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.
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!