Remember the episode The Sexless Innkeeper from How I Met Your Mother? Marshall and Lily are so excited for a double date with Robin and Barney, since they have had difficulty with finding couple friends before. And Alas! The game night turns out to be such an overbearing and pushy “couples’ night”.
Like them, couples can often find it awkward and difficult to set the vibe with other couples. After all, making friends as a couple requires the compatibility of not two, but four people. Yet, when done right, it can add that “missing fun element” to your relationship or marriage. But how can couples find such couple friends? And why is making friends as a couple so important? Here are the answers to all your questions.
The Importance Of Having “Couple Friends”
People often find couple friendships to be too much of an investment of time, energy and money. This is the main reason couples seclude themselves in the comfort zone of their immediate families. Looking beyond the shell of their daily routine lives seems like such a task to them.
This task is actually not as cumbersome as it seems. Once you and your partner get a hang of it, finding couple friends will not just add a new sense of freshness to your lives but in fact, become the catalyst in reigniting the spark of your relationship. Yes, making couple friends can actually result in happier and longer marriages. Here’s how.
1. You get to see a different side of your partner
Ever took your partner for granted, to the extent of thinking you were bored of them? You are not the only one dealing with boredom in a relationship. Living with someone for far too long can actually make you forget how crazy you were about them, when you first started dating them.
The solution to seeing your partner in a positive light again, is couple friendships, according to Dr. Kathleen Deal, co- author, Two Plus Two: Couples and Their Couple Friendships. In the book, some couples said, “When I see my husband/ wife with other people, it really makes me appreciate them in a different way. I see how charming or thoughtful they are or what a sparkling conversationalist they are.”
2. Relatability factor
As a couple, the last thing you want is single people bragging all the time about their parties, daily flings and how exciting single life is. You and your partner sometimes need couples who can relate with you and who are going through the same problems as you.
This is the area wherein couple friendships can help you thrive. As a married couple, you can find people grappling with similar issues – raising children, balancing work and love, taking care of aging parents etc. It makes you feel that you are not the only one. Also, you get alternative perspectives to issues you may be grappling with and learn more effective ways to deal with your problems.
3. Kills the monotony
Are we naturally monogamous? The truth is that monogamy gets monotonous and spending too much time with one person can sometimes get toxic. And how to get rid of this toxicity? Always be open to trying new things. Doing something you and your partner have never done before can raise excitement levels.
It can be any activity that you choose to do with your couple friends. Watching sports together. Playing couple games together. Traveling together. Trying new restaurants together. After all, there is no such problem that good food and wine cannot fix!
4. Happier relationship or marriage
As Dr. Greg Smalley, points out in the book Crazy L’il Thing called Marriage: 12 secrets for a lifelong romance, “I have learned that living in community is essential to keeping a marriage strong, particularly when the marriage is being tested…”
Making friends as a couple can strengthen the foundation of your relationship because now when something great happens, you have more people to share your happiness with. Even small achievements then become monumental, as you have a strong support group, always there to celebrate your victories.
Related Reading: 50 Double Date Ideas That Are Fun
How To Make Couple Friends
Rhaine Cohen rightly said, “Our boyfriends, our significant others and our husbands are supposed to be No. 1. Our worlds are backward.” As the quote goes, to look at your partner as the center of your universe is not a healthy way to live. You need other sources to derive your happiness from. And, couple friendships can be one of those sources.
But, where to start in this whole shenanigans of making friends as a couple? Here are 10 ways to make couple friends, that can help get you and your partner warmed up.
1. Discuss it with your partner
The last thing you want is another fight over just one partner putting in all the work. So have a clear conversation with your partner on how much you both want to socialize. Splitting the efforts is the best way to go about it. Making couple friends is not only one person’s job.
The book Two Plus Two categorizes couples into three categories – ‘Seekers’ (extroverts actively searching for social relationships), ‘Keepers’ (those who feel fulfilled within the confines of their relationship and happy with an intimate group of friends) and ‘Nesters’ (introverts who prefer to stick to a party of two). Which one of these are you two? Which one of these do you aspire to be?
2. Approach already existing friends
Got school or college friends in your town that you lost touch with, after you got hitched? Reconnect with them and their spouses. Since you already have a past with them, it might be easier to hit it off with them.
