Most couples will agree that it’s not easy to find a set of couple friends that you simply gel with . Sometimes the two women are very good friends, and the men are left to stare at the wall. Sometimes the two men are the best of buddies, yet there is some awkward tension between the two women. Heck, sometimes the kids have the best of a genuine friendship, but the parents don’t know where to start in uniting through a mutual connection. Count it all joy when you meet a couple that you actually like, they like the two of you, the kids mesh well together, and everyone can separately as friends or collectively enjoy each other’s company. Many of us have had our share of weird couple friendships, yet they maybe a few of us who have never shared the joy of having friends who are a couple. No, I am not telling you to place an ad in search for couple friends. Simply put when it happens take in this rare treasure. We’ve all watched the 80’s and 90’s sitcoms “couple friends” scenario of the annoying next door neighbors, the wise cracking lead family, and the kids who are stuck in the mix of it all. The truth is that it’s a more casual setup. There are many benefits of a healthy friendship with another couple like having someone to relate with, share together fun memories, learn together from, cry with on some rare occasions, and to have the most dynamic potlucks gatherings. There are some rules and boundaries in establishing and maintaining healthy couple friendships that can seal the valuables of the relationship for years to come. Check out these do’s and don’t’s for establishing and maintaining a mutual couple’s friendship:
Do allow yourself and your partner to be open to the possibility of finding a couple that you all can grow into a friendship with .
Don’t force the situation. It always shows when we’re desperate or acting in away that’s not authentic in trying to make something work. Know that with everything it takes time.
Do take the time to get to know the couple first before calling them “friends” immediately. It’s not a overnight process even if you a hit it off immediately at first.
Don’t air out all your dirty laundry and problems of your relationship especially in the beginning . Yes, this can be a positive outlet, but that behavior is counter productive. You can put the friendship and your relationship at a strain if you are constantly venting and complaining. This in time will make it very awkward and uncomfortable. You have now added in another dynamic to your personal relationship by including others.
Do have clear boundaries set of what you allow or don’t allow within your home. You don’t have to be rude or forceful. Be politely clear of certain things that you all may not do or housekeeping gestures that you all may appericate by guests if needed.
Don’t assume because your friend shared something personal and close to you that automatically that gives you permission to share with your partner or spouse. Unless they told you it was okay to share in detail have respect for your friend in not sharing every trivial detail of the two of you all’s conversations. Don’t breach their trust in communicating with you. This to can add another layer and open up judgments, comparisons, and along with later problems.
Do be of support if needed; allow support to be given towards the two of you if ever needed as well. Friends are to be of loving support for one another.
Don’t overwhelm the relationship by making it completely one sided of your needs only or allow it vise or versa. No friendship will last if any party feels drained or taking advantage of.
Do share in maintaining the friendship by sharing simply gatherings, potlucks, or similar interests together where everyone can enjoy.
Don’t allow toxic personalities or couples to get into the mix. Again, it’s about learning from one another, being of good support,and families uniting. This is no place for bringing in drama, gossip, confusion, chaos, and negative energy. When you see the warning signs be aware,and act accordingly.
Do be open to diversity within couple friendships. It’s wonderful to have similarities. It’s equally nice to meet someone from a different background, culture, or prospective.
Don’t set up a couple’s hierarchy. That is team “doing to much” , and you don’t want to single others out, mistreat, or be the dominant force in the wrong way of making it a social club. See everyone equally with respect.
Do be open for the possibility of another couple joining in the mix. This can grow to be a supportive network in case of times of emergency.
Don’t strain the relationship by overextending your welcome. For some people it’s ok to see one another everyday, and some may like company on occasion. Again, if you’re friends you’re friends. You don’t have to force it.
Don’t miss the opportunity of a rewarding friendship with another couple. All friendships are a give and take. Recognize if someone is throwing you a bid to better get to know you and letting you in a part of their personal life. If it’s right than you will know it. Allow things to flow naturally.
A healthy and supportive relationship between couples can last for years. You can see your children grow up together, marry, and have children of their own. If by chance the friendship dissolved let it be water off a duck’s back. Life is ever changing, and we ourselves change. The two of you may make a major transition to another city to relocate or sadly but not wishing one partner or spouse may tragically pass away. Take with all things in doing so day by day. Enjoy moments of shared memories, laughter, tears, and the joy in sharing so with a couple of friends.