Singles interacting with couples

How to explain ERE, arranging family matters
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Alphaville
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Re: Singles interacting with couples

Post by Alphaville »

my wife and i hang out mostly as a pair but we often see single friends at home or in public places. not a problem, they're friends of both of us.

nevertheless, we know the nature of our friendships, and we know when the match is a bad one.

e.g. she'll send me off to drink beer with my nerdy "philosopher" friends. in turn i'll quietly make myself absent from certain family functions or movie excursions.

we also hang with couples where we like one of them but the other not so much, and we wish we could isolate the likable one and skip, yes, the asshole :lol:

eg off the top of my head i can name 3 couples: one where one is mellow and relaxed but the other one is mean and controlling; then a different one where the boring extrovert takes over the conversation and silences the interesting introvert; finally another where one spouse would put our friend down in front of others (they're now divorced). oh, there is a fourth one where one partner just disappears when we visit, which-- is awkward, but we don't mind it so terribly :lol:

of course one has preferences, but it's hard to make them obvious. you can't split a couple and say "hey, can you leave your annoying partner at home?" one just can't. that invites their combined wrath. social life is full of landmines.

best case scenario is to engineer a situation that "selects" one partner so that the other one stays at home or whatever. or you show up to visit last minute while one of them is at work :lol: there is also the possibility of neutralizing the annoying party with an additional party member (or more than one, to dilute them). knowing how to seat people around the dinner table is an art--don't let them plonk themselves wherever they want!

we're also well aware that one of us can be the asshole to a third party--most of the time that would be me (the blunt one) :lol: but also i have "philosophical" friends who expect her to nerd out in our company instead letting her draw caricatures of us while we talk. she finds us entertaining , but yakking endlessly like a third rate socrates is not her modus operandi, so just let her be.

all situations need a bit of play and the right social lubricant (not necessarily alcohol). i'm not the most adept at creating this sort of situation, so i'm often frustrated in ky efforts, but im a fairly decent observer of human behavior and can easily hear a discordant note in the music. some strings need a lot of tuning!

--

eta: actually after writing this i realize with our common friends one of use is closer than the other, so we often give each other the space to hang with the other, so much so that i wasn't fully aware of it, it just happens. i mean, it's not a
0/1 thing, but a whole gradient...
Last edited by Alphaville on Fri Jan 22, 2021 9:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Toska2
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Re: Singles interacting with couples

Post by Toska2 »

Highly dependent on individuals.

I can play cards with my friend's wife no problem.

However, in the three years I have been here, it's not been positive for monogamy. In person, five married women asked for casual sex while one single female agreed to a date.

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Ego
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Re: Singles interacting with couples

Post by Ego »

thrifty++ wrote:
Thu Jan 21, 2021 12:31 am
Sometimes you want to hang out with your friend and not with their partner. Often I find, as a single person, hanging out with a couple can be quite awkward and not really that fun.
Most friendships revolve around particular activities. For instance, friends who get together to play poker or go to a yoga class. The other kind of friendships, those that do not revolve around any one particular activity, usually consists of a friend or friends who are more enthusiastic to hang out and the others who are less so. There is the person who tries to instigate the meetings and the others who acquiesce or decline.

In the latter case, the person who really wants to hang out may be able to make suggestions but they don't get to dictate the terms. They may try, and may even succeed in the short term, but the uneven power dynamic provides less ability to consistently influence outcomes.

ertyu
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Re: Singles interacting with couples

Post by ertyu »

Hm I disagree that you can't ask to exclude a friend's partner. You absolutely can. It's fully legit to be better friends with one part of a couple. You should also be prepared that the person does not want to hang out with you solo and deal with it without throwing fits if that's the case. There are many cases where I've seen it arise: you share a hobby with one part of the couple but not with the other part. You were friends with someone and used to hang out one on one, but now that they're coupled, significant other tags everywhere. You were classmates or former colleagues or had another relationship before the person was coupled. etc. Even if you met the friend when they were already in a relationship, it is totally legit to say, "hey i'd rather hang out one on one" - but be prepared for a no

ertyu
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Re: Singles interacting with couples

Post by ertyu »

Ego wrote:
Fri Jan 22, 2021 11:05 pm
Most friendships revolve around particular activities.
not necessarily, as a navel-gazey sort of introvert my friendships revolve more around conversations than around activities. E.g. we might go to the coffee shop together or we might go out for beers, but the point isn't the activity of being at the coffee shop, the point is to be in an environment where you can have an extended one on one conversation.

