Since Matt and I moved to Chicago, we’ve made four sets of good couple-friends. When we arrived, the majority of the people we knew were paired off, so we often found ourselves in environments—dinner parties, weddings—that encouraged couple flirting.
Though I adore the duos—and I do!—at first I felt like couple-friending was an annoying side effect of moving in with a boy. I wanted a BFF just for me! Suddenly all my new friends had to come with a side of man for Matt?
The desire for couple-friends makes sense, of course. These days we’re all so busy, double dating is like killing two birds with one stone: you get to see friends and you get a date night. A twofer! Also, studies show that couples who have couple-friends have happier and longer relationships with each other.
As a pair, Matt and I have always had a relatively easy time befriending new twosomes. I want to say it’s because our whole is greater than the sum of our parts. We’re just such a dazzling duo. (You’re gagging. I know.) But as I write this in the same space I usually use to discuss the awkward hilarity of trying to date potential friends, it’s not lost on me that perhaps the key factor in our couple flirting is simply Matt. Maybe I’m just the silly sidekick, like Cockroach. Or Kimmy Gibbler.
Nope. I’m going with the dazzling duo theory.
Regardless, today I heard from two people who complained about the difficulties of making couple-friends. The more I thought about it, the more I realized it stands to reason it’d be harder to find a couple-BFF than just a single one. After all, to become BFFs two people have to hit it off. To become couple-friends, you need four people on board. As psychologist Judith Sills told Ladies Home Journal: “Good friendships are a rare phenomena in any case. Good couple friendships are a rare phenomena squared.”
In meeting new women during my solo BFF quest, I’ve certainly toyed with the “but will Matt like her guy?” question. My usual conclusion is, doesn’t really matter. I’m in this to find my BFF. But still, it’d be stellar if the friendship and the marriage could intermingle.
I’ve only given this a whirl once thus far. A potential friend and I hit it off so we decided to have dinner again and this time we’d drag the boys along. Matt was a great sport about it, though I’m sure a part of him would’ve been thrilled to never get pulled into this project. Luckily, the evening was a hit. All was well.
Matt and I made two of our best couple-friends at a wedding of a couple we all had in common. (Side note: You may be asking why the female halves of these couples aren’t my BFFs. The truth is, in some of the cases I feel like we work best in the context of our foursome.) In case you aren’t on the wedding circuit but are looking for couple friends, there are—surprise!—websites for couple dating. For real. Couplets.com, Couplesworldwide.com and Kupple.com all serve to set up couples with common interests for friendships. Those looking to drop keys in punch bowls need not apply.
So here’s what I’m wondering. If you’re single, is it totally annoying when all your friends pair off and do the couple-friend thing? If you’re in a couple, do you think it’s easier to make one-on-one friends or couple friends? Do you think couple-friending is vital to the health of your own relationship? And any ideas for how to best meet couple friends? Would you use the Interweb? And, please, is there a better word I can use next time than couple-friend?