Miriam says: Couples friends. Just the words make me think of the episode of Friends in which Monica and Chandler are so desperate to make couples friends they end up turning another couple off so much that the other couple gives them fake names (Greg and Jenny) and a fake phone number (8th Street Deli). I use to hate the idea of couples friends. Bryan and I are control freaks, so double dates? Those don’t work so well for us.
And then, as most stories in my life go lately, we moved to LA. Where everybody is in a couple. And I was utterly lonely and friendless. So our first drunky brunch? With a couple. Our first dinner party? With a couple. Our first hike? With a couple.
Now to be clear: I love all those couples. Each and every half of them. I just needed some Miriam-only friends. Because I spend so much time with Bryan that if I didn’t have Miriam-only friends I would pull a Monica and punch him in the face. And I love Bryan. So I started showing up to couples functions without him. (Which yes, resulted, in some concerned “is everything OK?” shakes of the heads. To which I responded: “Of course! Now hand me my margarita, k?”) And then I started hanging out with one-half of various couples. And Bryan followed my lead.
Which is when I discovered the genius of couples friends: you can have it both ways. You can have girls night (or gay BFF night) and you can have couples night. And because you have both, suddenly you love doing them both even more.
So in case you were wondering, I never did come close to punching Bryan in the face. Also, I will take any of you in Friends trivia any day you like. The episode with Greg and Jenny? It’s called The One With the Videotape. Game. on.
Ellyn says: Totally agree. The couples friends thing is new to me. Shaun isn’t my first boyfriend, but the only other real boyfriend I had didn’t have friends, therefore we didn’t have couples friends. But now, I’m in this whole new world of double dates and special couples only invites. Except most of the time, the boys organize, so at least once a month, I’m forced to socialize with another strange girl. It’s always fine though, and the boys always pay. “Dude, you wanna just split it?” So that’s great.
It’s also fantastic when your boyfriend becomes friends with one of your friend’s boyfriends. I do love the “forced” friendship that evolves into something real. “He’s pretty cool actually.” YES! Now I can hang out with my friend even more and you can come too and everyone wins!
Or sometimes (and I had no idea this happened when I was single. It’s like this secret club…) you get invited on trips that are pretty much for couples only, although no one comes out and says it. But it makes sense, so no one feels out of the loop. Like if it’s two couples and then one other person, that might be awkward. But three couples is a party. Plus if you’re renting a house, you can double up in each room and the cost goes down for everyone. Even at work, I think I get invited to more sporting events and concerts because reps can then bring their significant other too. “Oh, bring your boyfriend! I’ll bring mine! They can talk!”
And then afterward, no one feels like they have to stay out until 3AM in NYC. We all just go home early and crash in front of the TV watching our most recent Netflix, talking about how much fun that was and how we “really like them. We should do that again sometime.” Don’t deny it. I know you’re that couple too.