The delicate art of making new friends as a couple
I love going on double dates. It’s the best of both worlds: You get to spend time with your significant other and hang out with friends at the same time. To do that, though, you need friends who are also a couple. And sometimes those friendships aren’t easy to find and develop.
I’m still a little new at making couple friends as a couple. I’ve been with my guy for more than three years, and we’ve been married for about a year and a half of that time. We moved out-of-state twice since we got married, so we have had to make new friends. So far, I think we have done an OK job at it.
Obviously, not everyone I pursue in my quest to find couple friends is going to end up becoming our BFFs. Sometimes people are busy or can’t to invest time and energy into making friends. But using these techniques has helped start and grow the new couple-friendships I’m happiest with, and I hope will continue to do so. Here are a few ways to make couple friends as a couple.
Find a common activity, and get your friends to introduce you
I have couple friends from spending a summer in Washington, D.C. a few years ago, who had not met my husband before I introduced them. One of my friends had attended law school, so she and my husband, a law school student, had that in common. We also talked about shared friends, who we all (including my husband) know, along with an interest we all share in writing. Since my husband and I recently moved to D.C., we asked them questions about places to visit and the things they like to do.
In other instances, my husband made friends in law school and introduced them to me. We bonded over T.V. shows we like to watch and have hosted each other at our apartments in groups for dinner parties that helped us get to know each other better. And the ones who are in relationships with law school students but are not actually in law school commiserated with me about what it’s like to go through that experience.
Track your friendship origin story
If your partner knows the other couple but you don’t, you can talk about how they met and what they do together. Maybe they have some funny stories about your significant other that you’ve never heard. It can’t hurt to ask!
Depressurize the date with some form of entertainment
This is an important one, especially if you aren’t comfortable with the new friends yet. This way, if you aren’t sure what to talk about, you have a ready-made conversation or focus of attention. Watching a sports game together can serve as a way to break the ice. And so can a number of other activities, such as going to a concert, a show or a movie. It takes away the pressure of feeling you have to be the sole means of entertainment.
Meet somewhere you or they are already going
This is especially helpful if you don’t know the other couple well. My husband and I met two really awesome people at an event for his school, and the four of us seemed to hit it off. My husband and I wanted to see them again, but didn’t know them well enough to invite them to dinner at our apartment. (Not that they aren’t nice enough — it’s more that I worried they’d think I was weird or overeager!)
My husband and I were planning on attending a college football game-watching party at a bar, where we wouldn’t know anyone, so we invited our new couple-friends. There wasn’t a lot of pressure for them to come, since we were going to be there anyway. They did meet us at the bar, and we all had a great time. Now, I’m just waiting for them to invite us to do something… (If either of you are reading this, hint, hint!)
Follow up, but be chill
With new friends, it’s good to hang out a few times to cement the relationship. Since it’s a new friendship, it’s easy to let time pass without seeing each other, especially if everyone is really busy. (Aren’t we all?) In between times you see each other, it’s not a bad idea to send a text or Facebook message, to remind the new friends you still exist. We are all busy, though, and couples especially tend to be less social than singles because they already have another person to spend time Netflix-binging with. So try to be understanding if your new friends don’t jump at every opportunity to see you and your significant other.
Making friends as a couple can be challenging, but it can be a lot of fun, too. Just remember, the other couple either knows your significant other and wants to be friends with you, or is probably looking for couple friends, too. It’s important to put yourself out there. Like regular friendships, couple friends may not turn out to be your BFFs, but you never know. Meeting your future, lifelong couple-friends may be just around the corner!
(Image via Magnolia Pictures)