Challenges Every Couple Faces Trying To Make Couple Friends
My boyfriend and I have only a handful of couple friends that, when we hang out with them, we feel like everyone is winning. We can just feel that all four people are equally happy to be there, and very happy to be there at that. When someone starts an email thread about planning a dinner or trip, everyone responds right away, and works very hard to make it work. But acquiring those couple friends took years, and don’t think that we didn’t lose a few couple friends along the way. Let’s not even talk about the fact that some of my girlfriends ask me constantly why we never take couple’s vacations, and I don’t know how to possibly explain to them that the foursome chemistry just isn’t there. I love those women, and our dudes just…like each other. But not love. See, the couples friendship dynamic is a tough one. Here are the challenges you’ll face trying to make couples friends.
First, it’s hard enough to make individual friends
First off, it’s hard enough to make individual friends after college. You don’t have a setting (like the dorm building or high school) where you’re thrown into the same space with people who have lots of time and few responsibilities. Sure—you’re in the same space with your coworkers as an adult, but they have families, second jobs, and preexisting friends. It’s just hard to really form a bond with one person as an adult. Try to find a person who is with another person who your partner also likes, and you’ve just quadrupled the challenge.
There must be equal chemistry, all around
In order for a couples friendship to survive, there must be equal chemistry all around. So let’s just take one person in the foursome—like, you. You must like the woman and the man in the other couple. They must both like you back. A lot. That has to be true for each of the four people. Everyone must equally like—and like a lot—every person in the foursome. If even two people somewhere in there only somewhat get along, the friendship won’t work.
Otherwise, someone’s making a sacrifice
I have tried to make couples friendships work in which my boyfriend wasn’t totally crazy about one person in the other couple. But every time we’d spend time with those couples, I could feel that my partner was making a sacrifice. I could feel that the night was a chore for him, rather than a joy.
Then the other person owes their partner a favor
You know what happens when your partner makes a sacrifice? You owe him a favor—like hanging with another couple he likes that you don’t like. It’s an endless cycle, and so it’s best to just find couples friends that you both adore. That way, nobody has to make any sacrifices.
There could be too many age gaps
So, let’s say you befriend a woman who is five years older than you—happens all the time. Her husband may be eight years older than her. That also happens a lot. Suddenly, in that couple friendship, you’re hanging out with a man who is thirteen years older than you, and with whom you have little in common. When pursuing couples’ friends, there’s a chance some of the age gaps, somewhere in the friendship, will be too large.
You’re dealing with four schedules
You know how difficult it already is to just coordinate two schedules—yours and one friend’s. The second you make couples friends, you’re bringing twice the schedules into the mix. Trying to find a night that works for everyone to get together can feel like the most challenging game of Jenga.
So it’s hard to see each other enough to bond
Bonding happens when people can spend a lot of time together in a somewhat short period of time. That, as you can imagine, is very difficult when you’re dealing with four schedules and can only get a foursome together twice a year.
You need to like their network
You and your partner may hit it off with another couple but what happens when that couple introduces you to their other friends? You know what: you judge the couple based on their friends. And if you don’t like their friends, you can’t help but like the couple a little less.
They need to like your network
The other couple also has to like your network but furthermore, your network has to like them. If you invite your new couple friends to a party and they don’t quite hit it off with your buddies—and your buddies even make a comment about not loving that couple—you will probably rethink that friendship.
You still want time for your individual friends
Your free time is limited, and though you do want to make time for your couple friends, your individual friendships will always come first. That’s just one more issue in the way of scheduling plans with couple friends.
Men can be less social
The truth is that men don’t crave social interactions as much as women do. So when you and the other woman in your couple’s foursome want to do something, as pairs, the men in your lives may only be on board half the time.
Deciding on a place all four people like is tough
We haven’t even touched on the simple but somehow oh-so-complicated topic of deciding where to go with the couple friends. If you live on opposite sides of town, then you have to toss a coin over who is driving to whom this time. Or, you have to decide on a venue—something four people can rarely agree on.
Different income brackets make it complicated
You might find another couple that you and your boo love but…you’re in totally different income brackets. One couple is used to places like the Yacht club and the other is used to waiting to eat dinner until 10pm because that’s when happy hour starts at the ramen place.
If one has kids and the other doesn’t, that’s an issue
Here’s another obstacle that is nobody’s fault, but a real hindrance nonetheless: when one couple has kids, and one doesn’t. It’s just kind of hard to sync up schedules and needs when one couple is responsible for human lives, and the other couple has few responsibilities.
When just one side of the foursome feuds…
Remember that for the foursome to hang out, all four people need to be getting along. So if, for example, the two men get into a spat about something, then there go double dates for a while for everyone.