I often go to events with my boyfriend where we are surrounded by people in his industry. I have very little knowledge of industry related topics.
He is very popular at these events and is usually talking to 2 to 4 people at once.
Before being with him I would never attend events like this and have had difficulty socializing in the past, but when I go, I make sure to go around the room and say hi to all the people I have become familiar with. We'll talk about their work, and my boyfriends work, I'll ask about their family and it usually ends there. I've been to about a dozen of these events and no one ever asks what I do for a living or what I'm interested in, and I don't mind that, I just find it hard to continue a conversation that is either all about the person I'm talking about or all about my boyfriend who is not standing with me at the time.
I really do make an effort to socialize but the conversations are always short lived. I don't know a lot about the industry, and frankly, besides what my boyfriend is working on, and he works by himself in his studio, even when collaborating with other studios (this is me telling you I'm not ignoring co-workers) I'm not so interested that I want to research stuff just to talk at these gatherings. So when I'm done doing my rounds I really want to go back to where my boyfriend is so that I'm at least with someone, instead of just standing around or sitting off to the side playing with my phone.
It is a male dominated industry and there are very few women there. Actually, I've never seen a woman at these events that work in the industry and there is someone's wife I know but has small children so she is rarely attends.
Anyway, when I approach my boyfriend while he is in conversations with 2 or 3 other people, I don't speak because I don't want to interrupt. First, I can't join the conversation because I don't really know what they are talking about and also, before I just throw in a question to try to find out.. I would feel more comfortable if my boyfriend just turned to me and said "Hi, we were just talking about this"
I feel very uncomfortable about interrupting, and I think it he should just greet me and then I can participate.
But then a co-worker complained about her husband doing this at a party, just walking up to her while she is talking to someone and just standing there. She said he is pathetic for doing that and she was very annoyed.
I have just walked away once I noticed my boyfriend won't take the step to include me, when I explained to him later that I felt uncomfortable interrupting, he told me that that is what I have to do.
So my questions are these, is it rude to interrupt a conversation this way at a social gathering? I should point out this is only when he's talking to people I don't already know.
Also, is it rude to approach and wait for someone to greet you?
How do you handle this type of situation?