The Company We Keep

In addition to regular weekly date nights, Phil and I try to spend at least one evening a month with another couple.  It’s a formula that refreshes us for many reasons.  In addition, I see it as another part of self care. In this post, I share how we stay connected with the company we keep.

The Company We Keep

We often look to role models in sports, entertainment, religion, and schools. As married people, we seldom stop to think about our couple friends as role models.

Furthermore, couples have so many dynamics that it is challenging to find a good fit for company. Maybe you like the wife, but the husband is too gregarious. Maybe you met the couple through work, but then can’t seem to discuss anything except work in a social setting.

If you’ve ever spent time with a couple in crisis, you might thank your lucky stars for your own marriage. Conversely, they can be the mirror you need to realize you need to be kinder, more connected or more validating to your own spouse lest you find yourself headed down the same path. The impact of being with another couple is powerful.

Just as we want our children to make good friend choices, the couples we choose as friends should support our commitment to each other and model growth opportunities for us as a couple. The company we keep ought to be affirming and inspirational – part of nurturing a healthy marriage.

Our dear friends Mike and Diane are great role models for us. They love each other and they share our core values. We like how they talk to each other and about each other. They prioritize time with their extended families and they’ve raised two amazing kids. They have had their share of troubles and transitions, yet they continue to stay connected and committed to each other. We’ve had the pleasure of spending more time with them over the past six months and we have found such joy in their company, that we schedule monthly double date nights.IMG_5190

Last night we had a great time together. We went to this fabulous little restaurant and spent three hours chatting over dinner. Then we went to see the 2013 Oscar Short Films at an awesome theater in Uptown. It was such a great evening. But what made it so wonderful was all the intangibles that come from spending good time with good people. We strengthened our connection to our friends. We honored our commitment to spending quality time with a couple who have a healthy marriage. We enriched our own marriage by spending time with people life-giving to both of us. Cheers to keeping good company!

Still growing...

Jennifer Ebeling
Jennifer Ebeling is a proud Minnesotan and U of MN alumni. Gooooooo Gophers! Each week, Jennifer produces and hosts Still Growing - a gardening podcast dedicated to helping you and your garden grow. The show is an in-depth interview format. Guests featured on the show share a passion for gardening and include authors, bloggers, professional gardeners, etc. Listeners and guests of the show can join the Still Growing community on Facebook. It's a place to ask questions, share garden stories, interact with great guests featured on the show, and continue to grow and learn. Jennifer and her husband Philip have four children, a big golden lab named Sonny, and live in lovely Maple Grove, Minnesota. P.S. When she's not teaching her four kids a new card game - or teaching them how to drive a car - Jennifer loves inspiring individuals and groups to maximize and personalize their home & garden.
Jennifer Ebeling
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  1. Ruth Packard on February 3, 2013 at 8:13 pm

    Jennifer, In a few months my husband and I will celebrate 40 years of marriage. We have really been blessed with having a strong friendship with two couples, one who are our age and the other couple is about ten years younger. They have been such an inspiration for over 25 years. My husband will be facing brain surgery soon and already we feel the support of the company we keep!

    I love how you honored your friends by attaching your photo.

  2. Sheila Skillingstead on February 3, 2013 at 8:21 pm

    Jeff and I have never done tons of hanging out with other couples. At 40+ years, I think we did something right. The trick is how the couple speaks about each other. You nailed it there.

  3. Deborah Weber on February 3, 2013 at 8:36 pm

    What a lovely evening you had! I agree completely that the people we choose to spend time with should leave us feeling uplifted and inspired. It’s fun to look at relationships/couples as a unit and see how the energy is both different and the same when you consider the individuals separately.

  4. Michele Bergh on February 3, 2013 at 10:33 pm

    What a great post. My ex and I had no couples friends and I didn’t love most of his friends nor did he love mine. When I made the decision to leave, this was one of the pieces I reflected on as a sign that going our separate ways was the right decision. It’s wonderful to see you and your husband enjoying friendships together.

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