I'm currently unemployed (and finding it difficult to even look for work!) but other than that, I feel I could have written your post. I too like to have a certain routine (down to predictable conversations) and am thrown for a loop when it's changed. I just don't know how to react when people go off script! I don't think it's something you should necessarily force yourself into, though. I'm not a therapist, of course, so it's just opinion. But I've found that forcing myself to confront my fears when I truly don't want to only makes them worse. On the other hand, I also think it's important to face them, but not necessarily head-on. I think if you try to evaluate what about the situation you are most worried about and isolate that one thing, you can come up with a game plan to address them.
For example, one of my social anxiety triggers is making a phone call - it's at its worst when I have to call a stranger (businesses, usually) but I still feel anxiety talking to family and close friends. The only one I don't worry about is my husband. I'm always afraid I'll say something stupid or forget something important. So I try to address that by making short, simple calls. Confirming a vet or doctor's appointment is my method of choice - they leave me a voicemail asking them to call back and confirm. Until recently, that call was near impossible to make. But I've rationalized that it's the best place to start because I only have to say I'll be there, and then end the call. It all goes according to a script and that makes the call easier. I still have heart palpitations while dialing, but they don't usually last for the conversation! In fact, this morning I made a call to our rental management and was able to make my request without stumbling over my words at all. The progress itself is fairly small (but I actually managed to ask someone for something), but feels so huge!
Anyway, the point of my rambling was that I think it's best to address things in small doses. For example, if your boyfriend can accompany you to any of these events, it might help to go in with a bit of a safety net. Or if you can find scenarios where you can make an excuse to leave early, so you know going in you will only be there for a short time, it might be less intimidating.
Anyway, I hope this helps at least a little!