. I have a tendency to babble and say things I shouldn’t, especially when I’ve had a few. What are some conversation topics I should steer clear of? What are some safe zones?” — Female, 26

Whoa boy. It’s sweet that you’re taking time out to meet up with your friend’s new dude, and it’s good that you know yourself well enough to know you might get totally obliterated and say something dumb. So what should you absolutely avoid blabbering about?

As you mentioned, hanging out with your friend’s new guy for the first time is kind of like going on a first date — and you should treat it as such. That means stuff that might typically be off limits on a first date should be considered off limit for you, too. This isn’t the time to bug your friend’s new guy about his exes. Nor is it time to ask hm about his favorite sex position (which would also, no doubt, make your friend really uncomfortable). Also, steer clear of telling those oh-so-hilarious anecdotes about the crazy time you and your friend had at Spring Break. If she wants to embarrass herself fine, but there’s no quicker way to end a friendship than to confuse a mortifying incident with a hilarious anecdote. Ditto on bringing the mood down with mega personal questions about his religious or political beliefs. And of course, steer clear of any “So-and-so just got engaged…can you believe everyone’s getting married and having babies except us?” talk.

Stick to safe stuff — pop culture, travel stories, work info — and you should be good. Remember, your job is to make your friend’s life easier by showing her date how awesome and fun her posse is.

“Your Girl Friday” is your reliable source for honest advice. Every Friday, she’ll demystify whatever dating problem is plaguing your love life so you can start the weekend off right. No question is too small, too silly or too weird.


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