When you fall in love, it feels like you never want to spend a moment away from your special someone. How fun for everyone else you spend time with.
A friend recently shared a story about making weekend plans with two of her friends, which suddenly turned into a couple's retreat after they invited their boyfriends. Surprise, you're a fifth wheel!
It reminded me of so many occasions when I thought I was about to hang one-on-one with a buddy I hadn't seen in a while, only to discover it was actually one-on-two. And not in a cool, sexy way. Here's why you should keep your friend dates and your date dates separate.
Of course there will be occasions when your friends and your lover will meet. Maybe even family will be there. Who knows. However, if you have made plans to meet a particular person and you ask last minute if your partner can join — or worse, don't ask and just bring them — it's pretty rude.
We should get to choose who we hang out with, within reason and maybe your friend wasn't expecting to spend the evening with a couple. Or multiple couples. They won't feel like they can say no and that's unfair to them. No one should be made into that extra wheel without their permission.
It Changes The Dynamic
It's frustrating if this happens when it's just you and a couple, but it can also be weird when one person brings their date to say, a meet up of college friends. No one else brought their date, because they implicitly (or explicitly) understood it would be a night of inside jokes, reminiscence and catch up. Do not be the person who brings some rando who sits by the cheese plate and has to have everything explained to them.
If you were just supposed to hang out with one friend, they probably don't know your partner as well as they know you. Maybe they needed to talk about something more personal than they can share with a virtual stranger. Be considerate of how long it's been since you saw them alone. They might need your full attention.
You Need Your Own Life
It's popular to gush, "I'm marrying my best friend!" but the sentiment has created this strange idea that your romantic partner has to fulfil every need you have. They're your best friend, your lover, your roommate, your co-parent. It's wonderful to love and trust someone that much, but spending time apart will make that connection richer.
You'll both be growing and having your own experiences outside your relationship that you can process together. Later. Perhaps much later, because it's ladies-only trivia night and the rosé is flowing.
Not All Romantic Relationships Last
Sadly, the person you insisted on bringing to that weekend wine-tasting event in the Yarra Valley who is in all the pictures ended up not being The One! Maybe you have extremely tolerant (read:doormat) friends, who let you bring a new date to every carefully crafted party they arrange.
That's very nice of them, but try to take how long you've been dating someone into consideration before trying to shove them into an experience meant for your close long-term friends. It's great to take a chance on love, but don't make everyone else take chance after chance along with you.
This may all seem rather harsh. Maybe you're certain your friends would always welcome whoever you're dating with open arms and definitely not text each other about it behind your back. But maybe you should ask — way in advance.