Courting Couples

June 16, 2007 at 2:41 pm 1 comment

My husband and I plucked our family from the midwest 3 years ago to come live in sunny Colorado.  It has been a fantastic decision for a million reasons.  We did, however, leave lots of family and friends behind.  So, we’ve been looking, and finding, some great friends here.  We often muse at the funny “process” couples go through in becoming friends.  It’s completely natural, and most people do it, we just think it’s funny to talk about it.  So, here goes:

One of you meets someone at some event;  usually it’s me (the woman/mom), because I’m at all the kids’ stuff, and quite frankly, I’m an off-the-charts extrovert.  I crave companionship, conversation, and  . . . just . . . people.  So, I meet someone.   We’ll talk, maybe run into each other at one of the schools, the grocery store, the soccer field, etc.  Eventually, one of us will throw out the idea of “getting together”.  {That’s Step 1.}  Sometimes it’s a coffee and kid thing, it might be a bike thing (cycling is HUGE in Colorado), it might even be a ski-during-the-week thing (another benefit of living here…), and sometimes it’s even a lets-meet-at-the-McDonald’s Playland-with-the-kids thing.  Whatever form it takes, it’s a “thing”, a “gathering”, and a chance to get to know each other.

Let’s say it goes well.  You’re on to Step 2, which is either to do it again, or, if you’re feeling really good about each other, you might move on to  . . . Happy Hour.  That way, you get a few drinks in you, you really relax, the conversation might go a little deeper and a bit riskier, and you’re in each other’s home.  The husband might even come home from work and meet the “new” woman in your life.  Then, you can get his feedback on her after she leaves.  (What did you think of her?  Wasn’t she cool?  Did you notice how well our kids played with each other?)

You’re ready for Step 3.  Involving the husbands.  Sometimes, it’s a group/party situation, where you say, “hey, let’s invite the _______’s to join us at ________.”  In these situations, there are always “buffer couples” to help out, just in case your husband doesn’t click with her husband.

Sometimes, however, you’re feeling really good about the other woman, and you skip the party/buffer thing, and go right for dinner — one couple with one couple.  Restaurants can be a safer choice, because dinner can go quickly if you need it to.  Yet, the benefit to the home is that you can involve the children;  this works well if you already know that the kids get along.  In this case, if it’s not going well for the men, you can always pull the old “we’ve got to get going — the kids are melting down and need to go to bed.”  So, either way, restaurant or home, the evening can be a long one or a short one.

Keep in mind that whether or not the evening works — there are absolutely NO hard feelings, here, it’s just that not all men click with each other just because their wives do.  (and it’s SUCH a bummer when you do, and they don’t…)  The question is, are you ready for Step 4?

Step 4 is simple.  If they invited you to dinner, are you going to return the invite and have them over — as a couple?  If you invited them, are they going to, in turn, invite you over — as a couple?   Or, is the relationship going to turn into a great, daytime, woman-to-woman and kid-to-kid relationship.  Either way, you’ve made a great friend, and so have your kids.  So, it’s not like anyone really loses in these situations.  It’s just that it’s so much fun to find that “couple” that you can really hang out with as families.  (I’m not even going to get into when you want to move on to Step 4, and they don’t  . . . that can be an awkward situation, and I don’t think it happens that often.  Usually, if you think you all clicked, you did.)

We have had the benefit of moving on to Step 4 many times since moving here.  We have truly met some fantastic people!  Some of my women friends are just that —  women friends whom I adore, and I treasure spending time with them.  Some of my friends are couple friends, and I/we adore and treasure them, too!  People have all kinds of friends in their lives:  work friends, mommy friends, neighbor friends, church friends, athletic-team friends, parents-of-your-kids-friends’ friends, school friends, etc., etc.  . . . and of course there are those lifelong friends from growing up, high school, college, etc.  We’re not all meant to be BFFs, but it sure is nice to have at least one or two of those in my life.

Right now, in the stage of life that I am in, we really love having “couple friends”.  So, here’s to making it through Step 4!!


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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Gail  |  June 16, 2007 at 3:59 pm

    Having moved to Florida without knowing a single person, I can really identify with your analysis of “courting couples”. I never really thought of it in those terms, but in fact, that is very much a reality. I can remember saying to ‘B’ regarding one couple: “you’d better get along with him, because I am crazy about her”. It took some effort on his behalf because their personalities did not immediately mesh, but in the end, they were very, very close friends. We were devestated to lose him to cancer recently.


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