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12 Reasons I Hate Couples Playdates

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Guest blogger Paul Starke: If a stranger approached you on the street, demanded your phone number and asked to be your friend, would you do it? Of course not, because that's insane and it violates the basic tenets of human interaction.

two family outing
However, now that we have a baby, other couples with babies spontaneously come up to us with the intent of striking up a manufactured friendship. My wife, who is a much kinder soul than I, enthusiastically receives these overtures and then makes a plan to get together with these people, whom we've known for six minutes. This usually involves us all getting together, with our babies, and walking around awkwardly for a few hours. I hate it. But before you call me a cruel misanthrope, please read my "12 Reasons I Hate Couples Playdates."

1) I just don't like people: Not all people, mind you. I love my wife, son, parents and siblings. Everyone else pretty much sucks.

2) I always wind up "pairing off" with the dude: While the moms chat while strolling the babies, I'm stuck in a corn maze conversation with Chad about his time in law school.

3) I'm horrible at small talk: It's like being on a date, only with people you don't want to sleep with. Thus...

4) I hate telling the same stories over and over to different people: When I'm stuck, I usually go to my stock stories: How I met Melissa, Luke's birth story, etc. These tales are beginning to lose their magic the more I repeat them.

5) My wife always springs these "dates" on me at the last minute: Just as I'm settling in for the Giants/Steelers game, my wife tells me to put some pants on because we have to meet the Dorkelsons in 20 minutes.

6) Forced showers: I gave up trying to look/smell good several months ago. That's one of the reason I got married to begin with. Now, I have to be "presentable" and not look "homeless" or Melissa gets mad.

7) Politics: I wore my "Obama '08" T-shirt on a recent playdate, which didn't go over well with our Republican hosts.

8) They don't get my jokes: I can talk about poop for days on end; apparently, other people can't.

9) The babies are clearly bored: They usually conk right out, which is what I feel like doing...

10) Apartment Envy: Seeing other families lovely and tasteful lofts only makes our home look even more dangerous and inhospitable.

11) E-mail chains: I recently spent time reading 24 emails going back and forth between another couple and us about a music class.

12) You can't "break up": How do you tell another couple "it's not you, it's me?"

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18 comments so far | Post a comment now
Anonymous October 24, 2008, 4:13 PM

Reminds me of that Yes Dear episode.

Michelle October 24, 2008, 6:52 PM

It sounds kind of like my husband

Anna October 24, 2008, 8:07 PM

I can relate to what you are saying, i prefer to stick to a regular group of people and are not so interested in making a million new freinds, usually the first few weeks with someone you just met are really awkward and annoying.

Angie October 27, 2008, 7:39 AM

Aaahaha that GREAT! I the mom and i feel the same way :)
Thanks for saying it

Glenda Kiesewetter October 27, 2008, 8:31 AM

So true!!!!@

Kim October 27, 2008, 8:53 AM

Haha! That’s pretty funny! Sorry but it is!

Sharon October 27, 2008, 9:31 AM

I had never even heard of couple playdates…I would have never dreamed of it! We (my kids & I) were in a regular playgroup and occassionally we’d do things with the fathers as well. I don’t know about the other dads but my husband was never too excited about it. Every year we’d do a fall hayride & bonfire at a place for everyone to get together…that was plenty for him. After a couple of years some of them decided that since most everyone liked camping (and maybe all except for us had campers) that we should go camping for a weekend together as a group. That wasn’t going to happen…I wasn’t very keen on that idea myself. Afterwards I was so glad we didn’t go and decided that we never would. Obviously there have been friendships that my children & I have made that my husband has joined in and we were all able to get along great and have fun.
I can’t even imagine what the writer is writing about though! Moms with kids similar ages already have some common bond (you dad’s do sort of by that, but it’s not necessarily the same). I can’t imagine getting together with strangers for play dates anyway, but just because I’m married to my husband and we have 4 kids and almost endless years together does not mean I want to hang out with the same people he does, or worse…spouses. I personally get along better with my husband’s friends than their spouses usually, some of those spouses I just can NOT stand!

Amie October 27, 2008, 9:50 AM

Hee Hee I’m sorry.. that sounds miserable… those crazy republicans..

