The ‘We’ Relationship – Best Couple Friends

There’s a couple we have gotten close to. Yes, that’s a ‘we’ sentence because this is a ‘we’ friendship.

Xion is an old colleague and friend. When he started a relationship, we went out to dinner talked about the new woman in his life for over three hours. We repeated that meeting a month later, when I found Mr.Everyday. I get along well with Xion’s girlfriend. She’s young, fresh and bright but also intelligent and warm. Just the kind of girl I’d get along with, anytime, anyplace. Mr.Everyday likes Xion (which doesn’t surprise me, Xion really is easy to like). They bond over gaming and occasional girlfriend jibes.

We hang out together sometimes – dinner, movie and house parties. I never thought of double-dating as anything more than a group of four people socializing. But it turns out to be different from a group outing.

I’ve long hated the typical ‘smug married’ attitude myself, that makes coupled-up people only want to socialize with other coupled-up types. Most of my friends are still ‘individual friends’ in that, my bond with them stays unchanged through changes in my relationship status and theirs.

But it is good to have someone who understands your relationship situation perfectly because they know both you and your partner well. A close friend can be relied upon for unconditional support but perspective is something you only get from someone who’s at an objective distance from you and from the relationship. The girls-versus-boys conversations we sometimes have, the us-and-them comparison talks we do and even the close opposite sex perspective I get from Xion greatly help my relationship.  And of course, sometimes it is nice to be in the company of other people who won’t mind if you don’t pay them as much attention (they’re busy paying each other attention too).

A number of Mr.Everyday’s friends and mine are attached. But we don’t both get along with both of the other people in many of those cases. There are four people in this after all and all the requisite permutations and combinations don’t always work. Thus Xion and his girlfriend really are probably our best ‘couple friends’. It may sound corny but it’s real and it works.

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  1. Firstly this is post is fantastic as is most of your writing. I must admit I take relationship, career and even bedroom tips from Cosmos, GQ, the Digest, and blog posts of other brilliant copywriter friends like you. Back to the topic discussed in this post, this is a first and very well written, and easy to read. I am only now discovering the Joys of ‘we’ friends and couple type outings and I admit the interplays are not easy to manage- I want to ask you – how to manage when a] the men in the relationship think women of the group should bond separately and men do their thing (read thing as drink-up) and you and your partner don’t agree b] the couple type have a kid and you’re just married and outings are always for 5people? And c] your partner wants to enjoy as much as you (have a drink, take a drag, shake a leg) but the better halves of the other pieces in the permutation rather change diapers and chase after their toddlers. grrrrrrrrrrr

    1. @valroy: Firstly, thank you for that detailed comment! Secondly, I do apologize for replying so late but I’ve been caught up in some personal stuff. Now to the questions. There are no right answers of course, so I’ll just talk about what I do.

      a. I don’t really socialize with a lot of people like that. Being fairly opinionated on the ideas of women’s freedom and gender stereotyping, I think I automatically repel people who think in such conventional models. Luckily for me, the boy holds similar sentiments (even more so!) and wouldn’t get along with someone who thought women should stick to their type and the men should bond. If such a situation were to arise, I’d probably not even want to bond with such people and leave it to my partner to go socialize with them on his own time. For women who hold such conventional notions, I can manage some small-talk but not real friendships so interactions would be only when absolutely necessary.

      b. I do have a few friends like that and I can see the boy may not enjoy socializing with them. So we usually do our own thing. I like children myself and the kids of my friends are adorable so I meet them by myself.

      c. I can see myself in the poor girl’s place very well. I like children but I love my sparkling life too. If the parents are my friends, I can do b. and socialize with them seperately on their terms and keep the partying to the rest of my social circle. But if they are friends of my partner, I guess I’ll just grin and bear it and only when I absolutely have to.

      All three cases as you can see, don’t qualify for the kind of couple-friendship I’ve talked about in the post. The first wouldn’t be even friends with either of us, let alone both. The second and third would be friends with either me or my partner. In a couple-friendship, all the permutations and combinations work without too much social stress on any of the four (or more if there are kids) people.

  2. I understand completely from where do you come from in this post. My Boyfriend and I also face exactly the same situation most of the time. While most of our friends are not attached, the few who are, either I am not fond of their better half or the boyfriend is not!
    So, it is a refreshing change when you have a couple of ‘couple’ friends who don’t mind if you are holding hands etc with other public around! 🙂

    As usual, very articulate in your thoughts! 🙂

    1. @Rambler: Meaning do we end up comparing how we are as a couple versus how the other couple is? Yes, I think that does happen to some extent. Fortunately in this case, I think we all relate closely enough to each other for it to not seem unsavoury. Also, I think we all respect our individuality and understand that comparisons don’t work beyond a point. It’s vital to keep everyone’s good humour intact.

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