Phil and Sarah are two of our favorite people in the world. Marc and I love spending time with this couple. They’re funny and intelligent, they love food and are always open to exploring new things — just like us. They’re kind, interesting, engaging and endlessly curious. Plus, our kids are almost exactly the same age and we end up learning so much from each other. Honestly, it would be tempting to share every date night with them.
But there’s just one problem…
As I see it, a double date isn’t actually date night. Why? Because you’re connecting with the other couple, not each other.
Before you disagree, hear me out!
If you align with the idea that date night is time set aside for two people to intentionally connect with each other, you may start to see why adding another couple can throw a wrench in the works.
If my goal for date night is to truly step into my partner’s world, hear what’s happening for him, give him space to share his experiences, worries, dreams and daily triumphs and tribulations, then doesn’t it make sense for me to be in a conversation with him – and only him?
In my experience, I don’t actually speak to Marc much when we are out with another couple. In fact, I might not speak to him at all since I will be so focused on connecting with the other couple. We might chat a bit on the way to the restaurant and back, but I will have missed out on the real juice of our time together… the chance to really know and feel known by him… the chance to cherish and feel cherished… the chance to acknowledge and feel acknowledged.
There are 168 hours in a week. Most of us will probably spend 56 of those sleeping, another 40-50 working and commuting.So, the remaining 60 (ish) hours get eaten up by a bevy of obligations and diversions, including cooking, grocery shopping, walking the dog, hitting the gym, time with the kids and TV viewing. If you’re lucky enough to carve out three hours to spend exclusively with your partner, that’s around 2% of your life’s schedule. 2%! That’s all you’ve got left over to spend one-on-one with the person you have committed your life to.
Can you see how this tiny slice of the ‘time pie’ completely gets eaten up when we share it with another couple?
I totally get it! It’s so much fun to be with another couple, especially when it’s been a tough week and I just want to step outside of my life and escape for a few hours. To be totally honest, during times when Marc and I have felt really disconnected, like we’re just not on the same page, it’s actually been easier to be with another couple than just the two of us on our own. The other couple can be such a great buffer, a distraction from things we just don’t want to talk about or issues left unaddressed.
So yes… Sometimes I just want to be with another couple because, in many ways, it can be more fun. But, what we want and what we actually need doesn’t always match up, right? When it comes to our commitment to staying connected and being loving and kind to each other, a double date simply doesn’t fill up our love tanks.
Sure, we are totally game for the occasional double date. We pretty much consistently have a date night every week, and if once a month or every other month we share that time with another couple, we’re not likely destined for the marriage therapy couch. And I am committed to having wonderful friendships with couples in our life.
However, in the hierarchy of relationships, I’m committed to Marc more. He comes first. We come first. So, go have your double dates. Enjoy them! But please be sure to set aside a little more time for just you two as well.
Let Us Know Your Thoughts
Do you agree? Disagree? Have another perspective? Tell us! We’d love to hear your thoughts and insights in the comments section below.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kristen Manieri is the Founder and Editor of Date Night Guide, as well as a prolific freelance writer. She regularly appears on FOX35 Orlando and has been featured in Good Housekeeping Magazine and on Babble.com. Kristen lives in Orlando with her husband, Marc, and her two daughters. Listen to her on The Synced Life, a podcast dedicated to conversations on human connection.