8.24.2012

couple friends rant



I have been thinking a lot about making friends as an adult. This article spurred the thought, but moving to a new place has really made me think about it too. I'm in the process of making new friends, and I have met some of the nicest people ever so far, but we are still in the new stages of friendship.  I've said it before and I'll say it again - I feel like most of my friends were inherited (see photo above.) We grew up together, we stayed friends, we married guys who get along. So even though I have made new friends over the years I didn't really need to, if that makes sense. I already had friends. But coming to Arizona and starting all over has been a different story. (Even though I have Liz with me here, albeit 30 minutes away. Ignore this L & B, I'm not talking about you.) 

What I've found so far though, is that making new friends as a married woman is entirely different than making friends as a single college student. You're not just making friends with a girl or a guy - you are making friends with a couple. And instead of calling up a couple to come chill and watch TV with you, you have to plan things. A "dessert party", "game night (THIS MEANS CATCH PHRASE EVERY TIME"), a "make your own pizza night!" or my personal favorite, "potluck."

Don't get me wrong, I usually have fun at all of those things, but I hate the formality of it. The awkwardness when the night ends as though you're saying goodnight to your first date and you don't want to kiss him at the door. The planning part that is always left up to the wives which is probably why it becomes formal. The get-to-know-you questions like, "Where did you two meet?", "How long have you been married?", "What did you both study?" I want to rip my hair out when people ask me those things because the answers to those questions ARE SO BORING. And I ask them back to people not because I care, but because that's what you do. You ask questions with boring answers.

 But what am I supposed to do? Tell the girls that I'm interested in hanging out with them but I don't care if they bring their husbands? And also that husbands are optional? I mean, I like couple friends sometimes but not every time. I'm not really sure what I'm looking for. I've talked about it with my sisters and mom and they all laugh and admit that things become more formalized after you are married.  You could just show up like in the college days and play Xbox and order a pizza and then end up at Sonic for cream slushes... but you don't. You have formal dinner parties and game nights like your parents did. I have left so many of those activities and feel like I know less about the people I was there with than when the night started. I mean, I knew how long they have been married, and where they are from but not the important stuff like how bad their homemade polenta tasted (of course it was terrible - it's polenta) or what their crazy cat lady neighbor did yesterday morning or whether they are Team Peeta or Team Gale. You know, the important stuff. 

Also, married people want to go to bed early which I used to think was embarrassing but I find myself doing the same thing. Why do we have to go to bed early? So we can watch a couple hours of Breaking Bad before bed and fall asleep around 1 am? Why not stay out a little later with our friends? - Oh yeah. Because they are all couple friends and they all go to bed early too.

What I really want is a friend who will come drop in and watch Bachelor with me shamelessly. We could maybe shop online while we watch and ask each other if that shirt from JCrew is really worth $70. If she's a good friend, she probably won't talk me out of it. Later we can grab a greasy taco and when our husbands get home from school they can join us and we can have an Arrested Development marathon. Later we might go swimming in the dark and plan a trip to Mexico for the next weekend. 

If you think that sounds fun, give me a call. I promise never to ask you when you plan on having kids. 

22 comments:

s.calder said...

Haha. I enjoyed this post a lot, and read that same article just the other day.

In fact, that Bachelor/Arrested Development/Jcrew/taco night DOES sound fun. The best kind of friendship, really. The kind where you can get together whenever and really end up doing a whole bunch of nothing and still have loads of fun.

But I struggle with it too. And now we have a toddler. Which is wonderful. But I think makes things even more confusing in the friend-making arena. Like the fact that we still feel like newlyweds and find ourselves wanting to hang out with the younger couples. Except that we have a kid. So we can't be as spontaneous or stay out as late or travel as far. And yet we still don't fit in with the other families of multiple children. We are stuck in some strange middle ground.

Adulthood is confusing and a bit socially isolating.

But if you are ever in the St. George area, call me up and I will happily online Jcrew shop and watch the Bachelor with you. Anytime. Really.

Ash said...

This seriously made me laugh out loud. So true. We're getting to the point where all of our couple friends have started having babies, and we are decidedly not, so now it's turned into a whole new scene to navigate.

We have been lucky to have a couple of couple friends who will just play x box (well the husbands) and order some pizza, but we're finding that they are few and far between.

