Don’t Be that Couple
You’re cool together— but do friends see it that way? Or does your canceling on them, posting updates on your coupledom, and OTT Pdas drive them crazy? Get a grip on bad couple habits.
1 You won’t go anywhere without him The two of you an item. Great. But conjoined twins? Grating! When friends invite you out don’t always ask if you can bring your man—or worse, assume you can and bring him anyway. Especially if it was to be a GF fest of pedis, pizzas, and Orange is The new black. However much they like him (and chances are they do, if he makes you happy), sometimes friends want to see only you.
take It FROM a PRO “Me-time is as important as we-time,” says counseling psychologist Rakhi Beekrum. “It’s essential to develop your own interests, alone or with friends, or you risk losing yourself and not having a separate identity, which you’re likely to regret later in life. Besides, with separate interests there’s always something more to talk about—and time apart gives you a chance to miss each other.”
“Your friends can be a good support structure,” says life and executive coach Thabisile Zikalala. “When you suddenly sideline them, you lose that pillar.”
Checking with your man before committing even to coffee.
Constantly canceling commitments because you’re ‘going somewhere together’ (probably under the covers).
Hanging only with other couples. Your single friends are people too—so what if there’s an odd number at the dinner table!
2 You constantly talk about him and your relationship
You love him, so you love talking about him. Friends get that. But when you make every conversation about him, STFU.
take It FROM a PRO Turning every topic to you and your man will bore and annoy others—even hurt them, if they’re not in good relationships or places in their own life, says Beekrum. It can also signal insecurity, because you have an unconscious need to convince yourself how blissful your relationship is—or prove it to others.
Using the royal ‘we’—‘we hate shellfish, ‘We think Bastille rocks.’
Speaking or ordering for each other: ‘We’ll have the chicken, sauce on the side, extra rice.”
Dressing alike or or wearing each other’s clothes—it’s just plain spooky.
Giving unsolicited relationship advice to others or constantly setting them up on dates. Not every single wants to be in a relationship, or envies yours.
3 You constantly post about him and your relationship
Lovey-dovey messages are best shared as pillow talk or lipstick messages on the bathroom mirror. Others can find them icky, and of you break up, they can come back to haunt you. As for constant Facebook status updates, these go from irritating to ridiculous when you go from ‘in a relationship’ to ‘it’s complicated,’ back to ‘single,’ and back again, riding the endless relationship rollercoaster.
take It FROM a PRO “The most precious moments in a relationship are the ones nobody else knows about,” says Beekrum. Are you posting things because you truly want to share—or to brag and make friends envious? And while some partners get a kick out of your public declarations of affection and admirations (‘Love you, Biiig Boy’), others may be
embarrassed—even smothered— sensing you’re trapping them into commitment. “Your friends may also feel you’re laughing at them because they’re not in a relationship,” says Zikalala.
Instagramming cute couple selfies of you sharing Sunday brunch in your PJS, having a toothpaste fight, checking a pregnancy stick… AAAARGH!
Tweeting or posting your endless ‘anniversaries’—‘one month since we shared our first froyo, Sugar Lips.’
4 You push the Pdas
Holding hands and slipping an arm around each other sometimes can be cute—but going around like that can constitute a pedestrian traffic obstruction, and major irritation. Clutching each other’s butt, smooching, and other more overt public displays of affection can make friends (and strangers) uncomfortable, especially those with certain cultural or religious leanings.
take It FROM a PRO PDAS can signal exhibitionism or egoism (‘Look at me!’) or, more likely, insecurity. Beekrum says, “While some are genuine expressions of love, others are telling others, ‘ That’s my man.’”
“There can even be abuse of some form being deflected or masked by the lovey-dovey displays,” says Zikalala. Check in with yourself.
Feeding each other: a forkful to taste is one thing; a Ladyandthetramp spaghetti smooch is quite another.
Grooming him. If you must fix his hair or tie, do it before you leave home.
Using pet names (Honey Buns, Sausage)—his friends will tease him forever.
Talking about your sex life to others. Opening up occasionally to your BFF is okay, but in general, your private life is best kept private.
5 You argue in public
The only thing worse than loving it up in public is lashing out there. You may enjoy the drama and the make-up sex later, but it’s awkward for friends— especially if they’re asked to take sides.
take It FROM a PRO “Differences should be addressed in private, openly, honestly, and calmly as possible— not in public, where it can become more about points-scoring, as well as being embarrassing to your partner,” says Beekrum.
Constantly correcting each other—‘it’s pronounced “krem broolay” not “kreemee broolee.”’—no one cares, and you seem smug and controlling. If he’s the corrector, wait until you’re alone to avoid a scene, then tell him correcting you in front of others makes you feel bad, and ask to chat about it.
Constantly talking to friends about your fights, turning them into therapists, and dumping on them. We all need to vent (that’s part of what friends are for)—but don’t make it a habit.
PDI: Public Display of Insecurity?