A lot of married couples lament that they lose touch with their single friends after they become part of a couple. This can be especially true once they have children. The demands, schedule and focus of raising kids just doesn’t jibe well with going out for drinks, going dancing or being very spontaneous.
However, a recent article by marriage author Dr. Pamela Haag points out that married couples who have plenty of other couple friends may have better marriages. The article, which is on the Psychology Today website, spotlights research done by University of Maryland professor Geoffrey Greif and co-author Kathleen Holtz Deal for their book, “Two Plus Two: Couples and Their Couple Friendships.”
The authors report that happily married couples serve as role models and mentors for their married friends, just by interacting together.
They offer a window into how loving couples interact,” Greif says. “Does he include her in conversations when the four of them are out? … Does she help him tell a story in a supportive way? Couples watch how their friends handle each other [and] their daily struggles, and learn alternative methods of interacting.”
The authors point out that not all couples have the same friendship style and it’s important to focus on couple friends whose style is more like yours in order for that friendship to help you to have a better marriage. As Dr. Haag explains,
“Seekers” are couples who tend to be extroverted and want to add to the number of couple friends they have. “Keepers” may be open to meeting new couples, but don’t seek it out. They feel like their plate is full. “Nesters” tend to be more introverted couples who are “content being alone with just each other or consider only one or two other couples their friends.” Sometimes a couple is a hybrid of these social types.”
So rather than mourn the loss of the single friends who no longer fit into your marriage, focus on the couple friends who can help to make your marriage better.