I posted this a couple years ago on my old blog, and I have to post it again because I’m laughing at how much trickier it is making and maintaining friendships AFTER kids…
1. The initial meeting. Maybe it was a set up. “Oh, have you guys met the other young couple in our ward?” “Have you met my sister and her husband?” Maybe fate just brought you together. Either way, you have to feel out this couple quickly before you get yourself in a tight spot and in a position unable to reject a dinner invitation. Have they been out of school long? Do they have real jobs? Do you think eating at their place would be a sanitary possibility, or are they cat people? Obviously, a quick assessment is crucial to sidestep the accidental food poisoning landmine and suggest eating out.
2. Setting up the date. After you have established couple friend potential, you play a little game of “scheduling.” Kind of like duck, duck, goose. Just keep throwing out days and times until someone says yes. At the beginning of this game, it’s important to keep in mind: Do you want to spend your one night off a week with these people? Are they a weeknight type of date couple (equivalent of a lunch date)? Is this worthy of a weekend (dinner date)? You can always just grab ice cream in case the couple turns out to be weird, or on their phones the whole time. In this event, don’t be friends with them, unless being tagged in 18 Facebook pictures per hang out is beneficial to your cyber social status.
3. The date. Like any date, you and your spouse spend a little extra time getting ready. You may take the time to wash your hair, put on some new makeup, dig out something unseen from the wardrobe, clean up the house a little (in case things go really well, and you end up coming back to your place…for games). As you primp, discuss only optimistic predictions of the night. Express your excitement to make new friends. Otherwise, your husband will opt to stay at home to watch ESPN. Avoid excessive PDA on the date. If you are eating on the date, be sure to seat the men facing away from any TVs so as to avoid MMS (mute man syndrome). Men refuse to talk if there is a game on, which leaves the two women engaged in a semi-boring conversation about Pinterest.
4. The Call Back. Review the outing with your spouse. Did you have fun? Did I have fun? Did they both have fun? Were you fake laughing or was that for real? Do you think they’d want to hang out with us again? Is this worth our time investment, or will they be moving soon? Based on this evaluation, you may want to call to reschedule another hangout and solidify a forming friendship.
I’ll have to make a follow up soon including how early bedtimes have affected our friend retention rate.