How to Get Couple Friends (and why you need to)

Posted by: Shel Harrington 15 January, 2014 23 Comments
How to Find Couple Friends

Who needs ‘couple friends’ when you have great family and single friends that have been your buds since junior high? If you’re married, you do. Not instead of the great family and single friends, but in addition to.

Why You Need Other Married Friends

Nobody is suggesting that you dump friends you had prior to marriage – nobody gets us like those who share our history. But often pre-marriage friends aren’t the best choice to hang out with when you’re wanting to do something with your spouse. Prior established single friends can actually, unwittingly, create some divisiveness between you and your spouse because of shared history that excludes the other spouse or an attitude that is inconsistent with promoting marital goals. And there’s always the chance that a spouse isn’t crazy about the other’s friend for whatever reason.

Studies show that having friendships with other married couples can actually enhance our own marriage. Not only does it give us somebody to do things with and share our interests, it helps us grow and expand our interests by being exposed to activities that we might not seek out on our own. Married friends are likely to understand where we are in life and be supportive of marital goals. And having such friends to interact with keeps spouses from getting too dependent on the other to be spouse and complete social life.

New friends to eat and play games with
New friends to eat and play games with
New friends to share new adventures with
New friends to share new adventures with
New friends to enjoy your established activities with
New friends to enjoy your established activities with

 

 

It’s Not as Easy as It Sounds

Sure – just go make some new friends. As if it’s not hard enough to make one friend, now it’s suggested that you make two friends who are married to each other and will get along with you and your spouse. And your spouse will like them both. You may be thinking: “We’re lucky if my spouse and I can find something in common that we want to do – now we’re suppose to try and match up with two more people?”  Yes. Don’t over-think this. You’re not looking for someone to spend the rest of your life with. You’re just opening your mind to options for expanding and enhancing your social life.

It can be a challenge to find a good foursome fit. The hope is that the women are comfortable with each other, the men are comfortable with each other, and there is a balanced group dynamic where all four enjoy the interaction. But don’t make assumptions about a particular type of couple you think you’d hit it off with. Some years back my husband and I sat next to a couple we knew very slightly from two of us being on the same church committee. We had preconceived notions about the type of people they were. The wife was Martha Stewart meets Grace Kelly and the husband seemed cerebral. They came across as dignified, precise, and formal. I’m not saying my husband and I are not dignified. I’m just saying we’re less-than-precise and would probably be categorized as pretty informal.

Somebody mentioned a card game common to the part of the country we were all from and a casual: “Oh, we should get together and play that sometime” resulted in several years of a very enjoyable friendship. They were, indeed, as different from us as we had anticipated. Which was one of the reasons the association was so enjoyable – conversations took unexpected turns, we learned about each other’s professions, and introduced each other to new games and interests. We missed the get-togethers when a new job took them states away.

The guys get along
The guys get along
The ladies are comfortable
The ladies are comfortable

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Making Couple Friends

The first thing you have to do is get rid of any insecurities that are holding you back from doing something good for your marriage. Like: “What if I invite someone over and they say no?” That’s really not the most likely outcome. But if it happens, don’t take it personally – they don’t even know you and it’s probably more about what is going on in their own lives. Don’t let it stop you. If you call a restaurant for a reservation and they tell you they’re full, you don’t go without eating – you go on to the next restaurant option.

Next insecurity: “What if we don’t hit it off or one of us doesn’t like one of them?” It happens. In our early days of living in a new state with no friends or family, we had to figure out how to make friends. We had ‘interesting‘ evenings with more than one couple over the years. Like the one where the husband played air guitar ALL night long – which was weird even in the 80s. Sometimes you get lucky on the first get-together with a good foursome-fit;  sometimes you have a few ‘interesting‘ evenings before you make a connection that lasts.

Finding Couple Friends

Chances are good there is a couple in your midst that would love to have a couple friend of their own. Examine your different environments. Do either of you work with a married individual that might be a prospect? Somebody you could suggest getting together with the spouses for dinner or a movie? Are you in any community groups? Do you have kids with activities that you interact casually with other parents? Ask them what they do for a kid-free evening for an icebreaker – you might discover some common ground.

Do you know your neighbors?
Do you know your neighbors?

Neighbors are often an unnoticed possibility. Step back in time and invite a few of those neighbors over for a potluck. No pressure. It’s simply an opportunity for a few people who live in close proximity to meet and eat. They bring a dish, you provide one plus the drinks, and friendships can grow.

Churches are also a great place to connect with other couples. You already have a common point of interest. I bet some of those couples you see in worship, Sunday school, choir practice or committee meetings would be delighted to have an evening out with some new conversation. While you may feel vulnerable offering an invite, think about how pleased you would feel if you were the invitee.

If you have looked everywhere and there is not a couple in sight, you may have to be a little more proactive. Participate in activities that will expose you to others with like interests. Take classes, volunteer in the community, join civic groups, sign up for team activities – you get the idea. You’re not going to meet new people in your home.

Realistic Expectations

Not every new connection will result in life-long friends. Actually, if that ever happens it’s a wonderful bonus. The goal is to interact socially with other married couples and have some fun. Do something different. Enjoy different conversation. You will be doing you, your spouse, and your marriage a favor. And, more likely than not, you will be doing the same for your new couple friends!

Happy Couple Buddies
Happy Couple Buddies

 

Do you have a suggestion on how couples can meet other couples? Please share it with us in the comment section below.

 

Leave a Reply

23 Comments

  • just what I needed, thanks for the good suggestions!

