It isn’t often that Ted and I find time to double date with our married friends.
Between our work schedules and theirs, as well as our four kids and theirs (if they have any), it can be difficult to find a day and time that’s doable for both us and them.
Tonight’s different, though.
We’ve actually managed to plan a double date with a married couple for whom we served as premarital mentors a year earlier. As we helped them prepare for marriage, we were amazed at how much we had in common, and we determined it was a priority to stay connected long-term.
Even though double dates don’t happen often for us, we are still intentional to stay regularly connected to our married friends. It just happens less formally.
It may come as a play date at the park with our kids or a family get together over mammoth-sized pizza. Sometimes it’s chatting for ten minutes before or after church. Other times, it’s via texting or social media.
In our almost fifteen years of marriage, we’ve come to understand that our relationship needs other married friends.
Yours does, too.
As marriage and family expert Laird Crump states, “If a couple wants to run the marriage race well, they need to develop meaningful relationships with other couples who are moving in a positive direction.”
What are the best kind of married friends with which to surround yourself? Here are three types of married friends I believe every couple needs.
The 3 Types of Married Friends Every Couple Needs
1. The “Way We Were” Engaged or Married Friends
“My beloved is mine and I am his.” – Song of Solomon 2:16
A couple years ago, Ted and I joined the pre-marital mentoring ministry at our church. Since then, we’ve had the privilege to help several couples prepare for marriage.
Do you know what we’ve discovered in the process? We need these couples just as much as they need us.
These almost-married friends remind us of the “way we were” back before we added the responsibility of kids. As we interact with them and observe their dedicated attention and devotion to one another, we’re reminded of why we got married in the first place. These friends challenge us to continually pursue and freshly appreciate one another.
Every couple needs dating, engaged, or married friends who remind them of the “way we were” back when our love was newer and less distracted.
2. The “Me Too” Married Friends
“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” – Galatians 6:2
For Ted and me, most of our friends fall into the “me too” type of married friends. Like us, they’ve been together long enough to feel at times like marriage is more of a business partnership than a romance.
These are the other couples who – like us – are currently in the trenches of heavy workloads, parenting, and financial pressures. They are able to pray for and encourage us from a similar vantage point in life. And, as a result, they help us feel like we aren’t alone in our struggles.
Every couple needs married friends who can come alongside them and say, “We get it. We’re right there, too.”
3. The “Been There, Done That” Married Friends
“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” – Proverbs 27:17
When it comes to married friends, Ted and I realize our need for those couples who are a season or two ahead of us. They’ve been married longer, have kids who are older than ours, or are maybe even empty nesters now.
Just as we mentor those preparing for marriage, we need “been there, done that” marriage mentors ourselves. These married friends offer us practical wisdom and encouragement based on experience. They understand firsthand how the decisions we make now impact our relationship long-term and challenge us to choose wisely.
Every couple needs married friends who have already been where they are and have come out stronger and wiser.
Do you and your spouse have these three types of married friends in your life?
If not, make it your goal to seek out and connect with other couples who are “the way you were,” can say “me too,” and have “been there, done that.”
Each of these types of married friends can help you build a stronger, better relationship.