“Coupley-ness”

22Oct08
Little Flutters, a blog I only recently discovered, featured a post entitled Is Coupledom Cute or Over-Share?, regarding the habit many couples have of sharing each-others flaws, annoying traits, etc. with their friends. This led me to think about some of the couples I know, and how differently I seem to feel about my own relationship.
I’m writing this post partly to illustrate what I think are some pretty unhealthy ways to live one’s life, and also because I really do wonder if these friends of mine are representative of couples and / or people as a whole.
The Permanently Attached-at-the hip Couple
This in itself is perhaps not a bad thing, constant companionship and the kind of relationship where two people can be completely immersed in each-others’ lives without arguing can be desirable, but the “can’t do anything without the other” attitude grates on me terribly!
Here’s an example, with randomly-assigned initials used to protect the guilty.A and B are two women, holding a joint birthday party because their birthdays are quite close to each-other. Mr and Mrs C, although initially expressing interest, fail to turn up even though Mr C professes to be one of B’s best friends, because Mrs C doesn’t like A and therefore they can’t show up. It was made very obvious that Mr C was only staying in because the other half didn’t want to go out.
In contrast, my boyfriend and I went out together for the pre-drinks then he went home because he was on call. People were terribly surprised that I stayed out, as most of them would have left when their partners’ had, regardless of what they themselves wanted to do.
OUR Friends Syndrome
I was told once, by a girl I had previously lived with for two years, that if I didn’t make friends with her boyfriend again (implying also that I would have to accept full responsibility for the argument, something I was not prepared to do since my only real part in it was losing my temper at some rude and flippant behaviour on his part) then she would “have to choose between the two of you, and I think you know who I’d choose”.
Why should this be the case? The argument in question was not personal, it was to do with actions, I at no point insulted her other half or gave either of them any reason to take personal offence. To save arguing, I think I avoided them both for a while, but I’m pretty sure I let her know just how dysfunctional I thought that kind of ultimatum was!
“Proper Grown-Ups”
This is a direct quote from the livejournal of a friend of mine, regarding an evening spent playing X-Box games: “two couples hanging around together, like proper grown-ups”. This from a 25 year-old.It seems to be a common view around here that you’re not a “proper grown-up” until you live together and host dinner parties to which only other couples are invited.
There’s something terribly false about that kind of thinking, and many single friends of mine have found themselves feeling pushed to the wayside. One in particular said she was practically ignored by a particular couple, except when they had a single friend they tried to push her onto, but as soon as she got a boyfriend the dinner invitation arrived.
*sigh*
I think I’m in a pretty healthy relationship. We live together, but with another friend too, and have our own friends as well as those we both know, some of whom are single, others in relationships. I have no problem with him going to see people I don’t know too well without me – I’d rather he went alone than have me tagging along feeling awkward because I don’t know anyone. (particularly as he attends some rather geeky gatherings who spend their entire time talking about their geeky exploits most of which go right oger my head!) We don’t feel the need to be in each-others’ pockets and I’m sure if he fell out with one of my friends he’d have no problem with me remaining friends with them, I know that would be reciprocated. Do you have any amusing stories of irrational coupley behaviour? Alternatively, is this kind of attitude unique to the small university town I live in, where everyone appears to be trying to distinguish themselves from the student population?
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9 Responses to ““Coupley-ness””

  1. i live with my boyfriend, and while we have a life together, we still have our OWN lives. I often spend time with my friends and family without him, and he does the same. We spend time together, and also spend time as a couple with friends and family. I think we keep a healthy balance – we’re not attatched at the hip but we’re also not distant. We’re both fairly independent people, and need our own space and time to ourselves as well as time to be together. We’re pretty similar personality-wise which is great because we both understand each other well.

  2. Oh yeah, some couples can be just too much – can’t they? I think to prosper as a couple you need to love & share but retain your independance to an extent, you should never lose yourself in a relationship. I’m in a relationship but can think of nothing as boring as couples only dinners & such! Reminds me of that god awful scene in Bridget Jones Diary where she is the only single person at dinner with a whole lot of her coupled up friends, haha. But – all in all, couples acting ridiculously is a reflection on their poor attitude so … best we can do as outsiders is be there as friends to pick up the pieces should it all come crashing down around them and.. be there reading to give them a kick up the arse when they realise they’ve acted up or treated mates poorly.

  3. 3 xA.

    OMG, YES to all of the above!

    – I came to this blog via LJ, just to let you know before I start my little rant –

    Coupley-ness is ANNOYING. And I’m not saying that because I’m single and bitter and am jealous of my friends who are all in a relationship. Nope. I am happy. I’ve had the bf for a little while and we’re not ‘a real couple’, in anyone else’s view – because we don’t live together (hello, we’ve only been with each other for a view short months), share way too many interests in common which makes us often look more like BFFs (well, so?) and our perfect night out features going to a rock show, then an indie-club and fast food in the wee hours of the morning, while most of my friends prefer… sitting stifly at dinner tables… Hmm…

    So, yeah. Totally agree with the above…

  4. Haha, I’m not any of these three, but I’m another unhealthy couple type… the person who chronically complains about her boyfriend. Guilty as charged! šŸ™‚

  5. Heehee.. I would have to be one of those people that tell the good the bad and the ugly when it comes to relationships or lack thereof! Oops!! What can I say? I’m just a sharer! LOL… But in my defense I get it back in spades from my friends too…!! Blogs looking good girl! Are u going by Vicky and no longer Vixel? I thought Vixel was super cool….!

  6. Thanks for the shout out Vicki!

    Even though I’m in a relationship, I sometimes hate couples-only outings. If you’re hanging out with solo people, you talk about what they’re doing not what “we’re” doing.

    My close friends from high school and I share an unspoken rule that when we’re catching up, we only bring our significant others to important special occasions. Otherwise, the “outsiders” get bored listening to stupid things we did in school. I’ve noticed that the older my relationships with friends get, the more we speak in monosyllables and grunts. Evolution?

  7. I cannot emphasize enough how much I’m annoyed by the tendency some couples have to talk down to non-coupley friends&38212;or even to exclude them outright. How very rude and galling! I actually go out of my way to avoid that when I’m in a relationship. I def agree with Kate above, sometimes a couple’s behavior is a reflection of their poor attitudes, which is something I try to avoid when picking my friends!

  8. šŸ˜€ I’m certainly glad I’m not alone, and that I’m not living in some utterly peculiar corner of the universe where people just aren’t normal! x

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