Need An Assist From My Male Readers: Awful Couples Activities To Watch Out For

Gentlemen,

I’m looking for some pretty simple feedback in the comments section below this blog post. Historically most of you have been comment-averse, but I need you now more than ever before.

Julie and I continue to have almost no friends in Los Angeles, and I feel like she’s getting to a point where she’ll try anything to meet people. Just the other day she actually started a conversation with someone in our apartment elevator. This is bad news.

For the past nine months we’ve been doing normal couple stuff with our free time: trying new restaurants and bars, hiking or renting bikes on the weekends, taking nice long trips to Trader Joe’s every Sunday, bringing our Andre the Giant-like dog to the dog park. And still no prospective new friends on the horizon.

While I’m perfectly happy with the lack of developments in the friend department—after all who needs friends when you have a perfectly good television and internet connection—Julie is probably less than happy. And now my concern is that she’s going to irresponsibly sign us up for some corny couples activity that makes me rethink our entire relationship.

Many months ago she expressed an interest in a couples cooking class. I laughed at her refreshing sense of humor only to realize she was serious. At the time I think I made it crystal clear that I would never show up to a cooking class.  I barely enjoy cooking at all. I certainly wouldn’t enjoy cooking with a group of strangers. Who gets pleasure from paying money to be in a room with six other desperate friend-seeking couples while being told what to cook for your dinner?

Just to make sure I understood exactly what a cooking class entailed, I did my homework on google. While perusing a website that claimed to offer these classes, I noticed this little blurb:

  • “With recipes and photos emailed to attendees after the event, you can reminisce and recreate your favorite dishes together at home. You never know, you might even witness a marriage proposal!”

Here’s the deal: In our one bedroom, one-TV household, we view dinner preparation time as welcomed time apart. When Julie is in the kitchen cooking, it’s my precious time to watch what I want on TV (sports). When I’m handling dinner, that’s Julie’s precious time to watch what she wants (junky BRAVO shows). This class will not inspire us to cook together at home. I promise you.

And this probably goes without saying, but…a marriage proposal in cooking class? Look, buddy, I’m just trying to be a good boyfriend by humoring my girlfriend with this class. No need to make the rest of us look bad by proposing in front of everyone. Save that for a different moment, specifically one that won’t have my girlfriend giving me a look that says, “I had to drag you here and put up with your sulking the entire time and this Prince Charming didn’t just come with his girlfriend, they actually enjoy this stuff so much that he decided to propose to her right here”. Not cool.

I had this little rant about cooking class saved as a draft on my blogging site for the better part of six months because I wanted to wait until I had more material. And just like the gift that keeps on giving, Julie brought up a similarly unexciting couples activity a few nights ago: Art & Wine Classes (aka “Sip-n-Stroke” according to one website).

Now here’s the part where she almost accidentally tricked me (and the reason I need all the men reading this article to comment on other undesirable couples activities). She called it a “art & wine thing” and my first instinct was that it’s probably just a museum event where you can drink wine while pretending to appreciate the art. I can do that. I can pretend to give a crap about art in the interest of drinking alcohol and making my girlfriend happy.

It turns out the type of activity she was referring to is one where we’d pay $30 for the privilege of drinking wine and painting with a group of strangers. A local art instructor would show us how to replicate an existing masterpiece as we laugh and sip the night away. I can’t do that.

This actually sounds much worse than a cooking class. The best way to describe my artistic talent in one sentence is this: I am most likely the worst stick figure drawer you’ll ever meet.

So, no, I don’t have any deep hidden desire to try painting/drawing/sculpting in my free time.