3. Host parties to make couple friends
Hosting a party has always been the go-to solution for making friends as a couple. Put together an amazing playlist. Plan some couple games like Dumb Charades or Taboo. You can also play drinking games like Never Have I Ever, Social Humor or Dring. Order in some food or just do a potluck. Set the vibe and you are good to go.
You can play games like, ‘How well do you know your partner?’ wherein you ask partners certain questions about each other and then see if their answers match. It can be a good refresher course on your partner and you might even learn something new about them with this game.
4. Chill, don’t make it a big deal
The best kind of couple friendships are the ones devoid of pretense. So, be yourself and don’t try too hard. Everybody loves people who are authentic and candid. Start with small talk and ask about hobbies to make couple friends. You can also talk about relatable subjects, like how you met your partner. The trick is to be open and approachable.
5. Involve a couple in activities that you both enjoy
You don’t have to go out of the way. If you and your partner like playing tennis for example, you can go like, “Hey, my spouse and I are planning to play tennis this weekend. Would you and your partner be in for a doubles?” Just go ahead and ask them. That’s how simple it is to make married couple friends.
Or you could go bowling. Or wine tasting. Or golfing. You can start by asking them to come over for a coffee. Or going for a drive. Or a Sunday Brunch. See? The list goes on…
Related Reading: Planning A Double Date? Here Are 15 Useful Tips!
6. Take initiative
The best way to find couple friends is to take initiative. Don’t shy away from being the one who makes the plans. It might be that other couples also want to hang out with you but they are just not good at taking the lead.
So, keep your ego aside and be the one who shoots a text, follows up and constantly stays in touch. Don’t shy away from being Roland and Jocelyn, the ever-enthusiastic couple from Schitt’s Creek, who are always up for socializing with other couples.
7. Locate famous places in the city with your couple friends
As the lyrics to the Jeremy Zucker song go, “Talk is overrated, let’s just vibe.” Couple friendships can get monotonous if you always meet for just talking. Conversations about kids and finances can get boring, after all. Meeting couple friends to try out new and fun things together, instead, can be your saving grace.
Track down the go-to bars, pubs, restaurants, museums or monuments from your city. Ask around and try the underrated places of your town with your couple friends. Pick a Saturday and watch a local band performing or a stand-up comedy show or slam poetry. Making couple friends is basically just doing fun activities together.
8. Celebrate festivals together
If you don’t have family and relatives in your town, don’t worry, it can act as an opportunity for you to socialize with married couples like you. Go to a church together for Christmas or party together for New Year’s Eve.
Traveling with your partner can be a great way to find couple friends. Everyone is friendlier on trips and the atmosphere is light and breezy. If you and your spouse are frequent travelers, talking about your travel adventures can be a great way to bond during couple friendships.
Exploring a new place together and getting acquainted with a novel culture can be a wonderful catalyst in making friends as a couple. In fact, travel agencies often have special packages for couples in particular, so that they can find and interact with couple friends.
10. A little jealousy is natural and healthy
When making friends as a couple, there might be a little possessiveness as people of the opposite sex are involved. This is natural and healthy. But make sure you support your partner when they tell a story. Include them in conversations when the four of you are out. No one should feel neglected or sidelined.
Don’t meet individually with the spouse of the opposite gender. This might create complications. Don’t cross boundaries by flirting too much. Always take your partner’s side and back them up. There you are, you’re good to go.
Related Reading: Can Healthy Jealousy Help You Build Stronger Relationships?
How To Find Couple Friends?
You can find couple friends at your workplace. Some people really hit it off with their work friends, because having the same profession can act as a bonus. You can also find married couple friends at kids’ activities. Their PTA meetings or music classes can serve as an opportunity for you and your spouse to socialize.
Another place for making friends as a couple is a charity organization. Volunteering together can be a good way for meeting couple friends, who are as giving to the society as you. Also, you can make couple friends by joining partner dance classes like salsa or bachata. Another such place to find couple friends via apps and social media.
A research by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology conference revealed that getting validation from another couple in a double date or social setting actually increases the passion between a couple, after the social gathering. So, go out there and make couple friends to add excitement to your own relationship and lighten up long-term monogamy.