I feel a little insecure asking but how do I communicate to my friends who are in relationships, that I would like to hang out with each of them separately?
I’m friends with both or all people in the relationships and they’re all great but sometimes i just want to hang out 1on1. I’ve had a few instances where I thought we were planning a 1on1 hang and then their partner(s) were in the car when they picked me up!
Nearly all of my good friends are in relationships and I’m still healing from a bad break up so that’s part of it. Should I share this with them? They already know! I don’t know what to do!
I’m looking for a script that is loving yet assertive.
I have a very strong feeling that your friends have no idea that this is something you desire, because it is an entirely reasonable request! Sure, some couples have some trouble reading the room when it comes to doing everything as a unit, but for the most part, if your friends are in healthy, functioning, and not codependent relationships, then they will totally be down to spend one-on-one time with you. And if they’re not willing to do it, well, that signals some underlying issues that frankly have nothing to do with you, so even though it would suck for them to turn down your — again, very reasonable! — request, it is not a reflection of you or your friendship, and you might have to let them figure out some things on their own.
I think it really is just a matter of asking for what you want. You can keep it as simple as “hey, I’d really love a chance to hang out with each of you one-on-one, separately, for the next few hangs.” No one will feel like you’re choosing favorites or being weird. Hanging out with a couple can be a super different dynamic than hanging out with just one friend. And I think your breakup feelings make this especially potent. You don’t need to cite the breakup as a reason for the impulse if you don’t want to! Because it’s possible that you may be in a relationship in the future and will still crave one-on-one time with certain friends without their partners and without your partner. So the breakup doesn’t need to be used as a justification unless you personally want to contextualize things. I think it’d be more helpful to set this as just a general expectation for friendship with you, regardless of your own relationship status. It sounds like you value one-on-one time in general, and that’s great! But not everybody necessarily shares that preference, so I really think it’s possible your friends just haven’t thought about it or realized it.
Who knows — some of them might even be flattered that you want to hang out with them one-on-one! Some couples feel subconsciously burdened by being perceived as one half of A Couple instead of as their own full individual selves. Because you are indeed friends with everyone involved (so this won’t be seen as you disliking anyone’s partner — even though for the record, it’s also okay to ask to hang out with a friend solo if you don’t like their partner imo!), I just don’t foresee anyone being offended. And if they are, I really do think that signals deeper boundary problems in those people that they should probably work on within their own relationships.
So really, what I’m saying here is: just ask. I promise it’s not a weird or burdensome request. I think asking for what you want out of friendships should be more normalized, and couples doing things separately is important for overall relationship health. So I see this as a win not only for you but for your friends, too. And perhaps this could encourage you to be more communicative about your wants and needs in friendships in general.
You can chime in with your advice in the comments and submit your own questions any time.