Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Dating Never Ends

Having moved to a new place just to find ourselves as the only married couple in our peer group makes socializing difficult. When other women I know talk about meeting new men I enjoy listening, but feel unable to contribute to the excitement. Amidst a sea of single friends I am already settled down. That feels awkward. Part of me wonders if, for the sake of social health, I should be out on weekends joining in on girl's nights, but I really hate leaving Owen behind.

To fulfill our social needs, Owen and I find ourselves searching for compatibility with other couples. We're trying to find our Barney and Betty Rubble, our Fred and Ethel Mertz, our Deacon and Kelly Palmer. It feels like dating all over again, as we search for intimacy in friendships that we can enjoy as a couple. Sometimes we find a couple-unit that we as a couple-unit have a crush on, but we won't know if they like us as much as we like them, and all of the usual confusion of dating follows. Again, we find that chemistry plays a very important roll, this time in our search for another couple to share friendship with. Though in the instance of double dating, we have to find four people with good chemistry, which proves rather difficult.

Repeatedly we find ourselves most comforted in the company of those who we have shared friendship with for several years, though many of them remain single. Thus, I find myself extra concerned with who they date. Dating someone who has bad chemistry with one of your friends can really put a strain on the friendship. Not to say that your choice in a life-long partner should revolve around your friends, but when you imagine your future life with an individual realize that if your relationships with your significant other and your friends are in conflict, one or both of them are going to suffer. Finding friendship while married is hard enough without estranging the friends you already have.

Whether you're looking for friends, romantic partners, or a couple to double-date with, building relationships is just plain hard. Suddenly, I remember advice that I have often given, and yet not always followed. If you want to meet new people, who have similar interests to you, then involve yourself in the community: volunteer, join clubs, develop hobbies.

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