As a married couple, meeting other married couples with whom to spend your time isn't necessarily an easy feat — and that's because many married couples have obligations to which they must attend, whether that's family, their home or their careers. It can feel like there's seldom time to double date in between it all.
While befriending other couples doesn’t seem like it can have any impact on your career (and that shouldn’t necessarily be your intention!), it may offer a way for you to develop stronger workplace friendships with colleagues and, potentially, expand your professional network with individuals outside your company and industry.
So how do you find another married couple interested in taking on even more social obligations?
There are ways to put yourself out there and find other couples like you — and apps to help connect you with others.
Couples should be friends with other couples for a gamut of reasons. Other couples understand marriage — they'll understand where you and your partner are at in life, as well. And they'll be more keen to engage in couple activities, perhaps more so than your single friends. Having activities to look forward to outside of work is important for a healthy work-life balance and critical for your mental health. Besides, psychological research insists that the friendship of other couples is healthy.
Researchers interviewed 123 couples together — and 122 members of a couple whose partners were not interviewed — and reached several conclusions about the advantages of friendships among couples. The found three types of couples:
Seekers, who were "very interested in meeting new couples."
Keepers, who were "content with the couple friends they had though open to new friendships."
Nesters, who were "content in staying within a very small circle of friends and not interested in making new couple friends."
Of course, "dragging one's spouse/partner into spending time with another couple she or he is not especially fond of is not a good idea, and is especially difficult for younger couples," researcher Geoffrey Greif Ph.D., writes. "Older couples tend to have more time on their hands. They do not need to shepherd their time as much as those raising young children, who may be struggling professionally, trying to make time for extended families, trying to find alone time, trying to find time to be alone or with close, individual friends without the partner/spouse around and/or trying to find time for just the couple."
But for seekers and even some keepers and nesters, seeing one's spouse happily engaging with another couple can actually make that person more attractive, the researchers found.
"Being with close friends that both partners like can bring out the best in everyone," Greif explains. "Shooting a hole in one, seeing the beach at dawn, laughing at a bad movie or cooking a great meal may be enhanced when sharing it with a partner, as well as another couple. In addition, learning from that couple how they have handled the normal ups and downs of life can be instructive and provide ideas about how to handle the struggles that emerge raising young children, assisting aging parents or dealing with thorny personal issues."
Join groups in your community to meet new people. This might mean joining an intramural sports league, through which many other couples sign up to meet new friends, as well. It may mean signing up for a local gym or yoga studio, where you'll be sure to make new friends who may have spouses. Or it might mean taking classes like cooking or painting classes, where couples often go for date nights.
If you have a married colleague with whom you've become close friends, invite them out for drinks or a meal with your spouse and you. Inviting them for a happy hour drink can be a casual and fun way to introduce your spouses, who'll already have a lot in common since they're married to the both of you who work for the same company.
If you have children who go to school, you're likely to meet other parents who may be married, as well. By attending parent meetings and school events, you'll have a good chance of making friends with other married parents who you can invite out for lunch one day while the kids are at school, too.
Fortunately, there are tons of apps out there to connect with other people, including couples. You can use sites/apps like Meetup.com to filter through activities and interests to find groups and events in your area.
Finding other married couples to befriend isn't necessarily easy, but when you do find another couple with whom you seem to connect, it can be hugely beneficial to your social life, work-life balance, mental health, and the health of your relationship.
This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of Fairygodboss.
AnnaMarie Houlis is a feminist, a freelance journalist and an adventure aficionado with an affinity for impulsive solo travel. She spends her days writing about women’s empowerment from around the world. You can follow her work on her blog, HerReport.org, and follow her journeys on Instagram @her_report, Twitter @herreport and Facebook.