DEAR HARRIETTE: I am an introverted woman who is dating a socialite. Surprisingly, we complement each other well. We hardly ever argue, and it seems we have an endless number of things in common. The only issue that I’m having is adjusting to his extroverted lifestyle. I get anxious being around large groups of people I don't know, and I have no clue how to be social with strangers.
Making public appearances is a huge part of his job, and he often asks me to accompany him. If I always say no to attending large gatherings with him, I will rarely see him. Should I just get over it and force myself to tag along? -- Dating a Socialite
DEAR DATING A SOCIALITE: You two need to strike a balance in your relationship. You agree to go to some of his many social events, and he agrees to spend more intimate time with you that involves fewer people. This won’t take away your anxiety around being in those crowds, but it will provide a carrot to get you to attend future engagements.
You may also want to join Toastmasters or a similar organization where you learn skills for public speaking and suggestions for how to overcome fear of being in large groups. I know many people who have participated in such programs with great success. You learn tools to push past social anxieties and claim a comfortable, confident place in public settings. Consider that.