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Alphaville
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Re: Singles interacting with couples

Post by Alphaville »

ertyu wrote:
Sat Jan 23, 2021 4:52 am
Hm I disagree that you can't ask to exclude a friend's partner. You absolutely can.
i didnt say you can't, i said there will be bad consequences in the attempt. "hey, we like you but really can't stand your vapid wife/drunk dry husband/rude af friend" is not a good line :lol:

and of course you can pull your friend away as i said but it requires subtlety not enmity. you antagonize the unwanted partner and you lose the friendship.

trfie
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Re: Singles interacting with couples

Post by trfie »

I agree with the previous sentiment, that it depends on the situation. I would never ask for the person to be alone with you, that seems rude. If the third person is not interested in the subject matter/activity, they are going to discover that and then self-select to not be involved, so you might end up being alone in the future.

I met someone a few times for a sport (with others present who were there for the activity). I don't think she was dating the future husband at the time. Within a year and a half or so, she got married. The club closed so I would not have seen her again, but I happened to run into her at a store. I wasn't planning on meeting up again because I thought it would be weird, but she once texted me if I wanted to play the sport. So we met up and it turned out we had another interest in common, which we met up for later. It's been a few times and I've been to her place a couple times, I think either walking her back or I think she wanted to show me a collectible once, and I've met her husband a couple times. I think it's fine and I'm glad she reached out to me because I would not have and it seems silly to give up all friendships when someone gets married. Although usually I feel that married ppl of both genders stop hanging out because they are so busy and their priorities have changed. I found out recently she was looking for a job and I reached out to some ppl I knew to try to get her one. Had we not reconnected I would not have found out or been able to help.
I don't really know what he thinks of it but I don't really know him so I don't care. That's between the 2 of them to work out.

bostonimproper
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Re: Singles interacting with couples

Post by bostonimproper »

I think it’s perfectly fine to ask, “hey, would you be interested in hanging out, just us two?” I ask this of friends sometimes, particularly those who drag their partner around to most things, if I’m more interested in having one-on-one hangout time.

I don’t know, I don’t see this as a big deal. If they’re not interested in spending time without their partner, they’ll just tell you. I also find the idea of male-female solo friend hangouts without partners to be totally normal and no big deal, but recognize that some people have different beliefs on the matter that don’t apply to my marriage.

BookLoverL
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Re: Singles interacting with couples

Post by BookLoverL »

I'm not straight, and I'm only semi-interested in romantic relationships at all, and it does confuse me a bit when couples don't like their partners to have opposite gender friends. I imagine a lot of people in relationships are fascinating people who talk about all sorts of interesting things and honestly it saddens me to think that they might only be sharing their thoughts with a maximum of half the people they meet. But then again, I've always been utterly baffled by the idea of cheating - if you are in a relationship and you feel tempted to cheat, then why don't people just... not cheat? Not having sex with someone is very easy.

This sort of thing also does get more complicated in the queer community. If people are uncomfortable with their spouse talking to other people of the gender they're attracted to, does that mean, for instance, that a bisexual person is expected to never talk to anyone alone? Because having no solo friends apart from the spouse would be unlivable for a lot of people.

So overall it seems better to me to just build trust that talking isn't the same as romance and won't automatically lead to sex, and allow each spouse to talk to whoever they choose. But I accept that I won't be able to change everyone's mind on that one.

