Here's my question, though. With that one exception his parents, and siblings clearly knew who I was, and I think that his community did too, but whenever people came to meet me, he introduced me as his "friend." The first time that he did so, I found it fairly jarring, and was surprised. CJ claimed that to announce me as his girlfriend was a bit aggressive, that people would assume that we were sleeping together if he did so (really?), and that since it's an Orthodox community people are "friends" until they are engaged. I'm not so sure that, that is the case, but maybe my community is different.
I didn't mind so much that he wasn't specifically calling me his girlfriend, as that he was calling me something else. CJ said that people would "figure it out" in context, but it was the misdirection that I disliked. I asked him to just introduce me by my name, rather than with a different title. Not sure if I'm overreacting here, but if you just introduce someone by name, and you are standing very close to them, and they are staying with your parents, isn't that a better context from which to "figure it out" than if you say that the person is a friend?
At any rate, there was at least one amusing incident from the weekend. CJ's mom and sisters didn't make it to shul, so I sat by myself in the women's section. During davening CJ noticed three older (and I mean older than my parents) guys talking amongst themselves. At some point they approached CJ:
Guys: You know, there's a cute girl over there, sitting by herself. Maybe she'd be a good shidduch* for you.
CJ: Hm. Which one?
CJ: Hm. Which one?
Guys: (point to me)
At this point CJ had to make a decision. Either tell the guys that we're dating, or pretend to just have noticed me, and then come up after shul and do something inappropriately intimate. Fortunately for our relationship he chose the former.
Amy Dickenson, an advice column who I hate with my entire being (but read anyway) recently addressed the issue of titles. She, and a reader suggested the use of "sweetie." As in, you introduce the person as "your sweetie" or "your sweetheart." I can just imagine how much CJ would love that. Anyway, I much prefer Carolyn Hax's response to a similar question. Basically she suggests that the writer "calm the f*** down." But then again, what else can you expect from the brilliant woman who coined the term "asshat?"
Unrelatedly, while looking for blogs that dealt with this issue I came across this post at CrownHeights.info. Apparently some father heard that his son was dating a non-Jew, and so sponsored a Shabbat meal in the kid's honor at Chabad, so that the kid could meet other Jewish kids (preferably of the female persuasion). My parents did a similar thing when I was in high school and (rebelliously) dating a non-Jew. Every Friday night my mom would invite over a different family for dinner, with a son of approximately my age. How she found that many Jewish young men in Virginia, I'll never know. My mom is a woman of many talents.