    • Shel Harrington

      Glad to hear it was helpful, Lin – it’s sooooo worth the effort to make good connections. May you be blessed with more ‘fits’ than ‘interesting’ evenings!

  • Ah, Lucy, Ricky, Ethel and Fred, the perfect married couple friends. I still love watching that show, I loved the golfing episode. As a golfer, I’d recommend it as a way to meet other couples. It’s a great and relaxing way to enjoy a beautiful day and enjoy each others company.

    • Shel Harrington

      And a nice alternative to eating. While I love connecting with friends to check out a restaurant or have a pizza together, sometimes an activity with a little more movement to it is beneficial to all (which, of course, leaves out watching a 4 HOUR MOVIE!).

  • Valarie Olson

    About six months ago, my husband and I started exercising together in the early morning. Studies have proven the buddy system works when trying to adhere to an exercise program. We invited two other couples to join us, both for camaraderie and accountability. The couple system is currently working for us. I enjoy the benefits of exercising with my husband, and we have a great dynamic with our two other couple friends.

    • Shel Harrington

      I love that, Valarie! You’re covering so many bases with one great activity – spouse time, friend time, exercise benefit, starting the day off well . . . I bet it has a very positive result on how the rest of your day goes!

  • A number of years ago we were in a new city and a new church. Making friends with one new couple led to another and another until we now have a six couple group of close, special friends who certainly bring joy to our lives. Great advice, Shel.

    • Shel Harrington

      You are blessed, indeed, DiAne! It’s so true that making new friends leads to making more new friends. It gets easier to extend invites and results in more invites extended our way!

  • Excellent suggestions, Shel. In our neighborhood we have opportunities to interact with other couples who are from different places with different backgrounds. We like the gatherings where conversation is a bit different. It’s worth a little eeffort to make couple friends; it adds another dimension to our relationship. 🙂

    • Shel Harrington

      That is a great neighborhood to mix it up in. A couple who does variety shows with their spouses and crazy friends is a couple who probably has a lot of fun!

  • Great post Shel! On a whim Sal and I asked a neighbor couple if they would like to share a four seat Celebrity Attraction subscription (play/musical traveling tour that comes to OKC several times a year). That was back in 2008 I think. We all continue to go to dinner and a show throughout the year and the couple friendship has grown very close- and our seats have also gotten close (moving up to almost front row!).

    • Shel Harrington

      That sounds like a very special friendship – I love the genesis. I hope others are inspired by the idea – thanks, Lisa!

  • John and I were recently discussing that we needed more couple friends. Most of ours live away (which is how we’ve liked it), so we only see them once in awhile, but now we want more. As life would have it, a couple from our past showed up less than a week after our conversation and asked us to a travel club meeting. We went and we are slowly reuniting.

    Thanks for this post is timely. I’m going to mention making a list of other couple possibilities just for fun or just for an interesting evening, which we’ve already had plenty … like the husband (who we had never met) who loudly said the F word over and over in a local restaurant where we knew many of the people. Did I mention in the south and in the Bible belt? Comical now, not so much then.

    Thanks, Shel! Always a great read when I’m here.

    • Shel Harrington

      I’m so glad you’re plugging back in, Kim! You’re right about the ‘interesting’ evenings evolving into humorous anecdotes – a point definitely hard to appreciate in the moment!

  • Interesting post. Most of our “couple” friends started with one of the couple being a friend of one in the other couple (???), dating back to high school and earlier, but now we’ve been couple friends longer than the individuals were friends with each other. So there’s more couple history than friend history. And it seems to work! (Am I even making sense?)

    • Shel Harrington

      Absolute sense! I’m assuming the individual friends got married, too, and the crossover began. It’s such a bonus to have such wonderful long-term individual friendships evolve and grow into long-term couple friendships!

  • Great post as always, Shel! This is one of the hardest “grown up” things to do.

  • Love this post. I was just thinking about this the other day. The only couple friends we have are related, but it works because the kids play good together. Funny when I was single all my friends were married so I was a third wheel, then when I got married my friends were getting a divorce.
    Anyway, great post and thanks for stopping by my blog.

    • Shel Harrington

      Territory Mom was a fun stop! Nothing wrong with friends who also happen to be related! Sometimes somebody has to throw something or someone new in the mix to keep things from getting a little too routine – to keep growing. As a fellow OK blogger, I hope to catch up with you again!

  • […] know casually over for dinner. My husband and I did this recently and had a thoroughly enjoyable evening with another couple that we’re looking forward to connecting with again. (And I’m not just saying that […]

  • Marc Powers

    Hello, everyone’s insights are greatly appreciated. I feel that my wife & I would benefit from spending time with other couples. We’ve been married for two years and despite my constant efforts to invite her single friends on dinners ect, they are constantly trying to get her to ditch me to go to hot springs ect. We seem to get along best when her friends leave us be, I love her yet her yet her loyalty to them has made it harder for me to be open and trusting, any advice? Marc

    • Shel Harrington

      Some single friends just don’t honor the union of marriage – whether out of jealousy or just a lack of understanding of what it entails, it really doesn’t matter. That’s why, in addition to valuable friendships from our pasts that can be maintained individually, it’s important to develop new couple friends together who have similar marital goals. Review that article for ways to find such friends and extend an invite. You and your wife may be just the friends that the ones you invite are looking for! I agree with you, Marc, that the insights from those who comment here can be very helpful. If you haven’t already, you can sign up (“subscribe by email”) for the free email notices – you’ll get an email when there is a new post so you won’t miss any!