View Full Version : Meeting couple friends
03-29-2004, 01:44 PM
How do you and your partner meet other couples to become friends with? We have recently "broken up" with our closest couple friends and are having trouble finding other couples to hang out with.
Here's the back story: for several years we had one couple we were very close to - my husband worked with the other husband and I got along very well with the wife. We spent a lot of different holidays together, barbecued a lot together in the summertime, etc.
We have recently had to back off of the friendship, though, because it became apparent the husband was developing a pretty bad problem with alcohol. More than once they've had to cancel plans with us at the last minute because the husband is too drunk to go out or come over - at 5 p.m. Whenever we would spend time with them, the husband would get pretty drunk two or three hours into the evening and we'd have to cut the evening short or put up with obnoxious behavior. Then, he started showing up drunk to work and asking for my husband to cover for him when he was in the bathroom getting sick or close to passed out in a back office. There are people in my family with alcohol problems so I am sympathetic, but I don't want to be around him when he's drinking. I've tried to talk to the wife about it on several occasions - she is in complete denial. My DH tried to talk to the husband - same thing, plus the husband got really angry and accused my husband of some horrible stuff.
We have really missed socializing with these friends, and we've tried to meet some new people with little success. I don't have a lot in common with the people I work with, plus I'd like to get away from work completely if I can sometimes, and DH feels the same way. Other than work, where do you meet other couples to socialize with?
03-29-2004, 01:57 PM
Many people meet others through church and their childrens' school(s). Since my husband and I are not church-goers and don't have children in school, I faced the same dilemma when we moved to a new community.
We met our now-closest friends at a social put on by our homeowners association. We do not meet compatible folks at each social (there are three or four a year), but we continue to go knowing that it is a good thing to at least become acquainted with others in the neighborhood, and every once in a while we may meet some kindred souls.
I have also met a number of people through the three organizations I have joined, and we are beginning to socialize as couples with some of these folks.
03-29-2004, 01:59 PM
Couples friends. It is hard...DH and I made a conscious decision to court some new friends a few years ago, when we realized that while both he and I have great circles of friends on our own, there weren't many that we both enjoyed spending time with. So court we did. And while it took a few steps out of my comfort zone, we have a really great bunch of friends now.
First thing is to look nearby. Talk to the neighbors as they walk dogs and work in the yard...and if you meet a few people you like, have a low-key barbecue some Sunday afternoon. You'll have to reach out and make that first step to take a friendship beyond the "morning wave." Another source of friends is work, of course. Even if you have never met the spouse or SO, invite a co-worker and partner out to drinks with you and your DH. It is kind of like dating, almost...you have to go out with different couples before you get a sense of the kind of people you want to spend time with. And also like dating, there is the chemistry thing as well.
I really think it is worth the effort, though... it is so gratifying (to us)to have a full social calendar with people we really like!
A final note: I think you are very wise to distance yourself from the toxic couple.
03-29-2004, 02:21 PM
Another way could be through a club (book, cooking, dining out, sporting, etc) that you form. At least that way you would have at least one common interest between you all.
Its hard though...so often you like only half of the couple....
03-29-2004, 03:10 PM
I think if you have kids a good source is other parents since it can start as talking about the kids etc. If you don't have kids then church, work, your neighboors or other friends are a good way of expanding your group.
I agree to expand it you might start with a very casual talk start with a neighboor you can introduce DH and her Dh then get together one afternoon for a movie, a drink or something casual which will give you an idea if you want to have a friendship.
Lately our circle of friends we have not met as much probably in all friendships theres ups and downs and times when everyone is busy.
So keep this in mind. Don't limit yourself to couples either. Sometimes the SO or friend of someone is a fun person.
If in your area people are friendly start by talking to a few just general talk then move on to a "lets get together" thing and see what develops....
Other ways of meeting people are in sports or start a Friday thing getting together lets say to play some card game or a movie. You can progress to a pizza get together etc.
This is a question I have thought about a lot too. I moved to DC a year and a half ago and still all the people that I know are either people I work with or my BF's friends from his graduate program. They are all great people and we each have close friends, but we don't have any couple friends to do things with. We both live in the District, which feels much more oriented to singles than couples. I'm not ready to relocate to the suburbs just to have someone to hang out with, but it is getting frustrating.
03-29-2004, 03:35 PM
I agree with the later posters that going to an event of some sort, movie, cultural, sporting, etc., with folks you don't know very well is a good plan. (The comparison with dating is interesting. I think I agree.) If you combine it with a meal, you can spend some time getting to know each other without committing yourself to many hours of conversation if you are not as compatible as you thought you would be.
When I moved here, the best advice I received was from a woman who had moved to our community some months earlier. She spends much of the year here in a very remote rural area. She said that she quickly realized that no one was going to knock on her door and say, "Can you come out and play?" In her case, she quickly began to volunteer and one thing led to another.
03-29-2004, 03:46 PM
While I understand that your quest is specifically for couple friends, I hope you won't restrict yourself thereto. DBF and I actually spend very little time with other "couples"--in fact, one of our few couples friends just split, so now we're back to just hanging with the guy (who is actually the person who introduced DBF and I). One of our favorite friends was a woman I knew from a prior job--she recently got engaged, and sadly, we don't really care for her fiance (understatement!) so we're not seeing her much either.