At least you live in a place that has good tacos!

Kydan said...

this post is an anagram. Single life in a world of married couples has many of the same challenges, only...backwards? Regardless I can relate, especially since moving to Ohio where I am literally one of 5 or so individuals that are single, under 30 and not a student.

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Heather said...

Oh mands, Mitch and I feel the same way! and most of the time it means we just end up hanging out alone because we didnt "plan" ahead to hang out with other couples. I miss you and Kev.

Kathy said...

Oh I know how you feel! Except, my husband works weird hours, so we don't even get invited to couples nights.

Brittany said...
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Brittany said...

Hahaha, this post made me laugh so much. It's so weird having single friends and married friends and navigating all the rules. Friendship should just be, right? Friendship shouldn't have to be planned.

If I'm ever in Arizona, I will watch silly television with you (with snide commentary!) and convince you to buy expensive things you don't need. I'm great at both.

emma said...

LOVE THIS. i agree 100%. i love our couple friends, but i LOVE my girlfriends. especially my new ones, like you! we missed you in book club this week :( it's just not the same without you. our next one is sept. 18th...please say you're in town...

Autumn said...

This is so true. I have really struggled making friends since getting married. I think part of that is I used to have guy friends more than girls and when marriage happened it was supposed to flip.

We don't have kids yet, but it doesn't stop people from checking to see if I have a baby bump or constantly asking. Ahhh.

Natalie said...

I'm sure I will come back to this post when I am in your boat. Becuse i am all for the j. Crew coaxing and greasy taco eating option.

Hillary said...

Mandy. I don't know from experience but the couple thing is hard on both ends. It always takes adjustment. For example. I have some awesome coworkers but we couldn't be honest to goodness true friends because they are married and they always come with a spouse, and its hard to just go and hang out. Just the two of you. IF you were here in UTah I would totally watch Bachelor, Arrested development and eat Taco Bell with you.

Hillary said...

Mandy. I don't know from experience but the couple thing is hard on both ends. It always takes adjustment. For example. I have some awesome coworkers but we couldn't be honest to goodness true friends because they are married and they always come with a spouse, and its hard to just go and hang out. Just the two of you. IF you were here in UTah I would totally watch Bachelor, Arrested development and eat Taco Bell with you.

Laura said...

Bahaha! We (Blake and I) totally agree! Sadly I never got to experience this with our friends although I'm sure we would have been able to chill and be fine with it. Luckily we do have one couple like that here--and it is amazing. I like to call this process of finding new couple friends dating, because, I think it is essentially what we're doing. We try to find people we are both compatible with and we do formal things because people don't want to be "boring", although as you pointed out--we are. Wish we were closer. You could always plan s trip to the beach one weekend! We are only 5 hours away...

Tara : Damon said...

i feel the same way... and honestly, i feel like it's harder in med school. it took me almost my husband's whole first year to make a friend like what you want... but her husband was a 3rd year, so the next year, she left. and i have to start all over. same thing happened again. everybody is always in transition with rotations and graduation... it's really hard. i miss having bachelorette/wander around target for hours/drive 50 miles to shop with the money we don't have friends... if i was in az, i'd totally be there!

Danika Wright said...

I might not be married...but this totally how I feel about dating...blahhhhhh ha...first dates where you must play 20 questions?...the worst. You should come visit in D.C. :) Love you girl!

Erin said...

YES YES YES. And even when you aren't making new friends, but just hanging out with the old ones from college who also got married, everything is suddenly formal and surface level. Oh goodness I am so tired of it!

Katie said...

hahaha, i love this. I agree with Lauga - totally friend dating. With me and Jeff it seems like the girls I want to hang out with have weirdo nerd husbands that do not relate to Jeff - or the guys Jeff wants to hang out with have...how should I say this...not much going on upstairs wives? haha.

Not much of a problem right now - still just getting used to living with the in-laws, but making really close friends when married is definitely a challenge.

Kamian said...

You should read the book MWF Seeking BFF by Rachel Bertsche. It's about a woman who moved to a new city and started a quest for a new BFF to do basically exactly what you describe here. I loved it and it gave me lots of good ideas for friend-searching.

Larisa said...

lol . I think this is mandy... i really cant entirely figure it out... but i liked this post! so funny... seems true. I suppose... since i'm not married! Where in Arizona are you?