I’m racking my brain for other similar activities that Julie has brought up in the past, but I don’t think there are any. But just in case she’s reading this, here are some other hobbies or activities that I have absolutely no interest in:

  • Dancing lessons. Doesn’t matter which kind, I will not show up.
  • Ice Skating on a tiny sheet of ice with 300 other people. This is the worst. I grew up skating and playing hockey, but the activity I’m describing is an insult to the actual hobby of skating. I’m talking about that makeshift rink that every downtown sets up during the winter holidays. Where they cram as many people as possible onto the ice so you can’t even play a good game of tag with your friends. Awful, awful way to spend your time.
  • Gardening. We bought a bunch of plants when we first moved to LA, and they immediately died. Some things just weren’t meant to be. I just think we’re going to be the type of people who buy our food at a store for the rest of our lives. And that’s fine by me.
  • Book Club. It’s a slippery slope. We’re talking about the characters’ feelings and desires in a book we just read, and boom, all of the sudden we’re talking about our own feelings and desires. Yuck.
  • Ballet. I already mentioned not wanting to ever take a dancing class. Let me be super clear that I also never need to pay to see other people dance.

In the “giving credit where credit is due” department, Julie has either suggested or gotten on board with these ideas that I think would bring us much more happiness than the list above:

  • Buying bikes and going on weekly bike rides
  • Brewing our own beer
  • Surfing
  • Making our own jerky
  • Playing poker at the local casinos

So you see, gentlemen, there are several couples activities that we can enjoy together. But my worry is that I haven’t yet thought of all the possibilities that I need to say no to. That’s where you come in. If your girlfriend/wife/friend with benefits has ever suggested a couples activity that was as awful-sounding as the ones I listed above, please leave a note so that I don’t have to suffer the same fate you did.

Sincerely,

Someone Who Desperately Wants To Make His Girlfriend Happy, But Only If It’s On My Terms

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8 thoughts on “Need An Assist From My Male Readers: Awful Couples Activities To Watch Out For

  1. First off, I’m not sure why you guys are having such a hard time making friends. Doesn’t Julie work? Does she not have work friends? Secondly, you need to come up with an idea that’s a little more balanced than your 90/10 ideas. At least make it 60/40. As for your question, stuff that was suggested by a girlfriend or my wife were swing dancing, team in training, group ski trips, networking for professionals, hiking clubs and yoga.

  2. A.)-I don’t understand why you’re only seeking input from men. Silly. So obviously, I will ignore it.
    B.)–Lamonte, it is actually really difficult to make new friends–especially as a couple who just moved to a new place–regardless of how likable a person is! This is a common issue. It can be isolating, as many potential friends seem to already have their crew. That being said, here is my male friendly plan:

    1-Pueto’s bowling league idea = awesome. Also consider cards etc.
    2-People with dogs. 80% of the people in the building across the street from me have dogs. They bond over it, and have since set up group walks/dog sitting etc.
    3-Happy hour bars/restaurants in your hood…usually the same people attend. *Also double whammy if you make friends w/servers/bartenders who see the same ppl, know the hood etc.
    4-Compromise. You participate in one of Julie’s choice, then she participates in something you choose. You can always bond w/other dudes who were “forced” into it by their gfs.
    5-Each make your own friends-go out w/them on your own and then introduce each other (sometimes meeting independently can be easier than as a couple).
    6-Create and stick to your “make friends” goal and pick one night per week where you update each other on #5.

    • @Julie You are a very likable woman. I liked you the moment I met you and the same with my wife Stacee. So it surprises me that you’re having a hard time finding friends. Maybe we’ll move down and we can all hang out. The only problem would be on Sundays when the Steelers play the Pats. With that said, I like #1, 2 and 3. Ross has to decide on #4 and that might be tough on him. #5 and #6 doesn’t seem to be happening, thus the conversation. I say just continue to go out, live your life and enjoy each other. The friends part will come. You can’t force it.

      • re: #5, #6-It appears the focus is on “couples activities” (ex. “For the past nine months we’ve been doing normal couple stuff with our free time…And still no prospective new friends on the horizon” and “to be in a room with six other desperate friend-seeking couples while being told what to cook for your dinner?”) rather than meeting friends independently, hence the suggestion to do so. 🙂

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