As you transition from your 20s to your 30s, most of your friends seem to be getting into long term romantic relationships or are getting married and they begin to settle down.

As this happens, the time comes when you meet your friend’s partner and by extension, start to formulate some kind of relationship with them.

Usually it starts by meeting them at a social event, or at their house. And meeting your friend’s partner is a significant moment, because it reveals another aspect of your relationship with your friend.

It’s important to get to know your friend’s partner and have some working relationship with them. After all, this person directly affects your friends life and can effect your friendship.

Also, it’s better for their relationship! Psychological research shows that when couples share friends, they are happier.

Social psychologists say that when you dislike your partner’s friends, it can affect their relationship with their partner,and when couples share mutual friends, their greater likelihood of a stronger marital relationship.

In the beginning, both your friend and their partner are on two separate levels.

And with any newly formed relationship, there is a period of adjustment – getting to know them and finding that sweet spot on where you stand with one another is important.

There are a multitude of different couple types, and their relationship with mutual friends reveal what kind of couple they are around friends.

Firstly there are the couples where you are much closer to one than the other.

This often just means your friend’s partner, although enjoys being acquainted – aren’t really interested in a close friendship.

Secondly, there’s the ones that compete. Your friend’s partner, noticing the relationship you have with your friend – wants to reach the same level.

At first, I didn’t realise that this was an actual thing – husband and wife competing with one another for friendship, but after speaking to a few different couples, this was definitely the case.

Obviously its a healthy competition, but for some, the race is on.

Thirdly, there are the couples that are on the same level, and it feels as though you’re just three friends hanging out.

The group dynamics are not influenced by their marital relationship, and everyone feels very comfortable around one another.

Fourth, there are the couples that feel comfortable enough around you to make light fun of one another.

It usually might be a joke or telling an embarrassing story – when it’s done right, its just fun.

But if they’re not careful, it can turn into bickering – which is often quite entertaining from my end. If it gets anymore intense, things can get awkward very quickly.

Fifth, there are couples that have no issue with having massive arguments in front of you, and may even ask you to take sides.

Eep. Very brutal.

I once was hanging out with a couple of friends, they had a big argument and both stormed off – I was in the middle, not knowing where to go.

I felt like their neglected child asked to choose who did they want to live with after the divorce.

So there it is, the five different couples I’ve met.

Having a working relationship with your friend’s partner is crucial. After all, if something were to happen to your friend – its important for the people (parents, partner, other friends) around them to be able to work together to come to their aid.