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So it appears that your girlfriend or current fling has a plan for the both of you this coming Friday night. She tells you that you’ll be having dinner and drinks with another couple. That other couple is one part man and one part woman.
The woman is a longtime friend of your girlfriend and, according to her, you and the other guy in this situation are going to get along swimmingly. You hesitantly agree to go but only because it’s early on in the work week and before you started dating your current girlfriend, you had never had plans for an upcoming weekend until, at the earliest, Thursday afternoon.
She’ll try to convince of how much fun this outing will be with ambiguous exclamatory remarks like “You both like sports!” and “You’ll really like him. You’re, like, the same person — I swear.”
I’ve got some bad news for you, though. You probably won’t like him, and all of these reassurances that you will are window dressing. In theory, I’m sure most of your girlfriends would love it if you could become friends with the guy that you’re getting set up with. But deep down they have to know that it’s probably not going to happen.
Men are simplistic beings. There is no doubt about that. But to think that just because two guys like to watch sports or have seen that new Star Wars movie is enough to make them become best buds is outlandish.
This situation has happened to anyone that has ever been on the dating scene and subsequently sucked into a relationship. You can switch out dinner and drinks in the above paragraph for a weekend trip to go skiing or sing karaoke at a weird bar uptown. The specifics of the event aren’t really important here.
The main concern for you and the other male that are thrust into this situation is pretty simple: what on earth are we going to talk about for four or five hours while our significant others pick up where they left off the previous time they saw each other? You’re shoved into a corner with some guy and expected to instantly have some sort of connection.
I like to call it “forced fun” but if anyone has a better term to describe what is happening here I will welcome it with open arms. The problem isn’t that your girlfriend is dragging you out somewhere. That happens both ways in a relationship. We make trades every weekend and during awards show season.
You make her go to a sports bar a few weekends a year to drink shitty beer and eat hot wings and she makes you have these little play dates with a guy that her friend is dating. Sacrifice, people. It’s all apart of a healthy relationship.
These dinners are never not awkward for the two males in question and it is, in a lot of ways, eerily similar to a bad Bumble or Tinder date. Background information like alma mater, dating history (if any), and rooting interests are relayed via girlfriend in the Uber on the way to the restaurant and then it’s just a lot of “You see that wildcard game last weekend?” and “Haha, yeah Trump really has a screw loose. This time he’s definitely going to get impeached.”
You can try and lubricate the situation with alcohol and that does usually help a bit. But friendship between two males past a certain age is pretty difficult to come by. At 26, I have enough friends. It’s tough to bring another person into your trust tree this late in the game because you just don’t really have the energy for it.
It’s best to just think of it like this: you’ve got couple friends and you’ve got actual friends. Couple friends are seen once, twice, maybe three times a month. The actual friends are ones that you can see every weekend. In a perfect world, you’ll have friends with girlfriends but if you’re like me that’s a pipe dream.
The best that you can realistically hope for on a couples date is that the guy you’re going to be hanging out with likes to drink because other than that, I’m not sure there is a whole lot for the two of you to bond over. .
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