As a non “hottie” type who is reasonably independent, you may have many male friends. You may be used to being treated like “one of the guys”. In a potentially romantic relationship though, the context is different. Your boyfriend or potential is not your bro, and chances are that he’s not even in quite the same league as the guys you normally hang out with. You are not trying to be like a sister to him, so it’s best to avoid any kind of plays for social dominance.
This is not to say that you should be a pushover. It’s just that once you’re together, then socially you are like a team in which there is a male and a female member. In a group of men, even if these guys have known you all your life, your man is your male representative.
Viewing things this way accomplishes two goals when incorporating your partner into your social sphere as your partner. It allows him to establish his own place, and also allows him to prove his value to the other men. Initially, it gives them the opportunity to get to know him without your interrupting the process or possibly obscuring any crucial flaws that they would need to know about in order to protect you. In time, they see him as a part of you, and unless they are Gay, he may even serve as your replacement when womanly responsibilities prevent you from doing the guy stuff you used to. Hey, it’s the least he can do since it would be his fault that you’re someone’s girlfriend or wife, and perhaps later, someone’s mom.
For those involved with alpha type or “alpha enough” (non executive/business owning, but in charge of their own lives) guys, there’s another reason for letting your man be the man socially. There’s a world of men that many women think they know, but don’t. If you’re a polite and ladylike woman, it doesn’t really matter how strong you are. Your presence makes a social situation “polite company”, and there are certain things men don’t discuss in polite company. Even if they have told you the dirty details of sexual encounters with scores of hoes and ex wives, and feel comfortable enough to ask you about a rash on their groin, one thing they will almost never discuss with you is specifics of money problems or certain aspects of business. If they do in private, they don’t want anyone else to know that they have because it’s something that is fairly unique. You may be a kind of ace in the hole or lucky charm in that regard, and not everybody should know that you can tell a guy is a snitch from his smell or something.
So in practice, when two men are talking, either be someplace else, or go to the happy place in your mind. Unless they are actively including you in the conversation, tune it out.
It takes some practice to learn exactly when to do this, but if you know your friends and your man fairly well, it won’t take long to understand the cues. Sometimes it’s a rub of the chin, or a shift in posture. As an example, my current boyfriend has a “game face” when he’s about to talk about business or some kind of man thing. That’s when I know to adjust napkins, bring more snacks, check for dust somewhere, or become enthralled with his ponytail. I purposefully become part of the background until I’m invited back into the conversation or situation.
You can practice this skill with your male friends. It will make them even more comfortable around you because it will reduce your already hopefully low attention whore quotient, and let them know that you respect their manhood despite the value equalizing aspect of friendship. Respect builds trust.
When two men are talking, consider it a private conversation.