It sounds fairly self-explanatory but Couplephobia is more complex than one would think. A recent study of friendship groups shows a two friend drop-off when one group member couples up.
In even simpler terms, if you’re part of a crew and you fall in love, you’re probably going to lose two of your closest mates. Sad as losing two friends can be, the most cringeworthy part of this change in dynamic is that once the said pals have deserted, you’ll probably start referring to your other half as your ‘best friend’ – because how cute is that? Not very.
*sick in bin*
So who is at risk?
It’s easy to assume that your single mates are happy if you are, but it doesn’t always work that way. Friends aren’t like parents whose level of happiness is directly affected by yours. The sad truth is, most singletons are happy as long as they have someone to share being single with. Once that changes, all sorts of dreadful things can develop, including Couplephobia.
Of course, when you’re rocketing towards cloud 9, all you want is for your single mates to be experiencing the same feelings. Well forget it, you can try setting them up with Gary, the good-looking work experience kid [who you would, but can’t] as much as you like, but it won’t make a spot of difference. By the time you’ve landed on that cloud, unpacked and put dinner on, your single mates wouldn’t wee on you if you were on fire.
Take this quick test to find out if you’re Couplephobic
1. Do you impersonate coupled up pals when they’re not around?
2. Do you refuse invitations based on how many couples you think will be attending?
3. Would you, if you thought you could get away with it, punch your coupled up friend in the face for leaving you out in the cold alone, bored and bitter?
4. Has your phone/email stopped predicting said couple up friend’s name/email address?
5. Have you fantasised about your coupled up pals breaking up with their partners and running to you for a day’s shopping and night’s clubbing?
If you answered mainly yes to the above, I’m sorry but… you’ve got Couplephobia.
Dr Ann Thomas says: People in couples are exclusive and often don’t include other people. Maybe they have to be reminded to do so. Face up to the fact you’ve got a problem and ask your friend for some time. Say ‘I miss you, I miss our girly/lad weekends’ instead of resenting him/her. You’re never going to be included by a couple if they think you don’t like them.
Maybe you’re a couple to watch out for!
1. The lovey-dovies. aka ‘no YOU hang up’
Why you can’t hold it down when you’re in public, your friends will never know. Some might say you’re rubbing people’s noses in it and others might even want to extinguish you both to forget your sickly unit ever saw the light of day. If you stopped kissing for one god-given moment you’d see that you’re both covered in each other’s spittle.
You’ll probably say: ‘We don’t care, we’re in love and we want the whole world to know it’.
We say: ‘SUCK UP BEING LONELY THEN!’
2. The Privates. aka ‘If we stay in the bedroom, nobody will ever bother us again’
Despicable. Fine, you’re not forcing others to take part in whatever sex experiment you’re conducting in that bedroom but, come on, open the door and bid the people you’re living with a good morning. Perhaps briefly enquire about their welfare. You’ll be pleased to know that your pals will never be jealous of your relationship because the life you now lead is incubatory [like prisoners] and doesn’t smell too hot either. No, they’re not jealous. They just hate you for being knobs.
You’ll probably say: ‘We don’t spend that much time on our own’
We say: ‘Yes you bloody well do’
3. The Holidayers. aka ‘We take our passports to bed with us!’
Do you really think shrieking ‘we’ve booked!!’ the entire time is going to do you any favours? Couples who can’t BEAR not being on holiday are probably the most irritating couples of all. What’s so bad about spending time with your pale, piss poor friends? And don’t leave the package holiday brochure to Barbados in the loo as toilet reading. Nobody cares about Barbados right now except for you. And nobody [but nobody] really wants to see 200 photos of you on the beach, then him on the beach, then you at dinner, then you together at dinner on Facebook. Ten is just about enough photos, cheers very much.
You’ll probably say: ‘It’s totes increds to get away. Holidays are good for relationships and fab for the soul!’
We say: ‘Shush. You’re tanned enough’
4. The Red Bulls. aka ‘We argue 24/7 so we can have make up sex’
It’s like a bad dream. For everyone. Going near this couple is comparable to licking barbed wire coated in rat poison. This couple row because they don’t know how to love each other and the best thing, you’ll love this, they can’t come out to play because they’re always too busy making up! He says things like ‘mate, I’m having a really good time without Lara. Sometimes I think I’d be happier single again.’ She says things like ‘we argue because we’ve got so much in common. It’s like…what’s that famous couple… Stephen Fry and Mrs Stephen Fry!’
Dr Ann Thomas says: Couples are obsessed with each other for the first 6 months. Open your eyes, see the rest of the world and include single friends. You really do need to maintain relationships with people. Talk about things honestly with the friends you’re scared of losing. Say ‘I’m crazy about this person, do you mind if I’m like this?’ If you’re rejected after being so honest then maybe you should rethink your friendship.
So if you’re thinking about never calling your loved up mate again, stop being so bitter. And if you’re so loved up you could pop, maybe spare a thought for the lovely friend whose shoulder you last cried on. She’s probably throwing darts at your face as we speak. *sigh*