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Going to parties as an engaged couple can take some getting used to. You're no longer single, so the nights aren't about getting hammered and hooking up. Or taking over the dance floor with your gang of girlfriends. Or flirting with handsome strangers. Parties are now about socializing as a couple. Seeing friends. Feeling connected to and building up your community. Mixing it up and having fun as a couple, outside of your apartment, among other people.
Parties have a different meaning in your life now, a different purpose. It's a subtle, odd change. It's normal to feel confused as you figure out how to have fun even though the mystery of who you're going home with is forever figured out: him.
But what if your guy is that guy, nursing his beer in the corner, giving off the "I'm ready to go home now" vibe after an hour? That's another challenge you're facing. And face it you must, if you're marrying a guy who just isn't the social beast you may be. Strong-arming him into having a good time doesn't work. (You've been there, done that, and failed, we bet.) What you have to do is accommodate his bah-humbug-ness and set yourselves, as a couple, up for success.
Don't be loosey-goosey about how long you'll be there.
Instead, figure out beforehand together when he starts to lose steam (and gain resentment). Agree upon a time to go home, and stick to it.
Don't abandon him to strangers.
Instead, stick together for a while, until you both feel settled in the space. Then you can go your separate ways while still feeling connected to each other.
Don't disappear into another room.
Stay within eye-shot of each other, and enjoy the connected feeling of eye contact even when chatting with others.
Don't stay too long.
It's the last impression of a party (or any experience) that leaves the biggest impression. So depart when your fiancé's still having fun. The hard-wired memory of being out of at a party with you will be positive.
Allison Moir-Smith, MA, is a bridal counselor, creator of How Brides-To-Be REALLY Feel videos, and author of Emotionally Engaged: A Bride's Guide to Surviving the "Happiest" Time of Her Life.