Most people (specifically women) have heard of the book "He's Just Not That Into You.” And if you haven't heard of the book, then you've most likely heard of, or seen, the movie. It is written by a man and is comprised of blunt ways of telling you that a guy simply has no interest in you. And it is told in such a way that you can't make excuses or fumble for reasons as to why this guy used you and now won't return your incessant phone calls. It addresses an age-old issue for women, and as hurtful as it may seem, it's simple, really: He's just not that into you.
Now that I'm married, I figured I had now become immune to this kind of rejection. I have a husband, therefore, I'm pretty much positive that "he's into me.” I no longer have to lie awake at night wondering whether he's going to call, because he's lying right next to me. So I was feeling pretty psyched at the notion that I no longer had to wonder about whether someone was into me, and I could carry on feeling confident and content.
I was wrong.
Little did I know, there are certain new issues of self-confidence that accompany marital bliss. Now, instead of worrying about whether he is into me, we’ve entered a new realm of wondering whether they are into us.
That's right. Welcome to the world of "couple friends.”
It's one thing for me to meet another girl and start a friendship, but it's an entirely different beast when you and your significant other are looking to become friends with another couple. It's stressful and you worry about whether the four of you will share the same interests or even get along. Sure, it can be easier if the girls are already friends and then bring the guys into the situation, thereby forcing a foursome friendship, or vice versa. But even that is a rare phenomenon.
So when it comes to finding couple friends, Marsh and I have found it quite challenging. Not only is it hard to actually meet another couple, it's even harder from that point to establish a four-way relationship that seems solid and long-lasting. (Sounds eerily similar to being single and trying to date, doesn't it?) Granted, once you have children, it becomes easier to meet other kids' parents, and friendships begin on the common ground that you both have children. But we're not there yet, so what do we do in the meantime?
To increase our chances of making new friends, I figured maybe we need to address this from the angle that the book recommends. After trying to think about how it was when I was single, I came up with a list of Dos and Don'ts of "dating" another couple:
DO make an effort to introduce yourself to another couple when you're at a social function.
DON'T interrupt someone else's conversation to jump in because you think they look cool to hang out with.
DO ask questions about them and what they're interested in. Listen and let them speak.
DON'T be a one-upper and keep coming back with things you've done that rival their accomplishments. For example, when they say, "We went to Florida for our Honeymoon to save some money." Don't come back with "Oh awesome! We went to Hawaii since we got a ton of money in gifts. But Florida sounds nice."
DO act interested and make suggestions about going out to dinner sometime in the near future.
DON'T immediately run home and friend both of them on Facebook that night.
DO call them if they give you their number, but wait until the following weekend, or until you actually have legitimate plans that you'd like to invite them to.
DON'T stalk them on Facebook (if they accepted your friend request) and leave them comments all the time about going out together.
DO include them in activities you might be doing with other couples to allow everyone to meet each other.
DON'T isolate them as just your couple friends.
DO start out slow. If you make plans, keep it to a simple dinner out to see how it goes, giving both yourself and your significant other time to decide whether you like them or could see the four of you being friends.
DON'T go out to dinner, then ask to go out to a bar, then tell them they can come and sleepover if they don't want to drive, while discussing what you have in your fridge for breakfast and asking if they mind that your dog sleeps in the guest room with them.
DO treat them like your other friends. Invite them to social gatherings and warm up to them slowly.
DON'T treat them like lifelong BFF's, assuming you know everything about them just because you have one thing in common, thereby making you a stage-five clinger.
DO be confident in yourself and in your relationship with your spouse. Friendships always come easier when you don't put so much pressure on yourself.
DON'T showboat and brag. No one wants to hang out with those types of people.
While this list doesn’t have to be taken quite so literally, it should definitely help get you on your way. Whether we want to admit it or not, we all just want to be accepted. We want to make friends that will be lifelong and play important roles in our lives. And the same goes for me and Marsh.