In the study entitled “When Harry and Sally Met Dick and Jane: Experimentally Creating Closeness between Couples,” Richard Slatcher, assistant professor of psychology at Wayne State University, formed this theory based on his and his wife’s positive experiences hanging out with their couple friends.
Slatcher examined 60 dating couples who had been with each other for at least two years to put the theory to the test. He divided them into two groups, those who had to make small talk based on basic conversation starters and those who were given meaningful questions (e.g., what you would do if you only had one year left to live). Within the group, they were paired off randomly and asked to converse.
The results showed that while the “small talk” couples didn’t contact each other at all after the experiment, one third of those assigned with meaningful questions became friends in real life. Slatcher says these pairs also also related that they felt better about their own relationships after making new couple friends.
“They reported feeling excited, enthusiastic, happy, and close to their partner,” Slatcher is quoted as saying. He says this is because double dating makes couples put their best foot forward in the physical and emotional sense.
“Especially after you've been with your partner for a long time, some people think being yourself means not treating your partner as well as you would treat other people,” he adds. “Sometimes when people are alone with their partner they don't treat them as well as they should.”
So the next time you and your partner are going out on a date, consider inviting one of your couple friends, and veer away from bland topics like the weather. Not only will this strengthen your bond of friendship with them; you’re helping your relationship with your man improve too.
Want more relationship advice? Try these:
- Just Between You and Him: 5 Ways to Build Trust in a Relationship
- What relationship killer are you guilty of?
- Clear the Air: 5 Issues to Sort out in the Early Stages of Your Relationship
- He Says, She Says: 3 Tips for Keeping Your Fights with Your Guy in Perspective
- Talking Tips: How to Improve Communication in Your Relationships
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(Screencap from Knocked Up courtesy of Universal Pictures)
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