Claire and Alan are the couple behind @WeFoughtAbout.
Double dating can go one of two ways. Two couples can get together and have a wonderful time, enjoy an evening together, and then agree to do it again sometime. Or two couples can share a series of painfully uncomfortable moments, ruin one another’s evenings, and then agree to do it again sometime. There is no foolproof way of ensuring the first scenario, but there are a few ways to nudge the evening in the right direction.
Don’t Go Out of Obligation
This should be a rule for all things in life that don’t include family, work, or court. It is, however, especially true of double dates. If you get asked to go out on a double date and both of you are dreading the very idea of it, you need to rip that metaphorical Band-Aid off quickly. Going out to make the other couple happy or to avoid hurt feelings is bound to backfire in a big way. The kindest thing you can do is graciously decline.
Avoid Making it a Test for One Person
It’s perfectly natural to want to get opinions about your significant other from the people you care about. But using a double date scenario to do that? That is simply too much pressure for the person being introduced. Everyone involved knows that the dreaded “So, what did ya think?” question will be asked once the new kid/grownassman/grownasswoman is gone. Of this practice our friend Sarah says, “My friends ask my opinion afterwards and historically speaking I haven’t always liked the person.” In the spirit of fairness and keeping double dates relaxed and fun, avoid this. Wait until you two hit your groove together as a team before venturing into the world of double dating.
Keep Everyone Included
If you notice that all of the conversation revolves around a crazy night/friend/food-allergy memory that only two or three of you have in common, it may be time to find a new topic of conversation. It’s also important that you not just talk to your date. You two will have plenty of time to discuss what you think will happen in season three of House of Cards later. For now, focus on getting to know the other couple. You should walk away from the night feeling like you learned something about every person present.
Choose a Non-Threatening Location
There is no reason to go to the fanciest restaurant you can think of. The ideal spot is somewhere that is affordable and allows for conversation to flow. As fun as movies or concerts are, they can limit conversation. Get creative, or even go somewhere cheesy. That way everyone can feel at ease and ready to laugh. I guess what we are trying to say is that Medieval Times is hands down the best double date spot in the world. We went with our friends and amazing couple Kelley and Damon. Kelley told us, “We’ve had an awkward situation where we didn’t like the food and didn’t feel comfortable telling them. This isn’t a couple relationship — you don’t really have to make those types of concessions for each other — so it’s nice to make it a comfortable fun thing.” Luckily, everyone loves the food at Medieval Times. There was even a decent vegetarian option.
Don’t Compare Relationships
For the love of all that is good in this world just don’t do it. Don’t talk about it, don’t use all of your energy secretly thinking about it, don’t yell at each other later for not being more like the other couple. Very little good has ever come from this behavior. If you even think that this may happen, avoid double dating altogether.