When my husband and I were newlyweds, we longed for community. We wanted to make “couple” friends. One Sunday we sat in a pew next to a husband and wife who seemed to be about our age and stage of life. We shook hands with them and made brief small talk. I thought that was going to be the end of our interaction. We didn’t want to appear too eager by asking them to hang out just because they seemed nice.
Much to my surprise, after the service they struck up a conversation with us again and asked for our phone numbers so we could get together sometime.
Because the two of them reached out to us, they eventually became some of our closest friends. We even ended up giving birth to our first children one week apart.
During our time of getting to know one another, I realized that making friends doesn’t have to be complicated. Sometimes you just have to put yourself out there and be bold.
Though I’m often nervous to make the first move when I meet new people, our friendship with that couple made me realize that it’s fairly easy and often welcomed. Most people are also looking for friends but feel nervous to initiate — so they’re glad when you do!
Proverbs 18:24 (NKJV) says, “A man who has friends must himself be friendly.”
So, if we want couple friends, we often must be the first ones to invite people into our lives.
That said, making friends can be tough when you’re trying to click with another couple. With four people in the mix, finding the exact method to help everyone connect can be difficult.
Realize that making new friends may feel awkward
Initiating the process of becoming friends can be uncomfortable. You may decide to go for it and ask for contact information but then wonder how long to wait before texting to schedule a double date.
Once you’re hanging out with a couple for the first time, you bring out your best stories, humor and questions, just like you would on a first date. You want them to like you! Above all, you try to avoid those awkward silences. But even though you want to make a good impression, being genuine is important, too.
We tend to doubt that people will like the “real” us, so we often put on a facade and try to be the person we think they’ll like. But the truth is, God gave us our personality and interests because He thought it was a good idea. And if He thinks so, then who are we to argue? Finding friends who truly appreciate the real you, not the pretend you, is important.
Decide who you’re looking for
After two major home moves, my husband and I have had some practice finding friends. Here are a few things we’ve learned:
Before you start your friend search, talk with your spouse about what kind of couple both of you are looking for. Choosing couple friends carefully is important, because as the old adage goes, you are who you hang around. First Corinthians 15:33 says, “Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company ruins good morals’.”
Your closest friends should be people who pull you closer to Jesus, not further away. That said, having friends who are non-Christians is also OK. In fact, Jesus demonstrated that himself. His closest friends were disciples, but He also spent time with broken and immoral people.
So are you looking for level-one friends (people who could become best friends) or level-two friends (people you limit time with so you’re not negatively influenced by them)? Discuss with your spouse what type of people you want to bring into your lives. Do you want friends who:
- Share similar interests (stage of life, faith, moral compass, hobbies).
- Challenge your way of thinking as iron sharpens iron (Proverbs 27:17).
- Have a healthy marriage (do they fight every time you’re together?).
- Will be good influences on you and on your children.
- Have boundaries (i.e., the man isn’t texting only your wife).
Consider where to find friends
Church is an excellent place to meet people. Look at the individuals sitting around you and reach out to them. You can also attend a small group, Sunday school class or community service event to meet people in your same phase of life.
Keep in mind that you don’t have to meet both spouses at the same time. My husband met a guy at a Bible study who then asked his wife to invite me to an event for mothers. They became good friends, even though we met them separately.
Of course, you can also meet friends at work, the park or even your neighborhood.
Learn how to become couple friends
A good way to become couple friends is to make memories together. Invite a couple to go mini-golfing, bowling or hiking. Have them over for a bonfire or take all your kids to the waterpark. Participating in an activity together not only creates memories, it adds a “filler” for those moments of silence when you can’t think of what else to say. Events also add more opportunities for laughter and fun.
In addition, make sure that you don’t spend the entire time talking about yourself. Instead, ask lots of questions. People like to know that you’re interested in their lives.
As a couple, be the type of people you are looking for. Do you want friends who will be positive influences on your children? Be good examples to their kids. Do you want to be around people who have a strong marriage? Don’t belittle your spouse in front of them (or at all), and don’t fight about little details or interrupt each other’s stories. Work to have a healthy marriage.
Be sure to text them occasionally, add them on social media, send a birthday card — in other words, make an effort to get to know them.
Don’t give up if it’s difficult
If you struggle to find friends that you both connect with, that’s OK. You can still hang out one-on-one with the person you personally click with while you keep trying to find another couple you both like.
Don’t give up on making friends just because it isn’t easy. It’s still possible! And it can be fun to meet all types of people in the process.