As a married couple, taking time to make friends with other couples can be a great way to enjoy social activities together and build lasting relationships. However, finding friends outside of your spouse can be difficult.
We tend to become more insular after marriage and spend most of our time with our spouses. While this is perfectly natural, married couples need to find ways to socialize with other couples if they want to enjoy a more satisfying marriage.
Why Making Friends Gets Harder After Marriage
When you are single, making friends is easy. You can go out to a bar or a club and meet people who share your interests. You chat for a while, exchange numbers, and maybe even meet up for drinks later in the week.
But what happens when you get married? Suddenly, making friends becomes much more complicated.
Married couples often spend less time socializing than single people. If you have children, it can be even harder to find time for friends because kids take priority over everything else in your life.
Unfortunately, there's a kind of snowball effect once you stop participating in social activities. As you devote more time to your marriage and children, your social network slowly begins to take a backseat. As a result, your opportunity to network out through existing connections begins to dwindle.
One 2015 study found that entering into a romantic relationship results in losing two or more close friendships, on average. Losing touch with two close friends is likely to leave your non-familial social circle looking pretty sparse for most adults.
Another challenge is that some couples feel uncomfortable socializing without their spouse. A 2021 research initiative found that couples inadvertently restrict one another's sense of social autonomy.
You tend to socialize only with mutual connections like family members when you're married. Unless you grew up in the same social circle, this might mean severing ties with most people you used to hang out with before marriage.
Benefits of Making Friends With Other Couples
Befriending other couples can benefit your mental health and your marital quality.
In a study conducted in 2019, researchers found that marital quality and satisfaction increased when couples connected with other people who shared their interests and values. In addition, this same study concluded that meaningful friendships alleviated depressive symptoms as well.
Having a rich social network outside of your marriage can help you live longer, too.
A 2017 meta-analysis of research on relationships found that solid social circles promote physical and mental well-being and may offer protection during hard times. Of course, your partner can only provide so much social-emotional fulfillment on their own, so don't be afraid to lean into a wider circle of close friends to expand your circle of support.
21 Ways to Make Friends With Other Couples
Whether you're looking for activities to do together or want some new friends to chat with, I've created 21 tips to help you get out there and enjoy a rich social life together.
1. Adjust your mindset.
Many people are afraid to initiate conversations with new people because of a fear of rejection. Reflect on all the great things you have to offer in a friendship. If you approach new friendships with a confident, positive attitude, then you're far more likely to find success.
2. Discuss your social preferences.
We all have preferences for how we want to socialize. Be thoughtful and consider how your partner prefers to socialize before making any commitments. Ask your spouse if there's a time during the week that works best for going out and what kinds of activities they would be open to trying.
3. Make time for friendships.
Everyone is busy, but you have some degree of control over how you spend your time. Make sure you prioritize making friends and socializing because it won't happen on its own.
4. Say yes to social invitations.
When you're invited to a social event, like a dinner party or coffee date, make sure you accept. People will eventually stop asking you places if you always decline. Social invitations are perfect for meeting new, fun, high-quality people through mutual friends.
5. Communicate thoughtfully.
When making plans with other couples, there's established etiquette to follow. Be sure to include both parties in texts and emails so that no one can mistake your contact as inappropriate.
6. Get involved in your community.
Volunteering is a great way to find new friends. You'll be surrounded by opportunities to meet good-natured people that share your values. Plus, you'll feel great about your contributions to society.
7. Sign up to take a class.
Cooking classes or dance classes are full of other couples ready to socialize. Learning a new skill can be fun for you as a couple, and making new friends makes it even better.
8. Join a club that aligns with your interests.
What do you and your partner enjoy doing together? Consider joining a book club, wine tasting club, or running group together. Clubs can be a great way to meet like-minded couples who share your passions.
9. Attend community events such as festivals or concerts in your area.
Community events are a fantastic way to make new connections and enjoy the company of other couples that live near you. Don't be shy about striking up a conversation while you're waiting in line for concessions or tickets.
10. Join a sports team together.
Joining a sports team is a fun, excellent way to meet new people and keep your social life active. Burn some calories, stay active, and make friends with other couples who share your lifestyle.
11. Take up a new hobby or activity together.
Not only will you have fun, but you'll also have the chance to get to know other couples in your area who share your interests. For example, you could sign up for a group hike or a sip and paint.
12. Plan a weekend getaway.
Sometimes, getting out of town for a few days is all it takes to open up your social circle. Flex your social muscles by chatting with other guests at your hotel. Even if you don't end up making lasting friendships, you'll feel more confident about conversing with someone new next time.
13. Go out to dinner.
What's your favorite restaurant in town? Chances are there are other couples there that feel the same way. Next time you're enjoying dinner, consider heading to the restaurant bar for dessert and strike up a conversation with another couple.
14. Start a book club or discussion group.
Creating a group of your own is a great way to attract potential new friends. Post on social media and invite married acquaintances or old friends to join. You might be surprised to learn who shares your interests.
15. Organize social events for couples.
Why wait for invitations from other people? Take the initiative and host your own event. These can include game nights, charity events, or dinner parties. Tap into your existing connections or advertise on your social accounts.
16. Join an online forum or social media group.
There are dozens of local groups that connect people with shared passions. Forums and groups are a great way to connect with other couples who share your passions.
17. Book a vacation.
Vacations are extra fun when you make new friends along the way. Meeting other couples at a resort or a campground is great because you share obvious common interests and lifestyles.
18. Have a dinner party.
Invite a couple you already know and ask them to invite a couple they know. Expanding your circle through existing connections you trust is an easy way to widen your circle.
19. Find friends that share your spiritual practices.
Do you go to a weekly meditation class or belong to a house of worship? You're sure to find other couples there that share your core beliefs and enjoy a similar lifestyle.
20. Socialize with coworkers.
You see your coworkers every day, but do you spend time getting to know them? Ask a married coworker to join you on a double date or invite them over for dinner.
21. Strike up a conversation with an old friend.
Some friendships are worth reconnecting over. Reach out to a married friend you'd enjoy reconnecting with and see where things go.
Married life is so much more fun when you have strong social connections. Try some of these suggestions and see what happens. Put yourself out there with positivity and confidence, and you're sure to find other couples that are just as excited to make new friends as you are.
Which strategies are you excited to try? What has been your experience making friends outside of your spouse?
Let me know in the comments!