We can't avoid those partners that ask or females that are still beginners, but at least knowing the basics would help with the lead / follow to allow for a simple dance that can be enjoyable and be able to learn from. Giving yourself 1-2 months of classes at a new style, would be ideal before you consider venturing into the social scene to see if your ready, it's muscle memory, so patience is needed and more time at the beginning breaking those bad habits. The better you get, the more socials you should attend, and if you aren't grasping during lessons/practice, better to take that extra time instead of guessing when timing is important at socials, even with the simplest movements. We all get better through repetition, and not by experimenting. I was dancing a Bachata yesterday, and this woman didn't really practice her basics all that much, and I had to walk her through the timing and steps to make the experience more enjoyable and less work for both of us. it is too much about joining my friends, instead of learning for myself.