But yeah, if anyone ever meets me in person, then regardless of your gender compared to mine, I am the opposite of a threat to your marriage, honestly.

ertyu
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Re: Singles interacting with couples

Post by ertyu »

BookLoverL wrote:
Sun Mar 21, 2021 6:06 am
if you are in a relationship and you feel tempted to cheat, then why don't people just... not cheat?
two reasons, usually. reason one, because they think they can cheat and get the positives (ego boost, pleasure, etc) without getting caught: get what they want without suffering negative consequences. aka, the what they don't know can't hurt them, have your cake and eat it, too route

reason two is usually some psychological or life drama. too scared to commit to a decision to end a bad marriage, cheats so the partner terminates the marriage instead. or the marriage is over emotionally but there are prenups and children and entangled lives which make ending it hard -- but people still fall for someone else. or, people would have preferred to meet a core need in their relationship, and they went to their partner with that need, but the partner tried to persuade the person to let go of that need because the status quo works well for the person without the need (to feel alive and fun, to feel desired, etc). cue in resentment, and yeah.

i like esther perell's books for this. quite refreshing.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Singles interacting with couples

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

I’ve been in situation 2 and it does suck, but you can still choose not to cheat by straightforwardly asking for either change or end of contract or by accepting that your contract constitutes a vow you made to yourself or maybe God rather than promise to other. The problem with cheating in general terms applicable to Chemistry final and committed monogamous relationship is that you don’t learn or grow if/when you cheat. That set of problems remains unsolved for you.

AxelHeyst
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Re: Singles interacting with couples

Post by AxelHeyst »

BookLoverL wrote:
Sun Mar 21, 2021 6:06 am
I've always been utterly baffled by the idea of cheating - if you are in a relationship and you feel tempted to cheat, then why don't people just... not cheat? Not having sex with someone is very easy.
Same. Which is why, to speak to OPs question, I prefer to grok what the local-situation unspoken protocols are for propriety and then tune my social engagements to optimize sexual tension dynamics, because honestly is there anything else to life, really? Some of my most productive professional relationships were fueled by sexual tension. Some of my best friendships arguably are fueled by some level of sexual tension. My relationship with my gf (we're monogamous) is very much fueled by healthy sexual tension (+1 Esther Perel). I'm not interested in cheating or being so hamhanded as to make anyone jealous, I don't ride things up to that line. I prefer to feel very alive, and to have those around me feel alive, and being aware of and working with subtle nuances of sexual tension is an exquisite method.

And it doesn't cost a thing! See? There, we tied the topic in to ERE neatly. It also requires deft handling of two Renaissance ideal skills, emotions and social skills.

ertyu
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Re: Singles interacting with couples

Post by ertyu »

I guess the part of this relevant to the thread is, if anyone would cheat, they would do it for reasons that have nothing to do with whether they went out for coffee with a friend of their preferred sex without their partner.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Singles interacting with couples

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

“AxelHeyst” wrote: because honestly is there anything else to life, really?
New book rack at the library, first cup of coffee, identifying the species that is munching on your cabbage, hugs from your kids after year of isolation...

Actually, I for the most part agree with you but would caution that once you get past jealousy and become skilled at “handling” sexual tension, it still remains a strong tricky force that can strand your canoe on remote dreary island cul de sac. OTOH, this might be most likely if you don’t also pay heed to maxim “Everybody has a sex life, but not necessarily one in which you would care to participate.”

AxelHeyst
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Re: Singles interacting with couples

Post by AxelHeyst »

ha okay it's not the only thing, fair point. But yes... I think the risk is why it makes one feel alive, right? If I was 100% sure that my ability (or my partner's ability) to handle sexual tension would never lead to consequences, it wouldn't be worth doing. Kind of like how rock climbing would be mostly pointless if there was 0% chance I'd fall and get rekt. The feeling of knowing that a successful outcome is almost entirely dependent on me and my partner's competence is deeply fulfilling.

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Alphaville
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Re: Singles interacting with couples

Post by Alphaville »

AxelHeyst wrote:
Tue Mar 23, 2021 12:35 pm
The feeling of knowing that a successful outcome is almost entirely dependent on me and my partner's competence is deeply fulfilling.
my wife and i like to watch this show sometimes for the lols

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0492429/

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