Coupley-Ness – The Meaning Of It

Little Flutters, a blog I only recently discovered, featured a post entitled Is Coupledom Cute or Over-Share?, regarding the habit many couples have of sharing each others flaws, annoying traits, etc. with their friends. This led me to think about some of the couples I know, and how differently I seem to feel about my own relationship.

I’m writing this post partly to illustrate what I think are some pretty unhealthy ways to live one’s life, and also because I really do wonder if these friends of mine are representative of couples and / or people as a whole.

The Permanently Attached-at-the hip Couple

Couples Syndrome

This in itself is perhaps not a bad thing, constant companionship and the kind of relationship where two people can be completely immersed in each others’ lives without arguing can be desirable, but the “can’t do anything without the other” attitude grates on me terribly!

Here’s an example, with randomly-assigned initials used to protect the guilty.A and B are two women, holding a joint birthday party because their birthdays are quite close to each other. Mr and Mrs C, although initially expressing interest, fail to turn up even though Mr C professes to be one of B’s best friends because Mrs C doesn’t like A and therefore they can’t show up. It was made very obvious that Mr. C was only staying in because the other half didn’t want to go out.
In contrast, my boyfriend and I went out together for the pre-drinks then he went home because he was on call. People were terribly surprised that I stayed out, as most of them would have left when their partners’ had, regardless of what they themselves wanted to do.

OUR Friends Syndrome

I was told once, by a girl I had previously lived with for two years, that if I didn’t make friends with her boyfriend again (implying also that I would have to accept full responsibility for the argument, something I was not prepared to do since my only real part in it was losing my temper at some rude and flippant behaviour on his part) then she would “have to choose between the two of you, and I think you know who I’d choose”.

Why should this be the case? The argument in question was not personal, it was to do with actions, I at no point insulted her other half or gave either of them any reason to take personal offence. To save arguing, I think I avoided them both for a while, but I’m pretty sure I let her know just how dysfunctional I thought that kind of ultimatum was!

“Proper Grown-Ups”

This is a direct quote from the LiveJournal of a friend of mine, regarding an evening spent playing X-Box games: “two couples hanging around together, like proper grown-ups”. This from a 25-year-old.It seems to be a common view around here that you’re not a “proper grown-up” until you live together and host dinner parties to which only other couples are invited.

There’s something terribly false about that kind of thinking, and many single friends of mine have found themselves feeling pushed to the wayside. One, in particular, said she was practically ignored by a particular couple, except when they had a single friend they tried to push her onto, but as soon as she got a boyfriend the dinner invitation arrived.


I think I’m in a pretty healthy relationship. We live together, but with another friend too, and have our own friends as well as those we both know, some of whom are single, others in relationships. I have no problem with him going to see people I don’t know too well without me – I’d rather he went alone than have me tagging along feeling awkward because I don’t know anyone. (particularly as he attends some rather geeky gatherings who spend their entire time talking about their geeky exploits most of which go right oger my head!) We don’t feel the need to be in each others’ pockets and I’m sure if he fell out with one of my friends he’d have no problem with me remaining friends with them, I know that would be reciprocated. Do you have any amusing stories of irrational coupley behaviour? Alternatively, is this kind of attitude unique to the small university town I live in, where everyone appears to be trying to distinguish themselves from the student population?

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