But I would put in a caution about trying to cultivate friends among the people with whom you work. After long hard negative experience in this area, I have made a rule for myself that I will keep personal and professional separate, and I absolutely will NOT socialize with any of my co-workers. I cannot count the number of times that there has been some sort of work conflict, and a co-worker has expected me to take his/her side strictly because we were personally friendly. This has put me in awkward positions, and created huge friction (i.e. the situation where the gentleman you describe wanted your husband to cover for his throwing up, etc).
It's so tough, because work is where we spend such a huge portion of our time! But, for me, anyway, my life is much quieter, simpler, and more peaceful when I keep the two separate.
03-29-2004, 04:14 PM
We don't really have specific "couple" friends either. We belong to two or three clubs, and we pretty much hang out with those people. I think the friends that we do have as couples are just coincidence. I can't think of any couples that we don't like one half of. Wow! I guess I'm lucky!
03-29-2004, 04:48 PM
I don't have any specific suggestions, really, but just wanted to say that I understand completely where you're coming from. We both have great sets of friends on our own, who are wonderful and who we love to spend time with - but it's been hard for us to find couples friends - my friends are mostly living in other areas of the country and my DH's friends are great, for the most part, but either single or with someone it's been harder to get to know, or in unhappy relationships, which makes it hard to get together with them. OR they have kids and we don't get to do couples things with them away from the kids as much as we'd like.
03-29-2004, 07:11 PM
I used to keep my coworkers at an arms reach, but a little grease can go a long way...
I made a point to invite both my higher-ups over for a quick dinner... and I have invited the more ambitious people in my area to "watch the game".... it has paid huge dividends, even though we aren't "friends"... plus I visited the director at his Holiday party... It's just good networking, IMHO.
Anyhow, we too, suffer marginally from lack of real couple friends. Though I am very, very close to my inlaws, so that helps... We usually keep all the social dinners and "card nights" and such in the family. I'm looking to branch out more, for diversity's sake....
not enough diversity in my life...:rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:
Anyhow, we're pretty unique, so finding the right couple I suspect will be a long process.
Not everybody is into the whole pagan/judeo-christian/sportsfan/cook/swinger/hunter/parent/social drinker/interracial/conservative thing.... it takes a pretty open mind.
03-29-2004, 08:07 PM
I agree that it's really hard to find couple friends.
Funny story - we knew a couple, Deb and Norman, because our kids played football together for two years. To make a long story short, we found out that Deb's first cousin, was my brother's first wife. We had no idea! Anyway, all of our kids got along really well and wanted to know if we're related. I always say we're related by divorce. :D
This all happened a couple of years ago, but since then, we've become close and go out together frequently. In fact, we've spent New Year's Eve with them, and the kids, the last two years.
03-29-2004, 08:35 PM
We're on the hunt for some more couple friends too. We had some good ones when we lived in DC, but haven't made as many since we've moved. Did anyone ever see that episode of "Dharma and Greg" where they hung out in the bookstore and tried to "pick up" other couples? It was hysterical.
03-30-2004, 05:31 AM
As someone with more knowledge than I ever wanted about the disease of alcholism I'm glad, for the sake of your former friends, that you let them know why you had to back off from the relationship. It's important that they were made to face a consequence of his drinking.
We tend to spend a lot of time with family when we're home and most of our couples friends are childhood or work friends of my husband's who, fortunately, married women that I like. Unfortunately, it often works out that one or the other of us will have a rip roaring great friendship with someone and our spouse doesn't like (or is lukewarm about) their spouse.
I agree that you're going to have to be pro-active about it and probably your best bet is going to be finding some kind of social activity that is for 'coupled' people. Depending on your interests: Board games, social dancing (take a class in swing!), tennis, volleyball, softball, language classes etc. Seems to me when you play a game and have fun together it's a natural lead in to "Hey, that was fun! Do you want to go for ______ (beer and pizza, glass of wine, coffee and dessert)?"
We too have been looking for friends for years. And, we agree about the dating part. At this point, I am tired of trying to find friends, and just enjoying DH. I feel like everyone around us has babies, and that changes the going out thing.
We volunteer, belong to committees, try and meet people through work, etc. It is kind of sad that it is so hard...
03-30-2004, 03:18 PM
Great thread! Glad to know we're not the only ones with this issue. And, for those who have mentioned this....we don't "limit" our friendships with only couples (and I use that term loosely, they don't have to be married). But being a couple does make it easier on finding activities, not feeling like a third wheel, having things in common, etc. It's like the kid thing. We don't have kids and find that most parents want to have other friends who are also parents so their kids can hang out together.
Mostly, DH or I join local groups to connect with new people(book club, cooking club, etc) They are rarely couple-oriented groups, several of mine are women-only, in fact. But, it just gives us a source outside of work. We also are very proactive in getting together with any neighbors we think we might connect with.
03-30-2004, 03:36 PM
I might suggest stirring up some neighborhood gatherings. Many of our good couple friends are people who live in fairly close proximity to us. Just easy to strike up conversation and make plans. A block party or a neighborhood progressive dinner might open some doors for you. This is a good season of the year for that kind of thing.
03-30-2004, 03:43 PM
Great ideas here :D
One thing to keep in mind is that the other people you meet are not going to hold a candle to your relationship with your S.O. I click so well with DH that sometimes I think I'm expecting to find others that I can talk to about everything. There's a difference between "friendlies" and real true friends. It's easier to find people to socialize as long as you don't expect that they will be into ALL the things you are into. Dh and I have a lot of different interests, tastes, hobbies and perversions. We have different friends in each "group" so to speak..some cross over to other interests, but most do not.
And it does stink when you like one half more than the other in a couple :o
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