Diane October 27, 2008, 1:07 PM

LOL … I am a woman and I can’t stand them either … I guess if the kids conk right out, then what is the true meaning of the “play date”. Maybe your wife is bored and is just really looking for something to do, or maybe it’s the only time you shower up and she misses that LOL *** good luck!

cpmama October 27, 2008, 1:12 PM

boo-hoo! Never mind that you all share something in common, raising kids. I would like to say that most of us Moms know the importance of playgroups and the social skills that our kids need to develop. It is not all about you! Sometimes I get the BEST ideas and advice from my playgroup Moms. If you have not found out yet there is some truth in “it takes a village to raise a kid,” then keep on thinking that these relationships are superficial.

Happy2BMom October 27, 2008, 1:28 PM

Forget the playdates - I feel badly for your wife that she doesn’t mean enough for you to BOTHER taking a shower on a regular basis and smelling nice for her! She may not say anything about it and act “okay” about it but I’d be willing to bet she would appreciate it if you did it or, it might make her feel appreciated that you bothered to do so.

Renee October 27, 2008, 3:59 PM

The reason most mothers need play dates is often they do not get the social interaction they used to get from their careers, and miss having adult conversation, something most fathers do not experience because they are working. However, I do prefer having a play date with someone who I Know somewhat or have something in common with. I do not agree with having people I don’t know very well around my two girls for ” safety reasons” , and it is something more people need to think about before they just bring anybody into their children’s lives. I say get to know them better first, then decide about play dates . My children get plenty of social interaction from family, friends, and every time I take them out of the house to run errands to be worried about bringing a bunch of strangers into their lives for the sake of a “play date”.

Alexia October 28, 2008, 7:20 AM

Play dates are great, even couple play dates…but I agree, meeting some stranger (even if they have kids) is super awkward and I try to avoid it as much as possible!

Ray October 28, 2008, 3:52 PM

Playdates, I think this was fairly pathetic..Seems like you are being stuck up..I do understand ackwardness of meeting new people and the differences, but we should love one another as God says..These attitutes are part of the problem of this world. If you arent part of my social circle, you are important..All people have something to contribute to others. Our or their mannerisms may not be the most desired, but we are all in different stadges of growth..Perhaps God will deal with all that have these sad mannerisms, that agree with what you said..

Cat October 29, 2008, 8:57 PM

When my youngest child was little, most of her “playdates” were at the playground or local park. I had learned from both bad and good experiences with my older child that couple playdates are just a bad idea. At the park you can meet up with fellow parents and talk about what you do have in common and through quiet observation avoid those topics that you do not, you can leave whenever it is convenient(crying cranky child)without appearing rude, and you may actualy make some real friendships over time that don’t feel forced. This is what worked for my child and myself.

sassymom2k8 October 31, 2008, 7:25 PM

hey ya’all. I think this article was meant to be funny.
My momma taught me not to talk to strangers in the park…and here I am with my beautiful kids Bertie and Carol…talking to strangers in the park! Funny stuff.

And showers are a luxury for new moms. sounds like this guy must be not showering in solidarity with his wife.

Joe June 13, 2009, 5:38 PM

THATS SO ME! I just came back from a baby play date with two other couples. One couple we are closer with are really cool, the other couple was OK, but the husband was a TIGHT BUTT. See, Im the cool husband that can chill and talk about anything really, but I live in New York, It’s hit or miss with these Staen Island wannabee tough guy types. Dude, get the Binky out of your butt! Relax, ur a dad enjoy it. The way I see it, we’re ALREADY thrown into this uncomfortable situation, make the best of it, try and strike up some convo atleast. It gets really uncomfortable when the other dad is walking with his nose in the air, saying only hello and good bye. So rude. I’ve crossed a bunch of these types already.
Seriously tho, for the husband, it’s hit or miss. Im kinda laid back and dont act like Im in High School worried about my ego hangin with a bunch of babies etc. be a REAL MAN, a REAL DADDY and just get in there and be a dad. Some of these “parents” are pathetic. I love my baby and enjoy every minute with her.

-Disgruntled Playdate Daddy
(A.K.A. ‘DA DA’)

Pharmd421 April 6, 2011, 11:34 AM

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